Pick of the Week: Ukip down and Labour out
Politics.co.uk's five most-read articles this week, for your reading pleasure.
Is anyone not running for Labour leader? Actually yes, as it turns out. Not only has frontrunner Chuka Umunna dropped out today, but rising star Stella Creasy has also ruled herself out for the top job. The influential campaigning Labour MP is currently being touted as a potential deputy leader. However Politics.co.uk contributor Thomas Byrne believes Creasy is being far too modest in her ambitions as do many of our readers. Why hold back Stella?
Both Nigel Farage and his party fell far short of their pre-election hype in this years' general election. Farage's defeat in South Thanet and his subsequent failure to fulfil his promise to stand down has left him looking both slippery and vulnerable to attack. As a result we have seen what looks vey much like a coup by senior members of Farage's party in recent days. At the time of writing, that coup seems to be fizzling out and the Farage bandwagon looks set to rumble on for another few days at least. Ukip if you want to, but Farage is not for kipping.
While Ukip tear themselves apart and the Labour party descend into months of navel-gazing, the Conservatives are just starting to get used to the idea of governing alone. Without the Liberal Democrats to hold them back, all the signs are that this government is set to be a far more right-wing and authoritarian than anything we've seen over the past five years. Plans to scrap the Human Rights Act are top of their agenda as are plans for worryingly wide-ranging anti-extremism legislation. Home secretary Theresa May says these new laws are needed to protect "British values". We say it is precisely laws like these which threaten those values.
Much of the analysis of last week's general election has focused on whether Labour were seen as either too left or right wing. While always tempting to have that argument, it misses the main reasons why Labour fell so far short. In the end it wasn't their policies that were the problem but the fact the public simply didn't trust either Ed Miliband or his party to implement them. This combined with decades of complacency towards Labour supporters and a vague and confusing election message meant the public had little real reason to be excited about the prospect of another Labour government. In the end it wasn't shy Tories that won it, but unconvinced Labour supporters that lost it.
Every now and then an article from our archive will go viral for no apparent reason. Quite why our report from last year on former education secretary Michael Gove's hopes to extend the school day, attracted your attention we're not sure. Whatever it was, we're happy to help. Have a good weekend.