This year sees the fewest number of candidates for four years, which could be down to any number of reasons, but is most likely due to the imploding and lack of organisation amongst the minor parties.
Recent years have seen a proliferation of candidates, with seven names on a ballot not unusual any more. Gone, for the moment at least, are the days when it was just a choice between the three main parties.
Both UKIP and the Independents (the non-party party) has had an impact in recent years, although UKIP’s self-destruction was farcical, if not outright comedic.
Without a proportional voting system the minor parties are nought but a distraction, often being more helpful in splitting the vote than in actually making any significant impact. Last year’s General Election saw the resuscitation of binary politics, and it feels like this trend has carried over into this year. I do not expect any gains by the minor parties, and losses are a strong possibility.
Whatever, there are seventeen fascinating battles ahead, and I wish all candidates well.