- Labour Party and Business: A Difficult Relationship?
- Chameleon Conservative Cameron Shows True Colours
- An Election Reflection for a Majority Minority
- Mhairi Black: Giving Politics a Makeover
- Galloway Threatens Legal Action Over Election Result
- Voter Turnout: What The Numbers Tell Us About The 2015 General Election
- Looking At The Reaction to the Election Explains its Result
- The Polls Were Wrong Because People Lied, it’s That Simple!
- Russell Brand “Resigns” from Politics following General Election Result
- It’s Not The Cold War Anymore, We Don’t Need a Nuclear Deterrent
- The Future of Labour: Who Will Be The Next Leader?
- The Future of the Liberal Democrats: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- The Future of UKIP: Who Will Be the Next Leader?
- A Tale of Three Ends
- The Tory Legacy
- If the Party Leaders were characters from Friends…who would you vote for?
- The Ten (Well, Six) Commitments: Is Stone Legally Binding?
- Tuition Fees: A Hollow Attempt to Pander to the Student Vote?
- 6,417 Ed Milligrams – What Do You Actually Vote For?
- Boris Johnson to become Gangster Rapper
- Political Engagement: The Calm After the Storm
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Green Party’s John Spottiswoode.
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: TUSC’s Sue Atkins
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, Independent Candidate Chris Daviss
- “I don’t think the Liberal Democrats should be in government just for the sake of it” – An Interview With Nick Clegg
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, TUSC’s Nick Chaffey
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Conservative’s Jeremy Moulton.
- Should Young People Be Made To Vote?
- The Nationalist Parties
- No Votes for Women?
- None of the Political Candidates Ticking Your Box? There is Another Option.
- The Other Parties
- Liberal Democrats Party Profile
- The Green Party
- Labour Party Profile
- In Defence of the Coalition
- Why Labour Should Win the Election But Won’t
- The Protest Vote: The Weapon of the Disenfranchised.
- Why Young People Must Use Their Vote
- An Interview With Natalie Bennett
- What Will a Multi-Party System Mean for Britain?
- Tuition Fees: Must Try Harder Ed
- Science and Policy
- This Election is Far Bigger Than Party Politics
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Ian Callaghan, Green Party
- Parliamentary Candidate Interviews: Lib Dem’s Adrian Ford
- Paliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Darren Paffey
- Parliamentary Candidates Interviews: Lib Dem’s Eleanor Bell
- TV Debates: The Crucifixion of David Cameron
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – Labour’s Rowenna Davis
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview, the Green Party’s Angela Mawle
- Can We Trust Politicians Who Act Like Schoolchildren?
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview – UKIP’s Sandra James
- Manifesto Focus: Labour
- Why Nuclear Weapons Are Imperative For The UK’s Security
- Southampton’s Role in the General Election Should Not Be Overshadowed by a Sausage Roll
- Just When You Thought UKIP Couldn’t Do Anything Right…
- What the Hell Do You Want?
- Which Political Leader Are You?
- The EU: To Be or Not To Be
- Your 2015 General Election Candidates
- What a Silly Sausage: Southampton UKIP Candidate Accused of Bribery
- UKIP Party Profile
- Conservative Party Profile
- The Leaders Debate: The Insurgents, The Pretender & The Incumbent
- SUPA’s Short and Sweet Guide to Voting on 7th May
- TV Debate: Clash of the Titans
- Leaders Debate Brings Hope For Progressive Politics
- TV Debates: David Cameron and Ed Miliband Versus Britain
- 14,000 Voters Missing From Electoral Role in Southampton – Register to Vote Now!
- Men’s Rights Party Set To Contest in General Elections
- A Royal Coup? – Queen Guitarist Brian May Considering Standing for Election
- Debating Over Debates
- Galloway Demands Inclusion in TV Debates
- The General Election 2015 – A Disunited Kingdom?
- 99 Days To Go: The Most Unpredictable Election Yet!
- Poll Indicates Demand for Green Party to be Included in Election Debates
- Have You Registered To Vote?
- Is Sol Campbell running for Parliament?
- Salmond to Stand as MP
- Students May Hold the Key!
- The Green Party Should Not Be Included in the 2015 General Election Debates
- Parliamentary Candidate Interview: Alan Whitehead MP
- What’s at Stake for Students in the General Election?
- It’s Time For Politicians To Get Down With The Kids
- The Debates Debate
- Who Will Run The Country in 2015?
- New Year, New Government? New Politics?
- Newly Elected Itchen MP Accused of Helping UKIP Secure Labour Votes
The General Election undoubtedly led to sweeping highs for some and crushing lows for others, but regardless of political stance one thing truly exciting happened over night on Thursday as Mhairi Black became the youngest MP since 1667.
At just 20 years old, the politics student has defeated a Labour heavyweight – taking Paisley and Renfrewshire South from Douglas Alexander, who was first elected when Black was just a toddler. This is a feat that is not to be overlooked as Ewan MacAskill and Rebecca Ratcliffe summed it up:
She was up against one of the best-known Labour MPs left in Scotland, , who was defending a majority of more than 16,000. He was not only shadow foreign secretary but had lots of election experience in abundance, enough to secure him the job of Labour’s UK campaign coordinator.
The fact that Black had the odds stacked against her makes her defeat of Alexander even more impressive and even more refreshing as a sign of a new direction that politics is taking.
Representation was a hotly debated topic in the lead up to the General Election, as huge amounts of young people felt their views just could not be represented by any white, middle class, middle aged man – no matter how good his intentions. However, Black offers an alternative to this model, and in her gracious acceptance speech she pledged:
Whether you voted for the SNP or not, and whatever your views are on Scotland’s future, I will seek to represent you and everyone in this constituency to the very best of my ability. This election is about making the voice of this constituency and the whole of Scotland heard more effectively at Westminster than ever before.
Promising stuff from someone who must know what it feels like to not be able to identify with the people running the country.
Black’s youth is just one refreshing positive to be taken from her election. She is also a student at Glasgow university, and despite winning the seat at Westminster she will be heading immediately back to university to take the final exam of her undergraduate politics degree.
Equally, Black is representative of an even bigger change in British politics, as Thursday’s General Election saw the Scottish National Party, headed by Nicola Sturgeon, take 56 of the 59 Scottish seats in Westminster. Black herself described this change as she saw it, stating:
For years Scotland’s been sleepwalking to the polls, it was always ‘vote Labour, keep out the Tories, vote Labour, keep out the Tories’, but then the referendum came and suddenly everyone woke up. Door after door I chap on, I’m coming across Labour voters just saying they’re totally scunnered with them.
Black’s victory signals a shift in the gender structure of British politics. This parliament is set to include a record number of women – about 30% of MPs, compared with fewer than 25% in the last parliament, and whilst this is still a way to go in terms of complete gender equality, it’s a big improvement on the 22% elected previously.
The final triumph for Mhairi is that she is a politician who has grown up in the age of social media. Almost instantly after being elected, the infinite powers of twitter had found some of her old tweets aged 14, notably the eloquently put ‘maths is shite’. Meanwhile some papers latched onto this as some kind of downfall to Black’s success, when in reality it seems to work in her favour, as she becomes even more relatable than the ‘honourable friends’ we’re used to seeing making fools of themselves on social media (sorry Ed Balls – it’s not just you, I personally am a huge fan of ‘Ed Balls Day’).
All in all, it seems Mhairi is the fresh face politics needed and it seems she’s set to shake up the benches of the House of Commons, which can only be a positive thing.