Boris Johnson’s majority is disappearing

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 3rd, 2019 - 30 comments
Categories: Parliament, Politics, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

In the United Kingdom the Conservatives have lost a seat in a by election even though it previously held the seat with  a majority of more than 8,000.  From the Guardian:

Boris Johnson has suffered a major blow after the Tories were beaten by the Liberal Democrats in the Brecon and Radnorshire byelection.

The victory by Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Dodds means the new prime minister’s working majority in the House of Commons has been cut to just one and will be seized on as a sign voters are concerned by Borish Johnson’s pledge to leave the EU without a deal if necessary.

The Liberal Democrats won 13,826 votes, with the Conservatives taking 12,401, a narrow majority of 1,425 that overturned the Tories’ previous majority of more than 8,000. It was a sobering night for the Labour party (1,680 votes), which was beaten into fourth place by the Brexit party (3,331), and only just held on to its deposit. Ukip came last behind the Monster Raving Loony Party.

In her acceptance speech, Dodds said: “I am incredibly humbled by the support. From every walk of life and every political persuasion, people have chosen to believe in my positive liberal vision for something better.

“And by backing that liberal vision, people in Brecon and Radnorshire have sent a powerful message to Westminster: we demand better.”

She continued: “People are desperately crying out for a different kind of politics. There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with a Boris Johnson government and the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

“My very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Boris Johnson, wherever he’s hiding, and tell him loud and clear: stop playing with the futures of our communities and rule out a no-deal Brexit.”

Labour did not do so well.

And from Ireland has come a proposal to provide seven extra anti Johnson votes in Parliament.

From Fintan O’Toole at the Irish Times:

Boris Johnson’s radical right-wing administration has no effective majority in the House of Commons, even with the support of the DUP. But given the fragmented state of the opposition, Johnson may still be able to drive onwards towards the Brexit deadline of October 31st and over the edge of the cliff. There is one party that can stop him: Sinn Féin.  

Sinn Féin holds seven seats at Westminster but leaves them vacant. Calling on the party to take those seats is rhetorically satisfying but pointless. In the first place, it has an impregnable argument for not doing so. It won these seats on an abstentionist platform. And it did so in 2017, when Theresa May was pushing for a very hard Brexit. Its voters knew the dangers and supported abstention anyway. That fact cannot be set aside.

And secondly, even if Sinn Féin was somehow able to make an immediate decision to occupy its seats when the Commons returns in September, the effect would probably be counterproductive. The Brexiteers and their media wing would generate hysteria about the Provos thwarting the will of the British people. Johnson would relish it. Wavering Tories would step back into line.

His solution?  Sinn Fein MPs all resign. And Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Greens all agree on a joint candidate who would be very likely to be elected at the by election.

And once elected what would they do?

[T]he candidates will commit themselves to respecting Sinn Féin’s policy of abstention on all issues except the ones that pertain to Brexit and the unfolding crisis. Their platform is simple. They will support all measures, procedural or legislative, to stop a no-deal Brexit, up to and including the revocation of article 50. They will support in all circumstances the retention of the backstop. They will support any proposal for a new referendum. They will support a motion of no-confidence in Johnson if he seeks to push through a no-deal Brexit. And they will support, if the opportunity arises, the formation of an alternative cross-party administration.

The proposal is desperate but English politics is very unstable.  It would be an outstanding result of the English’s continuous occupation of Irish soil resulted in the English Parliament descending into chaos.  Of course the alternative is that Northern Ireland becomes part of the Republic again.

Interesting times … 

30 comments on “Boris Johnson’s majority is disappearing”

  1. Visubversa 1

    Obvious tactical voting by Labour supporters in the by-election. The Irish stuff is just insanity.

  2. Ad 2

    Johnson is a powerful orator and it will need a very focussed and united Labour-LibDeb opposition that generates an alternative plan for the UK that can overcome him in the public  mind. 

    But there's no change without the new framing of the opposition uniting.

    With Jo Swinson now the effective leader of opposition in the UK, Corbyn should accept that his party's job is to prepare the policy platform for everything beyond Britain's exit. 

