I've been watching the political party conference season with interest this year and a couple of things have leapt out at me from the start. The first is that the electioneering for May 2015 has begun and secondly is the shift in the political positioning of the main parties.
Public perception of the Liberal Democrats is at a low, the dash to power has resulted in a 'Conservative Lite' feel, pushing the party right of central and into capitalist territory that certainly I find uncomfortable. But this week has also seen the remnants of 'New Labour' clothing thrown off to reveal 'New Old-style Labour' with a big jump to the left. The conservatives have a problem looming, being squeezed left by the rise of UKIP but unwilling to fully embrace the Lib Dem approach means they are going to find the ground disappearing from under their feet at the next election. It made me think about that big centrist space opening up, and since politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum what will fill that space? Certainly the centre-left ground prior to the emergence of the Liberal Democrats was held by the Social Democrat Party, could we see the emergence of a new social democratic (as apposed to social capitalist) party between now and 2015?