Coughs, beaches and Lib Dems at the Bournemouth International Centre.
Over the last few weeks, the UK’s seven major political parties have gathered for their annual party conferences, with major cities or the seaside being preferred destinations.
Arguably the most high profile story to come from these conferences was the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, where she was hampered by a persistent cough and a prankster.
Theresa May’s awkward conference encounters have dominated much of the news coverage across all major media platforms including TV, print, radio and social media, but we have to ask ourselves if that’s what we want from our news? Some major news-worthy events have been given little to no news converge. For example did you know that the SNP has put plans for a second independence referendum on hold? Whilst we may not live in Scotland, the potential impact on the UK could be major if Scotland voted for independence, so wouldn’t we rather hear about that?
You could suggest that our politics is now dominated by a similar system to US Presidential elections, where voters are primarily concerned with the party leaders, rather than the issues they aim to solve.
The chants of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn!’ at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton would serve as evidence for that.
However, wider concern should be the return to two party politics in the UK, with the Conservatives and Labour returning an 82.4% vote share between them; whilst the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Green Party and UKIP all saw a reduction in their share in the 2017 General Election.
Is it a worrying statistic for the prospective voter that they may have little choice but to vote for either Labour or the Conservatives regardless of whether their views are closer to those of a smaller party?