Labour and Conservatives: the coming period in the UK

We look at possible scenarios after the coming General Election and what might lie ahead.

The first scenario is that the Conservatives remain in power after the next election. This seems increasingly unlikely, as this Tory government reaches new depths of unpopularity and is riven with divisions, not least the recent sacking of Suella Braverman and the recent revelations during the Covid enquiry, which further exposed Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. If the Tories did win, they would represent a government hurtling to the radical right, and would be similar to the Orban government in Hungary, the Meloni government in Italy.  However, we repeat that this is now not very likely.

The second option is that a majority Labour government is elected. For many in the British ruling class, an incoming Labour government would act as a social fire brigade that would extinguish the flames of discontent that are spreading through British society. Starmer received the endorsement of Larry Fink, chairman and chef executive of BlackRock, the biggest asset manager in the world. Fink commended Starmer, saying,    “I’m very pleased to see how the Labour Party in the UK went from an extremist party with a Marxist leader to Keir Starmer, who has shown real strength.” Alongside this we saw the large business turnout at the Labour Party Conference in October, with Deliveroo sponsoring many events, and another event sponsored by Zilch, the buy now, pay  later finance company. 300 executives and chairs of UK companies attended the conference, which exceeded the number under the Blair leadership. There were 287 business stalls at the conference. 

Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has endorsed Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves as “a serious  economist” signalling his support for Labour. 

Despite all of this , so called ‘left’ union bureaucrats like Mick Lynch of the RMT and Sharon Graham of Unite  are still calling for a Labour victory as the ‘only alternative’ despite the watering down of Labour’s  National Policy Forum’s promises to strengthen workers’ rights, despite the posturing of Rachel Reeves as a future ‘Iron Chancellor’  who will continue to offer tight fiscal control and more austerity, and despite Labour’s refusal to repeal any of the repressive legislation against workers that the Tories have imposed.  

Such a majority Labour government would continue to pursue attacks on the working class like its Tory predecessor.

The third scenario is a minority Labour government. This might be the likeliest of the scenarios. The Palestine-Israel conflict has caused a crisis within the Labour Party, just as it has with the Tories. The resignation of many Labour councillors and now that of Labour frontbenchers over a ceasefire vote, has caused widespread consternation.

Labour’s backing of Israel’s attacks on Gaza have alienated not just the Muslim vote, important for Labour in many constituencies, but many others. The huge demonstrations of the last few weeks, with a large participation of young people, showed not just a revulsion against war but rejection and defiance of both the Conservative and Labour Parties, and a beginning of political awakening. This, along with the recent strike wave, indicates a new and growing questioning of the entire system. A Starmer government, with its plans for business as usual, might further radicalise this situation.