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Express & Star comment: Two-party system is weakening

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

Andy Street’s frank comments about this week’s European elections are likely to echo the private sentiments of many of those in Tory circles.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

For anyone of a Conservative persuasion, it is probably advisable to watch the results from behind the settee when they are declared on Sunday night.

This is a one-issue election, fought – and lost, as far as the Tories are concerned – on the Government’s lamentable failure to deliver Brexit.

As Mr Street is wise enough to suggest, there is a high chance that voters will use the European elections to send a clear message to Theresa May.

It will be interesting to see if the Government gets the memo.

On the face of it, these elections are a largely pointless exercise. MEPs will be sent to serve in Brussels for what should only be a few weeks – providing the UK eventually manages to depart the bloc.

However, the months ahead will tell us whether the electorate simply wished to deliver a short, sharp shock to our political elite, or if the upheaval is more long term.

The threats to the Tories and Labour by the likes of the Brexit Party must be taken seriously. Large sections of the public have had enough.

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They are tired of being ignored, and frustrated by Westminster’s incompetent, half-hearted attempts to carry out a straightforward instruction that was given to them nearly three years ago.

The result of the EU referendum proved that there is an appetite for change. If our mainstream parties do not get their acts together soon their dominance is likely to come under threat at the next general election.

The Conservatives need to deliver Brexit. The party needs a leader who can bring the various factions together so the Government can finally offer an effective domestic policy.

Labour, meanwhile, needs to go back to the drawing board – particularly as far as Brexit is concerned – under a leader who inspires rather than fosters hatred and division.

Make no mistake, the European elections will fire a warning shot at our political status quo. It is how the mainstream reacts that will determine the very future of the two-party system.

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