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Lefties on The Standard: UK election edition

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, December 13th, 2019 - 197 comments
Categories: activism, election 2017, Left, Politics, The Standard, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

In 2017, during the NZ election campaign, we ran a small handful of posts as dedicated discussion space for lefties. You can see the introduction and kaupapa here.

Today’s post is to create some solid left wing (and troll-free) space to talk about the UK election. It’s also fine to talk about anything that’s relevant to the left or progressives, grab whatever is of interest to you today and bring it to the conversation.

The rules are:

– To comment you have to be left wing.

– No personal attacks at all  (not even if they are hidden in comments with good political points)

– Be kind. If you can’t be kind at least don’t be mean.

– Bear in mind the part of the Policy about not using language or tone that excludes others.

The usual Policy rules around robust debate still apply to other posts. If you’re not sure if you fit the criteria for this post, there is always Open Mike.

Voting in the UK closes 11am Friday NZT and Exit Polls will be released at that time. Election results are expected around 3am Friday NZT.

The BBC has a page on how the results will be reported and explanations of how a government might be formed.

How does a party win?

By winning more seats in the House of Commons than all the other parties put together. If a party does that, it has what is known as a majority. There are 650 seats available, which means 326 seats are needed to win an overall majority.

However, an effective majority could be smaller as Sinn Fein, which won seven seats in Northern Ireland in 2017, traditionally refuses to swear allegiance to the Queen and, as a consequence, is not entitled to vote.

So in 2017, 650 minus Sinn Fein’s seven would be 643 voting MPs, and 322 would have been enough to command a majority. But obviously that figure changes depending on how many non-voting MPs there are.

BBC Breaking twitter

BBC Politic twitter

Alt media Novara Media‘s livestream on youtube

BBC live coverage options

Al Jazeera twitter

Let me know if you are following media with particularly good analysis or takes and I’ll add to the list.

197 comments on “Lefties on The Standard: UK election edition”

  1. millsy 1

    Still predicting a relatively comfortable Tory win, even though the polls have tightened.


  2. mickysavage 2

    Anarchist Alan Moore has decided to vote Labour …

    And former UK Conservative PM John Major has publicly urged people not to vote for Johnson while Tommy Robinson has come out in support of him.

  3. bernard 3

    TBH i don’t understand UK politics. 

    my logical brain say Labour should be able to get a coalition gov like here but in those very illogical, populist, one liner days who knows.


    • Sacha 3.1

      You only get to form a coalition under FPP if you get the most votes. Unlikely.

      • weka 3.1.1

        don't you still need the agreement of other parties? Otherwise you will lose votes on legislation.

      • Ed1 3.1.2

        That would be the most electorate seats. A party that wins seats by small margins may get more seats than a party that wins fewer seats but with large margins. That has happened in New Zealand before MMP. 

  4. Pierre 4

    The Grauniad have a live-blog running. I'm going out with comrades, and might stay out to watch the exit poll announcement.

    The main thing is that, if Labour wins, we'll have to fight to get the manifesto implemented and hold up the labour movement as the party 'moves into the state'. If Labour loses, we'll have to fight to defend the movement from unrestrained attacks by the oligarchs and the large corporations. I'm in one of the Labour heartlands and there's definitely a mood of defiance, people talking about politics in the street, queues outside polling stations…

    Avanti Popolo!

    • Pierre 4.1

      Also, here's one for the Corbyn victory party playlist. Any other suggestions?

    • weka 4.2

      are people talking about electoral reform much? It's extraordinary watching this from NZ and remembering how problematic FPP is.

      • Pierre 4.2.1

        The arguments over electoral reform were fought (and lost) back in 2011, and it reoccurs from time to time, but in terms of big constitutional changes, electoral reform definitely got overtaken by Brexit and Scottish independence. It might come up again given the parliamentary numbers we're facing now…

        Some people believe Labour could have fought this on an unambiguously pro-Brexit platform, and totally swept the rug out from under the Tories. Instead the line was more nuanced, and I guess voters didn't get that.

        Good night you lovely people, keep the red flag flying.

    • mickysavage 4.3

      Thanks Pierre

      Trust you are well.

      • Pierre 4.3.1

        Thanks Micky,

        Not too happy about the way my country seems to be going but otherwise I'm doing well. Hope things are going better down in Auckland 🙁

  5. millsy 5

    Exit polls results are out at 11am our time. We will know then if it is tears or cheers. If everything is as expected, Corbyn will probably announce his resignation after lunch.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    If Corbyn wins a narrow majority, then sooner rather than later the Labour right will walk out & join the Lib-Dems to form a government with the Tories rather than implement their own manifesto.

    They'll say it is about "stability" and keeping Corbyn and his "far-left" agenda from power, but really it will be just be another demonstration of how unreformed, and unreformable, Britain's decrepit institutions and decadent elites now are. 

    • weka 6.1

      do Labour neolibs want Brexit then? Do their voters?

      • Sanctuary 6.1.1

        They'll take Brexit over Corbyn, everytime.

        BTW I see AOC is saying vote Labour!

        • weka

          Go AOC.

          Neolib Labour voters would take Brexit over Corbyn? In that case Labour wouldn't win this time.

          • Stuart Munro.

            On the AOC front, she's just floated an interesting comparison on parental leave you might like (sorry can't link from this horrid phone).

    • Bill 6.2

      'cough' You think the 50 odd SNP members of Parliament would just sit back and go with a Lib/Dem "tail wagging the dog" arrangement?

  7. weka 7

    this is good news. Not sure why the Brits allow reporting on exit polls before voting has closed though.


