When I went to vote today, I was surprised by the number of parties listed - 11 in total:
- UK Independence Now
- English Democrats
- Liberal Democrat
- We Demand A Referendum Now
Equally striking was that every one of the 7 fringe parties prominently stated their opposition to EU membership, whereas all the mainstream parties (and it shows how fringe the 'fringe' parties are, that the Green Party can be regarded as 'mainsteam' in this context) favour our continued membership and - with just one exception - would not even allow voters a referendum on the subject.
There are two mysteries:
(1) why has UKIP gained so much support? and
(2) why have all these other fringe parties suddely sprung up?
It's almost as though there were some major issue which voters were concerned about, but which none of the mainstream parties were prepared to address. However I cannot for the life of me think what that issue could possibly be.