Who knew the SDP was still up and running?
The party of Roy Jenkins and Shirley Williams, which made such a splash in the 1980s, is putting up candidates in Birmingham’s local elections in May.
At least, a party which claims to be descended from the original SDP is standing.
They may face some competition from the other party which claims to be the true heir of the SDP – Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats – but that’s unlikely to stop them. Small parties can become major forces in British politics. Look at the Greens, fielding candidates in every council seat for the first time, perhaps buoyed up by their success in Brighton in the last General Election, where they secured their first MP.
But even those that remain on the fringes play a vital role airing views which might otherwise be neglected.
With all three major parties agreeing to some extent that spending cuts are needed, it’s refreshing to see anti-cuts parties making their voices heard.
Maybe we’ll even see some upsets this time around. Let’s hope so. There’s nothing like a giant-killer to make a contest exciting.