    • Bill 7.1

      The BBC (through its political editor Laura Kuenssberg ) broadcast information on live TV about  the postal votes that it said it had received "from sources". Yes. It's against the law. And yes. The BBC denied any wrongdoing.

      The Guardian (and others) then amplified the message in their reporting of her breaking the law. (Here's the link to the Guardian article)

      What do you call a preemptive coup? Because the wide and deep campaign that's been waged against Corbyn across media and by security state types (30 odd smears originating from within the intelligence community) suggests that we might be seeing the results of a successful one today.

      Or then again, maybe the billionaires and state security types get to go fuck themselves today 🙂

      • Anne 7.1.1

        You know what it's called. Mass hysteria. These so-called elites remind me of a pack of baying wolves egging each other on to the point where they don't know why they are baying. 

        How many of them actually sit down and listen to what Corbyn is saying? None of them – obviously. He's very intelligent, well educated and well read. Is that why they're scared of him? They think he will show them up and they might lose their control and power?  

        Corbyn reminds me a bit of an updated English version of Norman Kirk and I haven't forgotten the lengths the establishment went to – both in NZ and from offshore – in order to try to dislocate and discredit him. 

        • Bill

          Yup. It's precisely about them losing their influence. This election is about a possible paradigm shift. And those seeking to maintain the status quo will do anything within their power to prevent progress.

          Unlike the last US election where nothing was going to change, this one is a watershed moment. Same for the next US election if Sanders is one of the Presidential contenders. 

          And obviously, if this one breaks as hoped, it provides a massive boost for any Sanders Presidential bid.

      • Cinny 7.1.2

        What interests me most about the UK election is how much the media have manipulated the public.  And how much bearing that will have on the result.  

        After reading your comment Bill, I'm like dang, they just don't stop.  Cheers for the insight.

    • ScottGN 7.2

      I wouldn’t trust any of this last minute stuff or the ‘tightening’ polls or any of it. 

  8. pat 8

    Steven Swinford@Steven_Swinford

    Replying to @Steven_Swinford

    There is a World tonight in which we get an extraordinary political realignment – London turning red, swathes of the Red Wall turning blue – but still end up with a hung Parliament

    Everything has changed, nothing has changed


    9:40 AM – Dec 13, 2019

    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    • Sanctuary 8.1

      The red wall is a nonsense term dreamed up recently by the Tory press – a lot of Labour seats in the noorth have been marginal for a long time, part of a slow erosion caused by poverty induced political nihilism.

      • pat 8.1.1

        the tweet is a nonsense…theres no way of knowing how the vote is split in any electorate until counting begins although the exit polls may give a lead…its speculation, mischief making or an attempt to encourage last minute vote

  9. mosa 9

    This from Tony Benn U.K  Labour stalwart

    "If you look at our manifesto [of 1945], it was very clear. It said the interwar [economic] slumps were not acts of god or a result of strange forces. It was the direct result of too much economic power in the hands of too few men who behaved like a totalitarian oligarchy in the heart of our democratic state. They had and they felt no responsibility to the nation"


    • greywarshark 9.1

      A few points of light from the just showing up in the dark molasses of neolib.  Thanks Tony Benn and John Major amongst others no doubt.

  10. Bill 10

    I guess the left leaning crew at Novaramedia might be offering worthwhile running commentary for anyone interested.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Watching Novaramedia.  Lovely young Labour supporter says on hearing another electorate go to Conservates 17,000  Labour 16,000 e&oe says she is 'incandescentally angry' and the lies, corruption will go on and 135,000 homeless children will be needy this Christmas and others looking for sustenance in rubbish bins, or similar.

      Very impressive, but she noted that for 40 years Labour supporters have kept going trying to get a better way in the UK and stresses it is a long battle and they just have to keep on at it.    Very sad.    I wish her and her compatriots well.

  11. mickysavage 11

    Rage against the machine is supporting a former Tory Minister.  Amazing …


  12. pat 12

    oh dear

    d here are the full exit poll results.

    Conservatives: 368

    Labour: 191

    SNP: 55

    Liberal Democrats: 13

    Plaid Cymru: 3

    Greens: 1

    Brexit party: 0

    Others: 22

  13. weka 13

    Novara Media woman is talking about the problems of having to rely on the Daily Mail to get across the leftwing case or the stories that matter like the NHS crisis.

    Also saying that the exit polls report seats not total vote.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      FPP change needed.    It sets rock hard, can't be softened and worked with, and now destructive I think.    MMP gives a clearer picture and shows where the fabric of civil society is wearing thin with a chance to do something to better that and make change.   It is a mistake to say as some do, that First Past the Post is straightforward and MMP is too hard to understand.   I suggest that FPP is only simple looking down on voter's day, there is all sorts of chicanery going on behind the scenes with FPP that are not at all simple.

  14. UncookedSelachimorpha 14

    Looks really bad!

    I hope Labour sticks to a strongly progressive agenda, and doesn't return to its neoliberal / Blairite ways. Might take a few election cycles before people give a progressive party a go – best to keep working towards that, than simply returning to Tory-Lite.

    Weird that public support for individual Labour policies is strong – but they can't get enough people to vote for the party. I suppose the party is the target of the media smear campaign, while the individual policies are not.

  15. weka 15

  16. Adrian Thornton 16

    I am not really sure why anyone who has been following UK politics is at all surprised  at a poor result from Labour, Corbyn has been absolutely and well and truly fucked over by all MSM, and most damagingly by so called 'liberal media' who, as I harp on about here all the time, have shown that they are more closely aligned ideologically to the Tories and Boris than they are to a progressive Left project…at this point in this very real battle for the future of  our planet, and a more fair and equal society for all citizens,  they are our No,1 enemy.


