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An October election in the UK?

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, June 13th, 2019 - 27 comments
Categories: conservative party, crosby textor, elections, labour, leadership, uk politics - Tags: ,

Boris Johnson declared his candidacy today. The Guardian’s Tom Kibasi speculates on his strategy – pick a fight with the EU, make Brexit the issue and call an election. Do a deal with Farage and save Britain from Corbyn. Will it work?

A poll in the Torygraph, where Johnson is a columnist, has him winning in a landslide. Count me as sceptical on that. Other commentators think that Corbyn and Labour will be devastated.

But that is what they said before the 2017 election. Jason Crowley, editor of the New Statesman, produced an issue just days before the election predicting a Labour wipeout.

Theresa May had the same view, She called the election, overruling the five-year statutory term, to give herself a strong mandate to deliver Brexit. The hung-Parliament outcome proved the pundits wrong.

 

 

 The Brexit vote in 2015 at 17% mostly went to the Tories. Lib Dems went to Labour. Labour increased its vote by the largest percentage for several elections, based on its strong manifesto. The result also showed campaigns matter, with a spike in the Labour vote comparable to the New Zealand election.

For Johnson’s strategy to work he has to make Brexit the only issue for the campaign. Labour will have to make the issue an end to austerity and a better future for the many in Britain.

Johnson will have Sir Lynton Crosby, fresh from another triumph in Australia, as his adviser. Expect a black-banner negative and very personal attack on Corbyn. The good news for Corbyn is that with all the attacks on him from friend and foe he has the hide of a rhinoceros, and a track record of turning negatives into positives based on his principled values.

The election results for the  European Parliament are likely to be an expression of frustration over Brexit rather than a choice for government in the UK. Labour also has a strong campaigning machine still in place as the recent Peterborough by-election demonstrated.

I think Johnson may well go for it. And it will not surprise me. if hubris is his downfall.

27 comments on “An October election in the UK? ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    The pro-remain liberal elites have two things they loath – Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit. Their hatred of the first will mean they'll be responsible for the second, for which they will blame anyone but themselves. And in the meantime in order to stop the first they'll vote Lib-Dem, and in the process sell out the NHS, the poor and anyone else unlucky enough to be poor and suffer the tender mercies of Jacob Rees-Moggs vision of the future.

    Of course, what reactionary, new Labour loving liberal elite (how they cheered Chukka! How they quickly fogot their predictions of doom in Peterborough! How they crow for the rehabilitation of the Liberal-Democrats!) hate most about Corbyn and Brexit isn't those things themselves. It is the way they've had their grip on power shattered by those two events. Brexit threatens them culturally, Corbyn has torn away their self-appointed power to police the left and threatens their economic power as managerial enablers of neoliberalism. Both Brexit and Corbyn shape to shatter the Blairite neoliberal carapace of power.

    Boris Johnson will be a catastrophe of a PM – he is very poster boy for over-weening ambition unattached to any sort of talent or sense of responsibility. But the liberal elites would rather have him than Corbyn, because at least their economic position is certain under Johnson.

    The question is, how much is the liberal elite is just an echo chamber of fretting Blairite nostalgia from the Oxbridge class? No one from here can tell, because the UK press is so hopelessly partisan that it is impossible to get a clear view of what is going on in thew wider electorate.

    • AB 1.1

      That seems likely – the centre will break to the right out of a fear of a relatively innocuous social Democrat like Corbyn. They may get a no-deal Brexit, a Tory/Farage government unrestrained by the EU, and a UK that in terms of social and economic stratification looks like about 1896. Exactly what the Tory right wants.
      Labour possibly needs to put any ‘Lexit’ ambitions on the back burner and call for a second referendum.

    • Pierre 1.2

      Both Brexit and Corbyn shape to shatter the Blairite neoliberal carapace of power.

      Ah, this is good polemic!

      I wasn't too surprised to see Chukka jump ship to the Lib Dems either, it's opportunism at its worst.

  2. fustercluck 2

    In practical terms, Brexit is the only issue. The leader that articulates a credible path to this outcome will win.

    • Phil 2.1

      Brexit is the only issue. The leader that articulates a credible path to this outcome will win

      Post-referendum polling shows the UK thinks voting to leave was the wrong decision (by a, roughly, 8 point margin). The best political strategy for winning a general election today would be to position yourself as the only party that will revoke article 50, as the Lib Dems seem to be doing. .

