And the political issues of 2015 will be...

Big Ben, Westminster

Next year is an election year, so every issue will be a hot one, but which will have the most influence and dominate the headlines?

People vote for many reasons, including personalities, party loyalty, and parties’ positions on different issues. A focus on a particular issue in the run up to an election could help a party, which is strong on that issue.

Immigration

Immigration will be one of the hot topics in 2015. The debate about immigration has emerged in recent years. Ever since UKIP’s rise to prominence, immigration has dominated the political headlines. The party’s victory in this year’s European parliament elections, as well as the party’s success in getting its first two elected MPs later in the year, highlight just how important the issue has become.

The debates between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage over the issue of the European Union, and with it - immigration - show how big an issue it is. And with 2015 being an election year, and with Labour and the Conservatives singing to UKIP’s tune, immigration will continue to remain a top issue. Along with the EU.

A recent YouGov poll suggested that 50% of people thought that politicans should talk about immigration. Additionally, 50% thought they will actually talk about it in the lead up to the general election.

The EU

Already stated are some of the reasons why the EU has dominated 2014, and will dominate 2015. Additionally, a hung parliament is very likely, and with the chance that UKIP will gain decent handful of MPs and the Conservatives’ promise for a referendum on the EU by the end of 2017, the issue will be incredibly important. Indeed if Britain does end up leaving the European Union, 2015 will be looked back upon as the pivotal year for the country’s place in Europe.

Furthermore, with UKIP likely to stay an important factor in British politics, the issue will not go away lightly - whether the UK has a referendum or not.

The same YouGov poll - mentioned previously - suggested that 26% of people think that politicians should talk about the EU, however, 35% said they will talk about it.

The Economy

“It’s the economy stupid.”

The economy will of course dominate the politics of 2015. Labour promises that they will balance the budget as soon as possible in the next parliament, whilst the Conservatives promise to do the same by 2018. Additionally, polls suggest that Osbourne and Cameron are more trusted on the economy than their Labour counterparts - Balls and Miliband.

Unemployment has fallen, but there is still more to be done. The economy dominates politics every year and will of course dominate in an election.

Devolution

English votes for English laws has become a hot subject in 2014, as a result of the Scottish referendum. Some sort of settlement will need to be reached by parliament, but whatever form ‘English devolution’ takes, there will be a big debate over it.

Additionally, with the SNP likely to do well in the election, they could hold some balance of power. Nicola Sturgeon’s party could end up with a confidence and supply agreement with one of the main parties in exchange for more powers for Scotland. Devolution will not go away lightly.

Others

There are of course so many other issues that will be important in 2015, health being one of them. Additionally, the cost of living, taxation and inequality will also remain in important. Next year will contain a lively election, with lively issues. And who will win and deal with these issues is anyone's guess at this moment in time.