    • Alan 16.1

      um, are you sure about that, do you not think it may have something to do with his policies?

      • Siobhan 16.1.1

        Funnily the media has very little to say/criticise about Labours policies..its all about Corbyn being racist and anti semitic.

        The thing we forget is most people don't particularly follow politics in any detail, they simply hear and read the headlines..and that has been a tsunami of anti semitism and racism accusations..and thats just from the 'liberal' media..let alone the hardcore vitriol from the likes of the Daily Mail.

        But who knows..maybe the British public like the sound of Johnsons policies..in which case I wish them well. ..at least I certainly hope they don’t intend getting sick or poor anytime soon..

      • Adrian Thornton 16.1.2

        That is my exact point…if the media had relentlessly attacked Labour on it's policies rather than it's obsessive ad hominem attacks on Corbyn, or spinning that bullshit anti semitism troup, then we might have seen if  Labour's policies had any public buy in, but now we will never know because that didn't happen.


      • UncookedSelachimorpha 16.1.3

        There are stats available on UK Labour policies – they are generally very popular.

        e.g. http://statsforlefties.blogspot.com/

        Baseless but loud and incessant ad hominem attacks is the real problem Labour has.

  17. Sanctuary 17

    If the exit polls are correct, then this is a really ominous result for Jacinda and her administration of merry and complacent elite politics managerialists.

    It looks like the centre has collapsed in the UK, USA etc and that has largely been to the benefit of the far right.

    NZ Labour continuing to cling to neoliberal centre will eventually lead to it's destruction. 

    • weka 17.1

      all the more reason for lefties to actively support the Greens, who are trying to move us out of the neoliberal centre.

      However, I don't think NZ is yet analogous to the UK or the US in terms of break down of society and how that impacts on voting. We can't be complacent and next year will most likely be close (with the added complication of the US election at the same time), but it will be more straight forward than either the US or the UK elections.

      • Phil 17.1.1

        However, I don't think NZ is yet analogous to the UK or the US in terms of break down of society and how that impacts on voting.

        I think this is spot on from a *policy* perspective, but i'm sure all the parties will draw some very important lessons from the nature of the campaign… as they should have done from the US, Canada, etc. 

      • Sanctuary 17.1.2

        The Greens are not a party that command mass support.

        • RedLogix

          So why insist that Labour would do better to move even further left than Corbyn has already taken them? 

          How well has that worked out, and why do you want to double down on a strategy that has been a total failure?

        • weka

          "The Greens are not a party that command mass support"

          That's right. NZ doesn't want to move left at the moment. What puzzles me is why so many lefties don't work with the Greens to change that.

          • Ad

            We're in government together. It's as unified as you can get.

            • weka

              We're govt together with a somewhat regressive NZF, so I think there is room for improvement. But I wasn't speaking of cetnre lefties like yourself Ad, who are relatively ok with the status quo. I was referring to the trad lefties who complain that NZ won't adopt more socialist policies, but they won't actively support the party in parliament with the most socialist policies. Even if the Greens aren't a good cultural fit, a stronger Green Party will pull Labour left and the trad lefties can go home again.

              • Ad

                The hard left saddos you describe are dying off and only appear here on TS for the occasional ideological burp.

                And occasionally at protests like Ihumatao and in socialist youth gatherings numbering no more than two hands.

                They're gone.

                As for the Greens, if they can't get a better result than last time after pretty much delivering everything they said they would, then they should just accept 5% as their fate.

                • weka

                  Sounds more like wishful thinking on your part Ad.


                  • Ad

                    Your entire post is wishful thinking in the face of political annihilation.

                    Tomorrow is where that stops for UKLabour.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  Until the neoliberal engine stops impoverishing and dehousing people, you'll find people radicalising as fast as your policies kill them off. Maybe faster.

            • Sacha

              We're in government together. It's as unified as you can get.

              Confidence and supply is not the closest. Winston vetoed that.

          • KJT

            Funny how, when questioned on policies. New Zealanders are well to the left of the Greens.

            Another reason to have voting on policies, rather than which of our rotating dictatorship, we have to put up with for the next three years.

            The sad fact is, as we have seen in the UK, the campaign against a truly left Government will be dishonest, unrelenting and, using advertising propaganda research, successful!

    • Peter 17.2

      What? "Elite politics managerialists?"  That's going to see rid of Ardern?

      What about the serious issues which affect people here, which affect the way they see things?  Which makes them vote for someone or not?

      You know like some kerfuffle about a Czech immigrant, the heinous crimes of Kris Faafoi and Clare Curran and whether there's a motorway Invercargill to North Cape and rapid rail in Auckland?

      In New Zealand it ain't a great intellectual debate amongst the masses about political systems and nuances.


      • Sanctuary 17.2.1

        Holding hands are talking about inclusiveness and stardust and hope and young people and preaching steady as she goes will fail in the face of relentless right wing social media fake news backed up by a dysfunctional MSM. 

        The left needs to get real about the threat, and great real about the sort of structural changes required to make sure we have a chance. 

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 17.3

      " NZ Labour continuing to cling to neoliberal centre will eventually lead to it's destruction.  "

      Destruction as a party that achieves anything worthwhile – but at the same time it could actually help them hold on to power (because they will not be so vigorously opposed by the rich and powerful), while they continue to implement policies that send the country down the neoliberal gurgler.


  18. Siobhan 18

    They'll be popping open the champagne at the Guardian.


  19. Ad 19

    A bit sad.

    Too early for postmorterms.