    Corbyn can use the instability of Brexit over the next year to blame it for even greater economic decline than is already appearing in Britain. Or at least, Corbyn's shadow Chancellor John McConnell can.

    Demand from UK trading partners is faltering. Industry suffered its most widespread fall in output since 2012, with a drop in car production leading the charge. 

    Germany, France and Spain have released manufacturing figures this week that were also unexpectedly grim.

    With Brexit as an accelerant to global economic slowdown in part caused by much larger trade wars between the US and China, there's a story waiting to be written for the left in UK politics. 

    Given that UK Labor will never now be useful in the Brexit debate, they can at least form an economic policy platform for a replacement government as the UK economic sputters and declines.

    • Hanswurst 2.1

      Yes, your pathological hatred of Corbyn is well known.

    • woodart 2.2

      british labour party has been worse than useless. at a time when the tories are divided and tearing the country up, labour has phucked around on the sidelines. should have won the last election easily, but mixed messages have wasted peoples time . 

      • Dukeofurl 2.2.1

        "should have won the last election easily,"

        Nonsense.  Even though their vote rose 9% they  were still 55 seats behind the Conservatives  . 

        55!

        • woodart 2.2.1.1

          dont care whether they were 55 or 500 seats behind. my point is that with the tories doing there best to resemble headless chooks, british labour couldnt get there shit together to present a united competent alternative.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Good to see the Raving Loonies are still hard at it.  The winner:  "My very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Boris Johnson, wherever he’s hiding".

    So she doesn't know the PM normally hides in 10 Downing St.  Must be a refugee from Labour.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    "His solution?  Sinn Fein MPs all resign. And Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Greens all agree on a joint candidate who would be very likely to be elected at the by election."

    Cool idea.  I wonder if Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Greens have all agreed on anything ever?  If so, then quote that precedent.  If not, apologise for momentary utopianism.  Fintan O’Toole at the Irish Times being downright Irish…

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      Quite a bizarre idea… too silly for words. The only likely winner out of this  would be the execrable DUP

      SF has been slowly taking seats of the SDLP over the years, such as Down South and Foyle
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parliamentary_constituencies_in_Northern_Ireland

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        They could be asking for another referendum that would be binding but it must be a larger majority say 75/25.     Some delay would be good, and as Boorish has staked his whole ability merely on getting the Brexit passed, and that is all, then he is bound to seem even dodgier than now and another Conservative leader will be chosen.    The Irish idea may be bizarre at first glance, but set against the whole background, it matches in temerity the rest of the riot.   

        A diversion.  Has anyone read Tom Sharpe, he would have loved this, but died in 2013.   He was a great eccentric in life and managed to be so in death.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3423790/Tom-Sharpe-blot-graveyard-Author-s-partner-fined-Church-England-burying-loved-one-chapel-grounds-without-permission.html

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          "They could be asking for another referendum that would be binding but it must be a larger majority say 75/25."

          And which way would you suggest must reach the 75%? Convention would say that you must, if you don't use a simple majority, have a larger number to change the status quo. At the moment the status quo, as determined by the poll of 3 years ago, is to leave the EU.

          Would you now say that there must be at least 75% of the people voting in a new poll to vote to stay in the EU or the departure will have to happen?

          • Dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1

            Johnson has quite cleverly changed the debate parameters.

            Its now clearly about  leaving EU with the choice between Deal or No deal.

            Swept aside is the 'Remain' option for now . 

            • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That is quite true. Boris always was an exceedingly crafty fellow.

              However I think that greywarshark was talking about a rerun of the original referendum, of the leave/don't leave variety. In that case I would say my comment stands.

              If he didn't mean that should be the referendum question, and happens to see this, perhaps he might respond.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Edit:
    This was possibly a good summation of likely events from yesterday in Open Mike after discussing the possibility of Labour calling a No confidence vote after the Brecon MP gets into the Commons and some defector Remainer crosses the floor.

