The results of the UK election last Thursday threw up some interesting propositions. Sky News Australia provided, largely through Sky News UK, complete coverage of the results and associated commentary. Their own Laura Jayes, a journalist of a higher calibre than anyone we have to offer, complemented their coverage at Westminster.

Sky News UK was originally a right-wing news channel but when Murdoch sold it the new owner gave it a leftist slant. I mention this only because their commentary and that of Laura Jayes was significantly different. Sky UK commentators were in raptures over Labour’s landslide win giving the impression it was all their own doing through running a brilliant campaign. Laura came up with the correct assessment that the story of the night was Reform and Nigel Farage.

She was right for the following reasons. First, the voter turnout was very low for a general election. This tells you the majority of voters were saying ‘a pox on both your houses’ and so stayed home. The share of the vote Labour got was only very slightly higher than Jeremy Corbyn achieved in 2019. So there was no great enthusiasm amongst the population for a Labour Government. Neither was there a great desire for a repeat of a Conservative one.

The Conservatives had similarities with the last term of our Labour Government. They both had huge majorities enabling them to make marked improvements in crucial portfolios. They both blew the opportunity. The Conservatives, instead of getting on with implementing Brexit, spent five years arguing amongst themselves and having a revolving door of prime ministers. This was due to differences within the party and with elite members in London determined to wield power.

This assisted in the rise of the Reform Party and they were starting to have an effect prior to the calling of the election. The surprise early call by Rishi Sunak prompted Nigel Farage to return to the party as leader. Reform then took off. This proved to be the final nail in the Conservatives’ coffin. With no real proper organisation and virtually no money, Reform were, as Laura Jayes surmised, the story of the night. While not getting the number of seats the exit polls predicted, their effect was huge.

Reform amassed over six million votes and came second in 98 electorates. This splitting of the right-wing vote cost the Conservatives seats that fell both to Labour and to the Lib Dems. That was pivotal for Labour’s landslide victory. The Conservatives lost a number of their front bench MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Penny Mordaunt. This will make the choice of the next leader possibly more difficult and certainly more interesting.

If the election had been held under proportional representation, Reform would have won not five seats but 93. There has been instant voter outrage. Labour had a huge win but got just under 34 per cent of the vote. The Lib Dems got less of the popular vote than Reform and ended up with over 70 seats. Nigel Farage will have noticed and, I am sure, will be pressing for a change in the electoral system. That would raise the real prospect of a Reform/Conservative coalition. I think the way British politics is going, First Past the Post has had its time.

So Labour’s big win, despite what their supporters and left-wing media might like to think, was hardly of its own making. Sir Keir Starmer is regarded as wishy washy and boring. He was a human rights lawyer (I trust he pays for all his items when shopping). He is a moderate socialist but will have to contend with a significant number of far-left MPs who will be agitating for policies that appeal to their minority base. It’s going to be an interesting five years. Those who voted Labour could be in for their just deserts.

A right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. Country music buff. Ardent Anglophile. Hates hypocrisy and by association left-wing politics.