  20. ScottGN 20

    The exit poll seems to be suggesting that the SNP is going to take 12 of the 13 Tory seats in Scotland? Which means that Labour has been totally smashed in England if Boris is to get his predicted majority.

    • greywarshark 20.1

      Looking at bar graphs etc all coloured, it brings out the toddler in me.    This Telegraph live election counter is nice, at its early stage with few electorates it shows Labour way ahead.    Catch it now while the design looks so positive, I understand it will change soon, follow the red blood line.

      I hope this is not too much for the site to handle weka.
      I would take it off if it was.

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        In the above link info from further link, listed under UK Parties is UKIP but I don't see SNP, which as Scotland is in the UK should be there surely?

        • greywarshark

          Probably wasn't looking closely, too excited – not!

          • greywarshark

            4pm NZ / 4.16 pm

            Conservatives  Seats 92 117

            Labour     77 91

            SNP           15

            Sinn Fein      4

            Voter Count Greens only 2+%

            41 Con

            36   Labour

            9    Lib Dem

  21. Sanctuary 21

    "…Which means that Labour has been totally smashed in England…"

    In the 1998 Movie Mississippi Burning I recall this conversation between Anderson (Gene Hackman) and Ward (Willem Dafoe)

    Anderson : Where does it come from? All this hatred?

    Anderson : You know, when I was a little boy, there was an old negro farmer that lived down the road from us, name of Monroe. And he was… well, I guess he was just a little luckier than my daddy was. He bought himself a mule. That was a big deal around that town. My daddy hated that mule, 'cause his friends were always kidding him that they saw Monroe out plowing with his new mule, and Monroe was going to rent another field now he had a mule. One morning, that mule showed up dead. They poisoned the water. After that, there wasn't any mention about that mule around my daddy. It just never came up. One time, we were driving down that road, and we passed Monroe's place and we saw it was empty. He just packed up and left, I guess, he must of went up north or something. I looked over at my daddy's face. I knew he done it. He saw that I knew. He was ashamed. I guess he *was* ashamed. He looked at me and said, "If you ain't better than a nigger, son, who are you better than?"

    Ward : You think that's an excuse?

    Anderson : No it's not an excuse. It's just a story about my daddy.

    Ward : Where's that leave you?

    Anderson : My old man was just so full of hate that he didn't know that bein' poor was what was killin' him.

    The English in the forgotten North are so full of resentment and hate and dispair that they don't know that being poor is what is killing them.

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Sanctuary – You used the term ‘political nihilism’ earlier – read yesterday 'sullen resentment' – all that is as a result of the neolibs and irresponsible free market fleas sucking all that is good out of society if they can make a profit from it.

      This leads to destabilisation of civil society and its breakdown, maybe temporary, but the GFC type patch is a band-aid covering a dirty wound and that will produce heat and fever eventually.
      The situation could be improved but politicians have high levels of tolerance for their drugs of choice, mental or manufactured, and if they can avoid touching or treading actual soil, they can float freely in their reinforced bubbles seemingly for ever.

      • Sanctuary 21.1.1

        It is made worse though by the new phenomena of targeted social media ads that are designed to inflame division and prejudice to the electoral advantage of the right.


        • Peter

          … and that is coming to a country near and dear to our hearts too …

          • Sanctuary

            They ran Key's 2017 campaign and failed.  One bright sport for Labour is Jacinda is an absolute ace card on social media.

            • pat

              didnt know that…but did know they worked on Morrisons in Oz….they are learning on the job

              • Sanctuary

                I hope Labour has employed their own Cambridge Analytica types to prime populist anger against the right.

                Fuck the ethics of that, we need to win.

        • SPC

          It's just the political arm, enabled by Big Data, of the old FBI tactic of infiltrating left wing groups and fomenting division (divide and conquer) within. 

          • Anne

            …infiltrating left wing groups and fomenting division (divide and conquer) within.

            Yes. It happened in Australia and NZ in the 1970s. The only difference is they were more up-front about it in Australia – the sacking of the prime minister and his government in 1975 on spurious grounds. In NZ they adopted a more stealthy approach but the end result was the same – the destruction of the Kirk/ Rowling government. Example:

            It was no coincidence that the dancing Cossacks advertisement during the 1975 NZ election was created by an American outfit, Hanna Barbera. A taste of what was to come but we didn't know it then.

        • SHG

          It is made worse though by the new phenomena of targeted social media ads that are designed to inflame division and prejudice to the electoral advantage of the right

          It’s not ads. Social media networks themselves are designed to inflame division and prejudice to the electoral advantage of the right.

          Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube… all of them. Designed to inflame division and prejudice to the electoral advantage of the right. While they are ascendant the progressive inclusive left is pushing shit uphill.

    • Rosemary McDonald 21.2

      FWIW Sanctuary,  I got talking to a couple of near retiree travellers from The Netherlands the other day and of course politics came up.

       Mr Holland was 'left' by his own description (including the "' '") and despaired of any truly Left government being elected in either Europe or the UK.


      Purely because younger voters have never known what it is like to have a truly Left government.  Ever.  In their lifetime.

      How we turn this massive freighter around I have no idea.

  22. SPC 22

    It seems the Tories are wining seats in the north of England, where traditional Labour voters who support Brexit are either not voting, or going for the Brexit Party. 

    Labour will do better in the pro Remain south, former PM John Major supports tactical voting against his old party. 

    The fate of the Labour Party will now be determined by the make up of those who remain in their caucus. Corbyn will resign (the remnant of the Wilson (our Kirk) era), the struggle will be whether someone on the left supported by Momentum or a return to the LD cyborg leadership.

