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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jan-18 > A state of flux

A state of flux

Volatility will change the way politicians campaign—and govern

The future of Politics

British voters are disloyal. According to the huge British Election Study, perhaps the last respected poll there is, around one in five of those who voted Labour or Conservative in 2015 chose a different party just two years later. And they are capricious: Michael Ashcroft’s research indicates that more than half of those who voted Labour made their decision in the last month, and more than a quarter in the last few days. If an example of the new mercurial mood were needed, look no further than Mansfield, which the Conservatives won for the first time in 94 years and Canterbury, which turned red for the first time in 99 years.

One theory is that voters are acting out of frustration with governments that have failed to deal with the global financial crisis: “2017 may be the year when politics finally caught up with the crash of 2008”, suggested Jeremy Corbyn at September’s Labour conference. Another theory is that the two referendums—on Scotland and Brexit—had created a brief moment of flight, liberating voters from their traditional party ties.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January 2018 issue: Five writers attempt to plot the impending advances in shopping, politics, sex, food and computing through 2018. James Plunkett looks at shopping and explains how personalised prices will hand even more power to the big companies; Theo Bertram outlines why political volatility is here to stay and what it means for us; Kate Devlin argues that sex robots are only a part of the impending sexual revolution; Stephanie Boland outlines why we’ll all end up eating lab grown food; and Jay Elwes explains the next steps in our computing quantum leap. Elsewhere in the issue: Dani Rodrik uncovers the truth behind the great globalisation lie—there were always going to be losers, Iona Craig delves into the war in Yemen—the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Chris Tilbury explains why Britain urgently needs a plan for its failing prisons