The votes the Lib Dems can’t poach?

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The votes the Lib Dems can’t poach?

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A horde of "Other" candidates controls a growing share of the vote

A horde of smaller candidates controls a growing share of the vote

I’ve been out on the campaign trail for the Economist for well over a month now, visiting Brighton, Buckingham, Bromsgrove and Luton, among others. What’s been striking in most of those seats is the disarray of the major parties. Some voters are angry, some are apathetic, but in almost all of these places I’ve heard people say to politicians: “you’re all crooks, anyway, I’m not going to vote for any of you.”

But there are positive signs, too, in the rise of the independents and minor parties: an indication, at least, of democratic renewal. In Buckingham, where the Speaker of the Commons is fighting for his seat, five right-wing candidates are standing against him—none of them, (because of protocol), from the mainstream parties. Oddly, at least in Buckingham, the two main contenders (Nigel Farage for UKIP, and John

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Katharine Quarmby

Katharine Quarmby is an associate editor of Prospect 




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