    • SPC 22.1

      Given the nature of the result, Labour losing ground in the English north – it is clear the major change from 2017 is Brexit is more of a factor in getting the party vote out. Yet it is the Blairite faction in the Labour caucus that is pro Remain, not Corbyn.

      It seems this deeply untrustworthy bunch of bastards are going to use working class opposition in the north to their pro Remain position to try and win back control of the party. 

      Which is sad, because after Brexit the working class of the UK is going to need a champion more than ever. And the Blairites have never been that.

  23. BUGGER!!!


    Can I be melodramatic and suggest this is the end of the world?


    Why? Because Boris and the Conservatives will do f-all about Climate Change until it bites them on the bum. And by then, it'll be too late.

    • weka 23.1

      Be melodramatic and get it out of your system.

      Neoliberals on both sides of the spectrum won't do what is needed re CC. Maybe there's some hope that if the British economy slumps then GHGs will drop, but the social cost is going to be grim. The other hope might be that this is the final impetus for grass roots political movements to organise and work together.

  24. SHG 24

    This election was all over two weeks ago. The Tories were obviously going to win.

  25. mikesh 25

    From the early results it looks as though the Brexit party, without winning any seats, have been eating into the Labour vote. It may well be that the election was all about 'brexit' and that Labour's stance on that issue was too vacillating.

  26. Cinny 26

    I just found out that those in the commonwealth can also vote, did we miss an opportunity?


  27. observer 27

    Drawing conclusions for NZ is frankly pointless (MMP changes everything).

    There is now a vast gulf between Scotland and England, between London and northern England, etc. That's reinforced and exaggerated by FPP.

    Poli-geeks like us might view everything in terms of left and right but actually "We've had enough" is a major driver of voter behaviour. Traditionally, "we've had enough" is about a long-lasting government. This time, it's Brexit.

    There will never be another Brexit election in the UK (there might not even be a UK). So simple lessons "for next time" don't apply.

    • pat 27.1

      a lot to agree with there

    • Phil 27.2

      Traditionally, "we've had enough" is about a long-lasting government. This time, it's Brexit.

      We've had enough, so we're going to vote for… the party that has been in power the whole time this shit show has been going on. (???) 

      I feel like your diagnosis is lacking somewhat. 


      • observer 27.2.1

        Because the reframing by Johnson/Cummings & co was successful. Mendacious, but effective.

        He ran against "the party that has been in power". As in … Parliament. Obstructive Tories. May's ministers who had to be chucked out. Judges. Shadowy "elites".

        The slogan "get Brexit done" absolved Johnson himself (who had previously voted against May's deal). Everyone else was blocking the People's Brexit, and only Bold Boris could deliver.

        (He won't, but that's a story for next year).

  28. Ad 28

    Corbyn offers resignation.

    • ScottGN 28.1

      He just said he won’t be leading Labour into the next election which will be 5 years away if the Tory majority comes through tonight. 

      • Ad 28.1.1


        Worst result since 1935.

        He should hand his parliamentary salary back.

        • ScottGN

          I agree with you. I’m just saying he hadn’t actually resigned. Be interesting to see how quickly the party moves to replace him. UK Labour is in a real mess. Their Red Wall from Clywd to Yorkshire has been well and truly breached. Scotland is a wreck.

          • Ad

            Maybe they need fresh thinking like rebranding as "New Labour". 

            Or something else that hasn't been done already. 

            • Pierre

              A return to right-wing social democracy and a reversal of the leftward trend in the party would not be a good outcome. Nobody wants reheated 90s neoliberalism, and this defeat should not be allowed to damage the movement.

              • Ad

                A defeat this size really has damaged the movement.

                Imagining otherwise is kinda like those Roadrunner cartoons where Wylie Coyote runs off the bend of a cliff but he blinks and takes a few moments before gravity takes over and he goes "waawahhoey" all the way to the ground and lands, unspectacularly, in a small cloud of dust.

              • Andre

                Where does that leave those Brits that prefer a tiny bit of progress or even just stopping the regression to glorious defeat and a reactionary right-wing empowered to do whatever they want?

  29. ScottGN 29

    Lib Dems leader Swinson has just lost to SNP in Dunbartonshire East. 

  30. ScottGN 30

    Lib Dems night is just as bad as Labours

  31. mauī 31

    Wonderful result for George Galloway in West Brom almost getting 500 votes!

  32. lprent 32

    Watching the election results roll in here in the UK  what is clear to me is that the election system here is broken.

    Turnout is looks like it is down – probably about 66%. Or just a tad above the last Blair election at 58%. People are voting against the political system with their feet.

    Tories aren't getting people to vote for them. It looks like a 4% swing towards them at best. To get that they got a lot of tactical votes – the Brexit and UKIP party died. They got English support and some places in Wales. They have little support in Scotland, and their allies in Northern Ireland had a bad defeat.

    The Scottish indoendence issue isn't going away. It is going to get worse. "Illegal" referendum for Scottish independence seems likely.

    But even with the influx of English Brexit votes in the the towns  the Conservatives barely gained any percentage support. Not an endorsement. More of a failure of a democratic system.

    I would expect that post Brexit, there are going to be calls to change the electoral systems.


    • pat 32.1

      "I would expect that post Brexit, there are going to be calls to change the electoral systems."

      Very likely though the callers wont be able to point to this result as reason…with votes still to be counted Tories have 3 million more than Labour


    • RedLogix 32.2

      That's lame.  When voters are faced with a choice between two candidates they both dislike,  it's not surprising turnout is low. 

      Corbyn failed to inspire trust and confidence. It's true he was dealt terrible cards, faced with a choice of pissing off either Labour's Brexit or Remain supporters, he managed to lose both. Plus the endless underming from his own Party.  Fundamentally he is a decent man caught in an indecent world. Personally I feel sad for him. 