    Dukeofurl 14.1.3.1

    2 August 2019 at 5:49 pm

    No.  Losing a no confidence motion doesnt mean a new election at all. Under fixed term election rules it takes 2  separate no confidence motions.

    All the first motion would do is  that Johnson would resign but  immediately form a new government  and likely prorouge parliament to avoid another one.  Harpers conservatives did a similar scenario when they were a minority government facing a no confidence  motion they would lose ( no fixed terms law either).

    and ScottGN followed with the results for Harper:

    ScottGN 14.1.3.1.1
    2 August 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Yep. And Harper went on to win a majority in the election following his shutting down the parliament in Ottawa.

    The Rules are like piano keys to be played by masters of the instrument.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      I presume that DukeofUrl knows of what he speaks.  If not could someone advise the facts.

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed-term_Parliaments_Act_2011

        There is also  a 'non' no confidence motion. Where the motion is 'no confidence in the Prime Minister'.

        This doesnt bring down the government as its  'the PM' not  HM Government

        The last no confidence motion in HMG ( Jan 2019) failed 325 to 306

        • mosa 5.1.1.1

          But the one on March 28th 1979 on Scottish devolution led to the fall of the Callaghan government and ushered in the Thatcher revolution on May 3rd 1979 by one vote.

          18 Years passed before a captialist friendly Labour party won government.

          No Brexit of course but huge industrial unrest during the " winter of discontent "

          • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1.1

            Westminster passed  at 'second reading'  Scottish Home Rule bill in 1913 but the war stopped further progress.

            The Irish Home Rule Act was passed in 1914 but was suspended for 12 months with the start of WW1 , but everything changed in 1916.

            many of the machinations of Irish Home rule around this time are being repeated now to stop Brexit.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Thank goodness someone knows enough and can explain it to us.   If the non motion was activated, would that shake the exotic bird out of his tree?   Or would it be quickly dealt with and on into the Valley of Death ride the 600?

    I spent some time looking at whether the House of Lords could stop the horses from bolting.    They can in some cases, hold legislation back presumably to avoid the country making an arse of itself.    But they have to be called in about a month before meeting.   The matter did appear to be one in which they would have some right of determination.

    However then the EU would have to consider its deadline.    If they thought that there was something of substance being done they might.   Setting a deadline and being hard-line was necessary for them to try and get some gravitas into what is actually the plot for a spoof movie, one that Leslie Nielsen could have had fun with.   They don't want instability entering the compact, and the UK becoming more of a USA puppet than it already is, they might stretch time lines if it is to their advantage.

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      No reconsidering deadline. The no deal option is just there to concentrate the minds of the EU leaders – who will leave office shortly after.

      EU will easily screw over the Irish to 'save the german car industry' ( 20% go to Britain) or the French farmers.

      Who would have thought after all the  issues of the 1916 rebellion and the  following  1920s independence war with Britain that Ireland is so keen to still hang onto Britains apron strings- Dont they have the massive EU market to rely on along with EU subsidies

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        But what about Northern Ireland?  There seems a fear of that starting up again and it rips the country apart.

        • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1

          Thats just part of project Fear.- mainly hyped by that  partisan Remain newspaper The Independent.

          They had a border all through the troubles as the problem was the British presence in Northern Ireland – which continues to this day – not the border per see , which was always porous

          Everything has changed in Ulster since the Good Friday Agreement

          "The two main political parties to the Agreement were the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led by David Trimble and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), led by John Hume."

          The  main Ulster  unionist party now are  the Democratic Unionists  they werent parties  of the original agreement, in fact they rejected it.

          looking at the Belfast Agreement – or Good Friday- having  no controls on border isnt mentioned

          https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf

          The current situation came about because of EU  border rules and as Ireland  , like UK is outside Schengen, there will still be  some sort of border checks between Ireland its self and mainland Europe like there is now ( show ID)



  7. Brtiss internal poltiks.

    No wonder a few are heading for the escape hatch. Am I bovvered so far? Not so much

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Laughed only understood one word in ten though.   Never mind I get desperate, hold up a piece of string and I'll giggle.

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