It’s a month since the British public had its say and voted in the country’s first Conservative government in 18 years. Now the dust has settled on the result – we’ve had the Queen’s Speech and Parliament is back in session – surely election fever must be over, right? Not a bit of it.
We clearly love a good election on these shores. After all, the Conservative Party hadn’t even reached the magical figure of 326 on 8 May and talk had already moved on to the next big chance to vote. And that was no surprise really – we’d been told what to expect.
David Cameron has always been clear – as he’s been known to say from time to time – that his party, if elected, would deliver a referendum on our membership of the EU. This is something for us all to debate and contemplate for the next 12-18 months, and for politicians and the business community to take sides and voice their thoughts on; I suspect the media industry may fill a few column inches on it as well.
Add to that the London Mayoral and Welsh Government elections next May and the smiling faces of David Dimbleby, Laura Kuenssberg, Nick Robinson, Andrew Neil and Co could be all too regular features on our screens and mobile devices in the year ahead. (Whether Jeremy Paxman stays on for another stint of ‘alternative’ coverage on Channel 4 remains to be seen).
More immediately, Nigel Farage may have been saved but there are still the Labour and Lib Dem leadership contests to be resolved – another consequence of the general election result. And, if Iain Duncan Smith’s comments to Andrew Marr in March prove correct, we could even be contemplating a replacement for Cameron before his second term is up.
Add to the mix Nicola Sturgeon’s continued push for a second referendum on Scotland’s independence and we’re set for a veritable smorgasbord of manifestos, pledges and political one-upmanship to enjoy. Newspaper editors must be delighted at the prospect that their columns will virtually fill themselves.
On the negative side, these big decisions could have a destabilising effect on the economy, with potentially significant consequences for big business, SMEs, public bodies and private individuals alike.
However, that is a factor of living in a democracy and, ultimately, we all have a say in who is tasked with leading us to a better future on the other side – however bumpy the journey to get there.
Bring it on!
Dan Knight is an account director at Camargue