      But in very uncertain times people vote to minimise their short term risk,  and Corbyn failed to project the certainty over Brexit that Johnson did in spades. As a result it was the left leaning voters who stayed home that delivered this disaster.

      • lprent 32.2.1

        I don't think that I even mentioned Labour.

        The problem for Labour is that they were ambiguous about the issues that were big regional issues. Brexit  through upper England, Scotland (including indendence), Wales, and Northern Ireland.

        But their keynote issues sounded like they were for an economy that hasn't really  existed since the 90s through much of the country. Some were pretty good. But were basically not what this election was about.

        The conservatives will have real problems when the Brexit keynote disappears because their other policies look just as tired.

        Both major parties have the same basic problem.

        • lprent

          The UK has a pretty massive debt. 

          Neither of the major parties seem to have a way out of that. Leaving the EU isn't going to help that. 

        • Sacha

          The tories will take this chance to blitzkrieg their economy just like the Rogergnomes did to ours in 1984-1988. Bye bye NHS and anything else of value not tied down. By the time the provinces realise what they have enabled it will be too late. So much for a feeling of 'certainty'.

          • lprent

            I don't think so. The very first thing that Johnson said was effectively that austerity was over. 

            The reason is obvious. If you start to win previously Labour (some for a century) seats that were heavily impacted by austerity, and you want to win the next election (ie the 4th one in a row – over more than a decade), then you can't piss off those voters when you don't have a brexit issue to drive them.

            It isn't like voters in those 'leave' seats voted for the Tories. It was more that in most cases they voted for brexit and against an ambiguous Labour party.

            • Sacha

              I sure hope you are right and that they can resist the multinational corporates slavering over the spoils. Debt as a motivator, as you say.

            • Dennis Frank

              they voted for brexit and against an ambiguous Labour party

              Yeah.  Labour's ambiguity may have seemed clever nuancing to an insider, and I suspect their leader endorsed it as suitable realpolitik, but voters wanted a more decisive option.

              I'm intrigued that Boris didn't campaign on the slogan Make Britain Great Again.  But the swing to the Scottish nationalists proves that the GB pig ain't never gonna fly again…

    • weka 32.3

      so weird watching FPP. I mean, what is everything thinking if the left vote is split between so many parties under FFP?

      Overall Brexit vote might be down but it seems to have done some damage in key Labour seats.

    • Anne 32.4

      In a nutshell, what you are saying lprent is that the electoral system in Britain is a shambles.

      Watching it all unfold over the past couple of years from the other side of the world you do have to wonder whether the Brits have misplaced their once famous sanity. It seems to me they're blaming the wrong people for their woes. After all, it is not Corbyn and friends who are the guilty parties but rather the very people a majority of them have chosen to vote back into government.  Strange logic.

    • halfcrown 32.5

      Well said 

    • Ad 32.6

      That's as silly as Bil yesterday whining about the "missing millions" who weren't available to be polled. 

      Looks like the "missing millions" turned up and voted Conservative.

      They voted against Corbyn, against Labour policies, and for hard Brexit by the (missing) millions. 

      If all Labour does is call out that the system was rigged so change the system, they deserve to go the way of the Dodo. 

      • Andre 32.6.1

        Dunno about missing millions turning up to vote.

        In 2017 the Cons got 13.6 million votes, 2019 it'll be around 13.9 million

        In 2017 Labour got 12.9 million votes, in 2019 it'll be around 10.3 million

        In 2017 the SNP got just under 1 million, in 2019 it'll be around 1.3 million

        In 2017 the Lib Dems got 2.4 million, in 2019 it'll be around 3.6 million.

        Looks more like around 1.5 million 2017 Labour voters went to SNP and LD, and another million didn't bother this time.



        • lprent

          That fits into what I was seeing on the UK TV over the last week and a half. Most people still voted. But there was a group that when interviewed simply said that they weren't voting.

          Also ran across some people who said exactly the same thing. 

          I don't think that there was that much direct transfer from Labour to Conservatives. If there was, then there'd have been a whole lot more vote for the Tories.

          I think that there was a lot of transfer from Labour to other parties – especially in Scotland. I think that quite a few people simply didn't vote for Labour. Due to Labours ambiguities or due to the stinking weather.

          But due to a FPP environment that caused a electorally lethal drop in support to allow a second party like the Tories or SNP to capture a seat.

  33. UncookedSelachimorpha 33

    Looking at the underlying total vote share (with 614 of 650 results declared right now)

    Labour + Greens + SNP = 39.3% (could consider this the vote for fairly Progressive parties)

    Adding the Lib Dems gives 39.3 + 11.1 = 50.4%

    So the idea that Tory nastiness dominates the UK public attitude, isn't completely true – there is hope for underlying public sentiment, and no need to rush towards Blairite realpolitik in UK Labour I hope.

    And FPP is fairly shit I reckon!

  34. Jum 34

    When dirty politics, populist politics, the politics of greed win, nobody does.  Whatever UK Labour becomes after shafting Corbyn, they should change their name.  They're shapeshifters.

    I will judge the UK by what happens to their people’s assets, namely the health system. It’s run down, perfect to complete selling off, just like NZ’s health system has been allowed to decay; perfect for privatisation. Thanks to the interruption by Ardern and Peters, that’s taken a back seat – so far.

    A good lesson for Labour in NZ is shown in this UK election.

    In New Zealand, the conservative right have control of the media, the money, business, and the art of lying.

