I understand there are three main political parties in the UK: The Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and (running a distant third) the Liberal Democratic Party.
What I don’t understand, is what these parties stand for, nowadays. Labour used to be a “socialist” party but Tony Blair has moved it towards the center and curbed the labor unions’ institutional power within the party. So what now distinguishes Labour from the Conservatives?
And I understand the LibDems are a “centrist” party occupying an ideological middle ground between Labour and the Tories. But how much space can there be in that middle ground, any more?
Do any of these parties have close analogues in the United States?
And are there any parties I haven’t mentioned here which are significant, in the sense of being able to elect some members to Parliament occasionally?
And what are the most important divisive issues in British politics, generally?