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_United_Kingdom_European_Union_membership_referendum#Post-referendum_polling

      Also, UK parliamentarians have had literally two fucking years to come up with a ‘credible path’ to Brexit and they have failed spectacularly. You’re in a complete and utter fantasy land if you think any of them will suddenly come up with an agreement in the heat of an election campaign.

      • fustercluck 2.1.1

        I think the credibility of polls, apart from the ones that count (elections) have proven to be highly variable and unreliable, including recent ones here in NZ. I predict the Brexit movement will grow and prevail.

        • Phil 2.1.1.1

          Nah, mate. That's just noise.

          The track record of polling in NZ continues to be exemplary overall and the single biggest issue with UK and US polling (in particular) is not the quality of the polling itself, but the media narrative after media pundits fail to understand the information being presented to them.

          Whether it's Brexit, US'16, or Aus'19, the polling data was clear – these were all going to be close-run elections. In all three cases the poll margins were well inside a typical margin of error, but the media couldn't get past one number being a little bit bigger than another number.

          By contrast, the French election in 2017 was a relatively big miss for polling firms (they missed the margin by 10 points!) but because the expected winner still won nobody gives a damn, even though they missed the outcome by four or five times as big an error than any of the three anglo elections.

          • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah – not too impressed with polling in NZ – sample size is marginal and the habit of excluding don't knows lends itself to distorted results.

  3. fustercluck 3

    "Just noise" suggests to me that you do not read your history. The Bradley effect is well documented and germane to the present day. Many people who would vote conservatively do not tell pollsters the truth due to the social cost of articulating that type of political leaning.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      There can be no social cost if the poll is taken randomly and anonymously. If they don't want to declare themselves they can just refuse, or be devious and put their personal effort in to disavow their actual belief so as to skew the results as a sort of rage against the system.

    • greywarshark 3.2

      I don't see that the Bradley effect would have any traction on the Brexit issue. There isn't the deep emotional effect which the concerns about racism could lead to saying one thing to a pollster but reverting to deep default when voting.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Can a Party or person win and still be a loser? All the RW in NZ are intent on proving that so. Their results show that if the right person wins the Opposition can chew its nails down to its wrists and not affect the people's belief. But if the fawlty towers hero wins in the UK, the country will soon reel, be disaffected and hopefully riot as in Hong Kong. There they know clearly what they want and all ages are out demonstrating and demanding what they probably won't be able to get.

    If the UK allows Johnson to get in they will obviously be befuddled about what they want, and who could blame them with the confused messages they are soaking in. If he is enabled to get through using whatever stratagem of appeal, they had better not go quietly as in the USA flailing round under The Barfier Don.

    The comparison of UK milling around like the blind people at the start of The Day of the Triffids, with Hong Kong who desire to keep the good laws and systems that old Britain did provide to them, will make it obvious that the English-language west now is decadent as painted so often by communists, and that the Chinese are the cutting edge of world power.

  5. Gosman 5

    Corbyn has wasted a lot of his core supporter base hope in him. His prevarication on Brexit is leading people to support the Lib-Dems instead.

    The likely outcome of any early election is an even more divided Parliament with both Labour and the Conservatives much diminished and the Lib Dems and Brexit party vying to hold the balance of power..

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      The curent political paralysis is often blamed on the FTTP systen the UK clings to, but really the parliament accurately reflects the wider cultural, social and economic crisis crisis gripping the UK. The UK's decline is now steepening – the oil money has run out, squandered on weapons and tax cuts like so much rain off a roof and the GFC and shift to Asia has seen the weakening of London as a financial hub.

      The British liberal elite remainers who dominate the MSM have scant regard for democracy when it comes to have their self-appointed right to rule thwarted.

      They want to keep voting until they get the right result.

      They are happy to agitate for the dismantling of the policy platforms that parliamentary parties were elected on to try and engineer a palace coup against Brexit.

      They are happy to try and smash the existing political vehicle of the left (Labour) to force it to their will.

      They (now) demand electoral reform to try and engineer a parliamentary majority to revoke article 50.

      The British have gutted their industry, squandered their oil and now the financial sector is weaker than ever as well. All they've got left is weapons sale and money laundering for Russian oligarchs. Their decadent ruling classes have utterly mismanaged the country for 150 years and the chickens are coming home to roost at last as they fight like 58 million rats in an over-crowded shit hole.

