Many commentators have observed that Britain enjoys, by European standards at least, a uniquely stable party-political system. In many other European countries, collapsing empires, social uprisings or world wars fuelled new parties and shifting popular allegiances. Britain, on the other hand, is notable for the longevity – and adaptability – of its established parties. But amid rising volatility, fragmentation and polarisation in the early twenty-first century, are we reaching a historic moment of change? Are new-style political ‘movements’ such as the Brexit Party or independent, local initiatives a promising way forward? Could we be on the brink of a new political landscape and, if so, how should we seek to shape it?
special projects writer, New Statesman
journalist and commentator; deputy editor of opinion pages, Financial Times; former Liberal Democrat advisor
columnist and commissioning editor of comments, Daily Telegraph
economist and entrepreneur; author, Left Behind: why voters deserted social democracy – and how to win them back
deputy editor, spiked; regular commentator on TV and radio; editor, Unsafe Space: the crisis of free speech on campus
CHAIR: JOEL COHEN
associate fellow, Academy of Ideas