    Example: Seriously, would The Nation have featured vignettes of all MPs' back stories or the 5 minute rant by national mps if nats were still in govt.  No Labour MP would have a shit show of any air time from that media. 

    At this time there is the possibility that national will get back in because of Kiwi apathy, greed, yet another tsunami of political programmes fronted by nat stooges over the next six months lying about Labour, lying to New Zealanders, misrepresenting what Labour MPs say, setting up Labour MPs who still don't understand just how vicious the nats and their driven backers really are and the underlying hatred of women leaders.

    If I was Ardern, I'd take the opportunity to push through my vision for all New Zealanders, before it's taken away.  She may have faith in New Zealanders to have the back of fellow Kiwis when it involves greed; I don't. That includes ensuring the future sovereignty of our water supply against corporate takeover – here or by foreigners.

    Egalitarianism is dead in UK.  NZ will also probably rest in un-peace if nats get back in here.

    • Ad 34.1

      What horseshit.

      Pop down to your local supermarket for more wall to wall Ardern covers.

      Ardern could stand on the peak of White Island declaiming "All shall love me and despair", and the media would think, nod sagely, and go "Yup that's about right."

      In fact here’s Ardern this evening with fresh footage straight out of White Island:



      • Jum 34.1.1

        Ad – you are talking horseshit.  When you attack me so forcefully I know that I am correct and you are hyperventilating.  Get a paper bag.

  35. ScottGN 35

    Perhaps the biggest worry now for the UK is whether or not the Hard Brexiteers in the Conservative Party are emboldened enough by this result to start flexing their muscle?

    • Andre 35.1

      It's now awfully hard to argue that they don't have a strong mandate to do exactly that.

    • Ad 35.2

      Boris has the clear majority now to get out fast. He's promised 31 January and he can now put through any legislation he wants. 

      The only slight unreality will be whether he can agree new trade deal with the EU inside of a year. That's the bit that now sounds ambitious. 

      Boris has cleared the Parliamentary impediments away – which was his stated goal for the snap election in the first place.

      • Jum 35.2.1

        Ad 35.2 13 December 2019 at 6:59 pm 'Boris has the clear majority now to get out fast. He's promised 31 January and he can now put through any legislation he wants.'

        Yep, any legislation he wants – sell, sell, sell.  And now he'll be after NZ to sell, sell, sell.

        Ad – your credibility is shot.  Use the paper bag – now.

  36. observer 36

    Here's the story of post-industrial Northern England in one constituency:


    See the percentages change over time. Dennis Skinner has been there forever, in an impregnable Labour fortress, and now he's gone – like the mines, the jobs, and the hope.

    No point trying to sugar-coat this result, Labour heartlands that loathed Thatcher even when she won landslides, have gone to the Tories now. You can't replace those with a handful of university towns.

    UK Labour have a lot of soul-searching to do.

    • DS 36.1

      Yep. Labour's lost its heartlands.

      But here's the funny thing – it gained well-off places like Putney, and increased its majority in Canterbury, a place that hated voted Tory for 180 years until 2017. Labour gained the middle-class, and lost the working class.

      • pat 36.1.1

        or the Tories lost enough  remainers (temporarily) who held there noses …likely as temporary as the Red norths support.

        The reality is for an increasingly large segment of the electorate there is no expectation of representation from either party …this was referendum 2.0

  37. Jum 37

    Perhaps I was not totally correct about egalitarianism in NZ, and it involves a supermarket checkout operator, Ad:


  38. greywarshark 38

    Some lighter moments in the Commons under the jester's rule as allowed by John Bercow trying to defuse the often heated debate.

  39. Jum 39

    And the biggest lesson?  A giant cockup:

    • The UK Billionaires who funded Brexit have won their plutocracy.

    To fully appreciate the scale of manipulation here, one has to appreciate why British Billionaires backed Brexit.

    The only real threat to the power of the 1% within Britain was EU regulation to force transparency and close tax havens, thus the 1% wanted to get Britain out of the EU so that their influence and power wouldn’t be challenged, that’s why they stumped up for the Brexit campaign using Boris and Farage as front people while exploiting Cambridge Analytica’s ability to target angry white working men who had been left behind by globalisation.

    Manipulating working class resentment into making a decision like Brexit to ensure the power of the 1% is as Machiavellian as it gets. Boris has played the exact same trick Trump did which shouldn’t surprise anyone because the same social media mining company plotted both strategies.

    National are currently playing the same game.

    Brexit is a blindsiding of Westminster Democracy for a neoliberal plutocracy hell bent on taking power no matter what the price. Dark days are ahead for Britain under neoliberal Boris and Labour’s impending implosion into sectarian fighting will ensure two terms.

  40. millsy 40

    Corbyn really fucked up big time. Not only did he fuck his party, but he fucked the chances of anything remotely left wing happening around the world. You think the Democrats in the US aren't watching and learning? The ALP? Here in NZ? 


    • Anne 40.1

      You're not being fair millsy. He was up against the dirtiest political machine in the history of British politics. Yes he had some faults – his procrastination over Brexit and the antisemitic claims were probably the most damaging – but he was better than Johnson who changed his political views so many times it was impossible to keep up with his latest reincarnation.

      • ScottGN 40.1.1

        Labour was horribly exposed Anne by Brexit and the dichotomy between the liberal elite who run the party in London and the working people across the UK whom they always rely on to troop dutifully to the polling booths on their behalf. It could take years for the damage to be repaired if, indeed, it ever is.

        • greywarshark

          Sounds like the way that NZ Labour runs their system.    Lawyers to the left of us, millionaires to the right, and voters stuck in the middle, with fashionable middle-class rhetoric.

