The British General Election: En Route to Brexit?

Thursday 7 May at 7:30 PM

A talk by Bernard Wasserstein (Emeritus, University of Chicago) is a prolific historian of twentieth-century Jewish and British History. 

In a wide-ranging lecture on the upcoming elections in Britain, Professor Wasserstein will discuss, among other things: the UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) challenge and its possible ramifications for other populist parties around Europe, particularly in the wake of the Syriza victory in Greece and the growing prospect of “grexit”; the implications of a Conservative victory, especially if accompanied by a strong UKIP showing, for Britain’s continued relationship with the EU, given the Conservative pledge of an “in/out referendum" in 2017 and the Conservatives' projected renegotiation of the terms of UK membership; the likely return of the Scottish independence issue in the wake of a collapse of both Conservative and Labour support north of the border; the apparent crash in Liberal Democrat support throughout the UK; coalition arithmetic in the event of a “hung Parliament”; the possibility of a weak Labour minority government; as well as other issues arising from the final stages of the campaign and the opinion polls. He will also discuss to what extent we are now witnessing the collapse of the bi-polar party system that has dominated British politics for most of the past century.