“Left” and “right” have been replaced. What does it mean for the two main parties? A top psephologist explains the new voting dividesby John Curtice / December 18, 2017 / Leave a comment
The continuing debate about Brexit is creating considerable angst within both the Conservative and Labour parties. The cabinet is evidently divided between those who want a “soft” Brexit that maximises the UK’s continued access to the single market and those who want a “hard” Brexit under which the UK reclaims its sovereignty and is able to exert greater control over its borders. Labour, too, seems unsure how far it can support a softer Brexit without upsetting those of its supporters who are concerned about immigration.
It is, in truth, little wonder that both parties are unsure about what Brexit path they should take. For they are operating in a very unfamiliar electoral environment.
The debate about Brexit does not follow the usual contours of British politics. These are usually delineated by the distinction between “left” and “right,” between those who want a bit more government in order to make Britain more equal, and those who want a little less state activity so that entrepreneurs are encouraged to stimulate economic growth. Those on the left tend to be inclined to vote Labour, those on the right to back the Conservatives.