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THE FOURTH LECTERN

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    What if UKIP were given a lectern in the debates in 2010?

     

    They weren’t, of course. Not in our world. But in a world very similar to our own, where the tiniest of changes happened, they were. And things turned out rather differently.

     

    Ahead of the United Kingdom’s General Election in 2015, the populist right-wing, Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (commonly known as UKIP) was big news. What if their surge had happened earlier, in the dying days of a Labour Government?

     

    What if four-party politics had taken hold in the last election, in the last moments before the campaign began?

     

    What if the BBC, in attempting to close down arguments over whether the SNP and Plaid Cymru should be in the debates without excluding the Liberal Democrats, accidentally opened the door to UKIP?

     

    The campaign would have been rather different. Election night more so. And the aftermath?

     

    Andy Cooke’s counterfactual of a four-way election depicts a world eerily similar to our own.