Why the sickly ugly sisters of our politics deserve to suffer the splits | Andrew Rawnsley

Once broad churches, both the Tory and Labour parties have become increasingly sectarian. Breakaways will be the result

If they did not exist, would we invent them? Given the chance to start from scratch, would Britain regard the Conservative and Labour parties, the two old and ugly sisters of our politics, as the best we can do? Are they fit for the purpose of representing and reconciling the diversity of opinions in a modern and complex country? And for offering it a choice of decent governments? A growing number of us have been saying not and for a long time.

Even before Brexit split both parties and scrambled voter allegiances, much of the electorate was expressing its dissatisfaction with the big two. The Tories have not won a solid parliamentary majority since 1987. The last Labour leader who was not called Tony Blair to secure a healthy Commons majority was Harold Wilson in 1966.

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