When Britain goes to the polls on Thursday the mainstream Conservative and Labour will be holding their breath. Not in decades has the vote been so polarized. Not in decades have the fringe parties such as the Scottish National Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party been so effective at eroding the support for the mainstream. Now as the United Kingdom readies itself for the vote many hard questions remain.
Who will win? Good question. At this stage the party that can build the bigger coalition seems to be the most probable answer. The coalition that is succesful is likely to require concessions from their senior partner. It might be in the form of policy concessions, or it could be related to ministerial portfolios. The Scottish National Party could for example ask for concessions regarding Scottish independence despite this being rejected. And the United Kindom Independence Party might demand that Britain exit the European Union.
The challenges are many and severe. Health, immigration, foreign policy and the economy are just a few. And the societal tension from decades of mismanagement of the country, raise the fear that the nights of wanton thuggery that engulfed London and other cities in 2011 might not be the last.
Regardless of how the United Kingdom votes this will be a very interesting election. Whether or not it is for the right reasons is another story altogether