      If Brexit wasn't such a stupid idea, I'd support it just to spite the liberal elites and to watch the likes of Johnson get strung up from lamp posts when the riots start.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Your analysis is seriously flawed. The people who flocked to Labour because of Corbyn are on the whole enthusiastic Remainers as well as being against the neo-liberal consensus in the UK. That is why the Labour party ois no bleeding support to the Lib-Dems as Corbyn is ignoring their wishes.

    • The Al1en 5.2

      Corbyn's mismanagement of the Brexit issue has totally fucked labour. How on earth, with the tories divided as they are, can labour not be in a position to form a government? If he can't get them over the line when it's been as bad as this, he never will. He almost makes Cameron's failure to win an outright majority against the most unpopular Brown leadership look like a good result.

      Last YouGov/Times poll 30/5/19 shows

      Con 19

      Lab 19

      LD 24

      Brexit 22

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        It depends if the Brexit party and the Lib-Dems win much more support than they have now. The whole UK politics is fluid (not helped by people like Corbyn).

  6. joe90 6

    . And it will not surprise me. if hubris is his downfall.

    That, and his hypocrisy .

    The British public … were at no stage invited to vote on whether Gordon Brown should be PM.

    I don’t remember any Labour spokesman revealing that they planned to do a big switcheroo after only two years.

    ..a transition about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero.

    Brown’s looking for a Scottish ally

    It’s the arrogance. It’s the contempt. That’s what gets me. It’s Gordon Brown’s apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people. It’s at moments like this that I think the political world has gone mad, and I am alone in detecting the gigantic fraud.

    http://www.boris-johnson.com/2007/06/21/gordon-brown/

  7. joe90 7

    Oh.

    If you think things are bad right now, just imagine if the Tories go and elect this lying, conniving, self-obsessed, racist as Prime Minister.

  8. CHCoff 8

    I'd say the Brexit trick requires a untypical Tory but a typical Conservative, meaning the least fancied Tory but most fancied Conservative Esther Mcvey would be the one.

    Seems to me she would be the one that would line up the horse before the cart.

    I saw yesterday their parliament already got into action by nearly passing a law that would have banned her plan of suspending parliament if neccessary to pass the brexit vote on the books.

  9. Dean Reynolds 9

    An important fact to bear in mind is that, unlike the Tories, in a hung parliament scenario, Corbyn is prepared to negotiate a coalition deal with the Lib Dems, the SNP & the Greens in order to put a parliamentary majority together

    • Pierre 9.1

      This came up before in another post

      I bet progressives wish there was an MMP system in the UK. A Labour-Social Democrat-Green-SNP coalition would more often than not become government in this scenario.

      In 2015 there was an attempt by Compass to push a 'progressive alliance.' This was partly based on the political sterility of Labour under Miliband and the direction of activist energy into alternative left projects (the nationalist parties, TUSC/Left Unity, and the Greens). However, it's not simply a case of electoral calculations, the push for a convergence of the left was a direct consequence of the right-wing drift in Labour.

      In 2017, there was limited collaboration on a consituency-by-constituency basis. Eg. the Greens stood down their candidate in preference of Lloyd RM in Brighton. There is still an effort to campaign tactically for an anti-Tory front, but at the same time, the political situation is very different. In broad strokes, the Greens have jettisoned their radical positions in favour of pro-EU liberalism, while Labour has shifted decisively to the left.

      So, leaving aside the electoral/parliamentary issues, there isn't really a political basis for a progressive alliance any more. The attempt with Change UK to create a purely neoliberal vehicle made up of Labour and Tory dissidents has clearly failed. Some Labour loyalists always used to bang on about how 'the Labour Party is the progressive alliance' or 'there is no progressive alliance outside the Labour Party.' While I'm still a partisan of the broad left, I see that line of thought is much more true now than it was in 2015. Those who speak of prospective coalitions today need to take into account the fact that circumstances have changed.

  10. reason 10

    Attacks on Corbyn by Pompeo ………. or any other right wing usa neo-cons ,,,,, will help Corbyn a lot.

    Meanwhile it seems Brazil had a right wing stitch up ….. leading to their present Government

  11. SPC 11

    An election that may well end FPP in the UK.

  12. Gawks,….

    All this complicated stuff…

    Time for a song,…

    You know what this ones all about?

    It actually was about what Chief Joseph Riverwind spoke about… my how we make things complicated ….

  13. And the reason I keep pumping this stuff here is to kind of illustrate how complex we make the issues,… taking political sides, slinging mud at this camp or the other,… like something out of Planet of the Apes contesting territory's,…it just wants to make you walk away shaking your head…

    #6 – Chief Joseph – Episode 6

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