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Snap election Britain

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 30th, 2019 - 55 comments
Categories: Austerity, boris johnson, Brexit, elections, Europe, Jeremy Corbyn, polls, uk politics - Tags:

The UK will learn its political fate on Friday 13 December. MPs have voted in a one-line Bill to have an election on Thursday 12 November, in the middle of winter.  BoJo’s got his way if not quite the way he wanted. All bets are off.

I well remember when Helen Clark told Mike Williams and I that she was going to call an election in New Zealand’s winter of 2002, when we were way ahead in the polls. In the end we just scraped in, even though National had its worst result in years.

We are still in London; the winds are growing chill and the nights are rapidly drawing in. Turnout will be an issue.

Also at issue will be the fact that this will not be a two-horse race. Brexit splits Conservatives and the Brexit party on the right, and Labour, Lib Dems, Scottish party on the left(ish) spectrum. The Conservatives know austerity is still an issue, which explains the multitude of pictures of Boris in hospitals and schools with his sleeves rolled up. It is not certain that he will be seen as the answer.

The standard polls are not reliable for this election in my view. Pollster guru Professor John Curtice makes the following point:

“… this is an asymmetric election. It’s an election that Boris Johnson has to win. If he does not get a majority or something very close to it, he will not be able to stay in government because the Conservatives do not have any friends elsewhere.

“The Labour Party, by contrast, at least has the possibility of doing a deal with the SNP, a deal with the Liberal Democrats, getting support of the Greens and maybe even the DUP not standing in their way.

“Bear in mind, this is not an election that Labour have to win to stop Brexit, but it is an election that they and the other opposition parties simply need to deny the Conservatives a majority.

 

55 comments on “Snap election Britain ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Corbyn by Christmas, Sanders by Winter!

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    " have an election on Thursday 12 November,"

    An error there, its December as 5 weeks have to elapse after Commons closes for election.

  3. SPC 3

    The timing will hurt Labour and LD because students will be at a different address to the one they are enrolled with.

    And given there was more public support for a Brexit referendum than an election, Labour and LD agreement for one to be held was a major tactical error.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50206341

  4. SPC 4

    The final nail in the coffin of Corbyn's chances of winning the election is Jo Swinson's refusal to support Corbyn as PM.

    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/liberal-democrats-would-not-enter-any-coalition-with-jeremy-corbyn-1.488494

    The nail in the coffin of LD of being a block on the election of a Tory government came when she also refused to form a coalition with one.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49717388

    Thus those in the centre who want a return to "stable" government have no choice but to vote for the Tories (and this will be easier since the new Tory Brexit deal with the EU).

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      Has she made more policy somersaults in the last 6 months than an olympic gymnast ? Likely this too would be cast aside if the circumstances permit.

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.1

        Yes . Lib Dems said before 2010 election

        "The Liberal Democrats are planning to rule out forming a coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labour if Nick Clegg holds the balance of power in a hung parliament after the general election."

        After the votes were counted , it changed to ' talk about coalition with largest party'

        No need to fall for these empty promises SPC

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          What they say will still influence how people vote.

          In each seat where electorate polls give them a chance, the votes they lose may be decisive as to whether they hold the balance of power or not.

          As for Clegg – he said they wanted to achieve things – such as electoral reform and tax changes, rather than be in coalition and have Cabinet places … did neither. Got what they deserved in 2015.

          • Dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1

            "What they say will still influence how people vote" …maybe voters will be wiser this time around about such fanciful claims.

            We in NZ understand coalition agreements can toss aside election pledges, but that was a pledge to not even enter a coalition. Swinson will do what ever it takes to be deputy PM…

            Im surprised you are still making her claim as something that isnt going to be honoured. – 'affect the voters'

            • SPC 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Clegg was in position to force a change in the electoral system and blew it. For me it discredits the party as one that will ever achieve anything. For the party allowed him to do it. It shows how appeasing to power they are.

              Swinson specifically ruled out coalition with Corbyn. Given LD form on appeasing power, we can take that as credible.

              The purpose of LD is to prevent a left wing Labour government, by providing those disenchanted with Tories an alternative, while keeping them in power.

              • Dukeofurl

                Force a change ? Do you live in a bubble that doesnt care about democracy

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_United_Kingdom_Alternative_Vote_referendum

                "The proposal to introduce AV [optional ranking of candidates in electorates] was overwhelmingly rejected by 67.9% of voters on a national turnout of 42%." [ 20 mill voters, held at the same time as local council elections]

                He tried and failed , and you dont mention that?

                only 10 of 440 local council voting areas had a 'yes'

                Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh Central and Glasgow Kelvin plus 6 in London. The ivory tower elites!

                • The Al1en

                  Ivory tower elites lol From the wiki link you provided

                  Parties in parliament for a yes vote

                  Liberal Democrats
                  Scottish National Party
                  Sinn Féin
                  Plaid Cymru
                  Social Democratic and Labour Party
                  Green Party of England and Wales
                  Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

                  Parties elected to the European Parliament or regional assemblies / parliaments

                  UKIP
                  Scottish Green

                  Minor parties

                  Liberal Party
                  Mebyon Kernow
                  English Democrats
                  Christian Party
                  Christian Peoples Alliance
                  Pirate Party UK
                  United Kingdom Libertarian Party

                  • Dukeofurl

                    The LGAs where AV had a majority of Yes were the university cities plus London , Glasgow, Edinburgh city centres

                    Of course the tiny parties were for it , as they think they would benefit.