          • greywarshark

            I was wrong to make that sweeping generalisation, though partly true, about lawyers.    Replace it with financiers and snake-oil merchants selling 'insurance swaps'* as derivatives to Hopeful Farmers.   See further on Open Mike.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              Nothing wrong with lawyers – it's just the 99% of them that give the rest a bad name, that I have a problem with.

    • Dennis Frank 40.2

      Arguable. Blame the leader is flawed logic when a party has to broaden support via consensus politics. Blaming groupthink is more sensible.  Leftist consensus ought to incorporate public opinion, not just in-crowd idealism.  If the leftists want to strike a chord in the public mind & get voters to resonate with their program, that is.

      I'm disappointed inasmuch as I still believe Jeremy would make a better PM for Britain, but the collective strategy adopted by the Labour leadership group wasn't in tune with what people broadly wanted.  Remainers evaporated (LibDems losing traction proved that weeks ago).  Get Brexit done!  That was the mood of the electorate.  RNZ news this morning reported Boris won a landslide victory – after asking voters for a mandate for Brexit.  The left simply failed to read the public mood.

      • greywarshark 40.2.1

        Shilly-shally could be the word that sized up the previous Labour voters in England.   'What does Labour do, they think, shilly-shally and seem to wait for somebody to think of something, rather than show us joined-up thinking about ideas for the way forward.  When they have been in government we have not seemed to advance.    Decision – let's have a change, we might get something better as well as different, and at least Boorish sounds definite.    We have heard about Brexit, had it thrust down our throat like medicine that will be good for us and heal all.'

        Who knows Brexit might be like warfarin that thins the blood, and in the right dosage does its work well and prevents heart problems for a while.    

    • ScottGN 41.1

      Remainers all of them. Swept aside in the wave of exhausted anger from ordinary Britons who, after 3 and a half years said enough of this bullshit. Tories tapped into that brilliantly.

  41. DS 42

    This wasn't Corbyn. This was realignment:


    British Labour has become the US Democrats. Welcome to the world of the Culture War.

  42. adam 43

    I'm happy: 

    The tory pricks created brexit – they can deal with it. It's going to rip them apart. 

    Lies only bring heartache, and that's what england is in for.



    • pat 43.1

      Not only England….the fracturing of western societies into disparate groups is making it increasingly difficult for the formation/operation of broad based parties…factionalism on steroids if you will

    • Anne 43.2

      That's what I've been thinking too adam. Let em clean up their own mess and wow… what a mess its likely to be.

      Labour may well end up thanking their lucky stars they lost. 

      Another thought: Johnson won't last 5 years. He's too unstable.  They will have to get rid of him at some point and whoever takes over will be on a hiding to nothing. My pick is: a snap election in say… 3 years?  Just a wishful hunch.

      • greywarshark 43.2.1

        Who would take over – pinched-face Jacob Rees-Mogg seen apparently pinching his son's ear to indicate some message.

        He has retained his electorate – Daily Mail says increased majority despite Remainer campaign

        The Mirror says – Disgraced Tory toff holds his North-East Somerset seat

        He seems appropriately callous, disparaging of the public's realities and uninterested in cause and effect to be a leading Conservative.


        Jacob Rees-Mogg is never normally one to shy away from the media lens. But following his claim that it would have been “common sense” to ignore fire brigade advice and flee the Grenfell tower block fire – a statement that prompted outrage – he went uncharacteristically quiet after apologising.


  43. Rae 44

    Couple of interesting "watch out fors"

    Scotland, overwhelmingly voted SNP, what will Boris do if they seek another referendum, will he support them as he has the people of Hong Kong or will he come over all CCP?

    What will Trump demand for a free trade agreement.

    I think GB is about to find out they are very small

  44. greywarshark 45

    Chris Trotter musing on thoughts of "The Daily Blog's resident Marxist Dave Brownz".


    If Corbyn and Labour had won and proceeded to take a left turn this is the likely outcome.:

    There is a grim logic to this position. Certainly, a socialist government surrounded by capitalist institutions will very swiftly find its room for political manoeuvre shrinking. The courts will intervene on behalf of those affected by its most radical policies. Senior public servants will leak its transformative plans to the capitalist press. Right-wing middle-class students take to the streets in protest. Foreign corporations will threaten to seize the nation’s overseas assets in the event of inadequately compensated nationalisations. Hostile capitalist powers will impose sanctions in order to “make the economy scream”. …

    To date, Corbyn’s fate lends credence to Dave’s case. In the four years he has led the British Labour Party he has been the target of an unrelenting campaign of personal vilification and political destabilisation. With hindsight, it is clear that the Labour Party has, for decades, been kept “fit for office” through a combination of destruction and creation. The careers of potentially successful Labour left-wingers have been destroyed, while the reputations of those considered a “safe pair of hands” have been enhanced – mostly by Capitalist Britain’s well-positioned defenders in the security services and the news media. Corbyn’s success was a slip-up – a big one. Exactly how big is indicated by the sheer viciousness of the campaign set in motion to destroy him.

  45. pat 46

    "They will have to face the fact that the electorate did not abandon Labour for the centre. They went either to the far right, in England and Wales, or to the social democratic nationalist alternative, in Scotland. They did not go to the Liberal Democrats or back Change UK. Chuka Umunna, Dominic Grieve, David Gauke, Anna Soubry, Jo Swinson and Luciana Berger all lost."


    A Herculean task, especially given the ructions in the party before and during the election

  46. WeTheBleeple 47

    Seems to me lefties better learn to stick up for themselves and deliver a clear message as faffing about gets them nothing but time out.  This was a victory for the billionaire press league, the antithesis of democracy.

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