                    Ask Australians how minor parties win under that scheme of AV and electorates. Short Answer they dont.

                    eg Greens got 10% of primary vote only won ONE electorate by AV voting

                    And SNP ,as the leading party in Scotland, may miss out

                    • The Al1en

                      I'm not convinced any of those parties are ivory tower elites, and not all tiny parties were for it, though, were they?

                      Democratic Unionist Party, British National Party, Ulster Unionist Party, Green Party in Northern Ireland, Traditional Unionist Voice, Respect Party, Communist Party of Britain, Socialist Party and
                      Alliance for Workers' Liberty

                • SPC

                  Channelling your Donald are you? This is the background to the 2010 election and holding of the referendum. No option for PR, as the LD wanted. So why form the coalition?

                  Pre-election

                  In February 2010, the Labour Government, which had been in power since 1997, used their majority to pass an amendment to their Constitutional Reform Bill to include a referendum on the introduction of AV to be held in the next Parliament, citing a desire to restore trust in Parliament in the wake of the 2009 expenses scandal.[15] A Liberal Democrat amendment to hold the referendum earlier, and on STV,[16] was defeated by 476 votes to 69.[15] There was insufficient time remaining in the term of that Parliament for the Bill to become law before Parliament was dissolved; and so the move was dismissed by several Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs as a political manoeuvre.[15]

                  In the ensuing 2010 general election campaign, the Labour manifesto supported the introduction of AV via a referendum, to "ensure that every MP is supported by the majority of their constituents voting at each election".[17] The Liberal Democrats argued for proportional representation, preferably by single transferable vote, and the Conservatives argued for the retention of FPTP. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats proposed reducing the number of MPs, while the Conservative Party argued for more equal sized constituencies.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_United_Kingdom_Alternative_Vote_referendum

                  • Dukeofurl

                    "A Liberal Democrat amendment to hold the referendum earlier, and on STV,"

                    So they wanted STV ?

                    Whats the difference in single member electorates between ranked voting under STV or ranked voting under AV ?

                    Australia uses the single member electorates and ranked preferential voting for its Federal Mps ( not Senators) the outcome last time was the Greens got 10% of the primary vote and 1 seat.

                    Anyway there was a landslide for the existing system, no chance of any sort of preferential voting being forced onto country, and not likely to make much difference as Australia shows.

                    Now MMP is a different story , no mention of that ?

                    • SPC

                      STV like MMP is PR and delivers a similar result.

                      AV is not PR and the LD said PR was their condition.

    • Editractor 4.2

      While we're on it, what effect from the rugby world cup final, either way? Parades of St George's Cross or wakes?

      • SPC 4.2.1

        Not much historic evidence to go on.

        The only World Cup successes – football 1966 and rugby in 2003. Governments were re-elected but more were re-elected after World Cup failure. But then more elections came after World Cup failure ….

        While the public school/Hyde Park pram and nanny shower are largely Tory anyhow the jingoistic nationalist right wing media would play up success to peddle the brighter future post EU line (ironic given the younger half of the electorate preferred staying in the EU). _

        • Dukeofurl 4.2.1.1

          Cricket and Rugby World Cups are nothing …a Football World Cup means something however.

          Will Johnson even go to Tokyo …well see ?

          • SPC 4.2.1.1.1

            They are sending Harry – patron of the ERU, William, patron of the WRU not going to watch the 3/4 playoff.

        • Obtrectator 4.2.1.2

          England's success in the 1966 World Cup came after that year's general election.

          • SPC 4.2.1.2.1

            And the election after the rugby win in 2003 was in 2005.

            As I said there is little historical evidence – only two wins.

    • Hanswurst 4.3

      Swinson has said she won't support Johnson, too. Also, the Tories hare not in the centre, and have shown their serious difficulties in delivering stable government.

      Please try harder.

      • SPC 4.3.1

        Labour under Corbyn are also not in the centre. And have unresolved issues within their party over support for their leadership and candidate de-selection. An issue LD are working hard to exploit.

        As linked

        https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/liberal-democrats-would-not-enter-any-coalition-with-jeremy-corbyn-1.488494

        • Hanswurst 4.3.1.1

          Labour under Corbyn are also not in the centre.

          Kind of missing the point there. You said that the Conservatives were an option for those in the centre, but that's undermined by the fact that they're not in the centre. Where Labour is makes not a jot of difference to that.

          And have unresolved issues within their party over support for their leadership and candidate de-selection

          Oh, I don't think that Boris Johnson, a man who removed the whip from 20 of his MPs and faced many high-profile defections, can make much hay out of that. The Lib Dems are not really trying to hammer the question of Labour's support for its leader, just the fact that they don't like Corbyn. The Lib Dems have their own problems with unity, having a number of high-profile turncoats in their ranks that they are keen to accommodate with what they hope are winnable seats – something not all the existing Lib Dems are too happy about. As I pointed out, they've said they won't work with Johnson as well.

          • SPC 4.3.1.1.1

            You said that the Conservatives were an option for those in the centre, but that's undermined by the fact that they're not in the centre.

            I said that centrist voters would be pushed towards voting for the Tories because there was unlikely to be any alternative for stable government – LD’s ruling out working with Corbyn and Tories being the only party with a chance to form a one party government.

            Then there is LD choosing coalition with the Tories in 2010. They have form of keeping a right wing government in power. They have never kept a left wing government in power.

            • Hanswurst 4.3.1.1.1.1

              You're still missing the point that the Lb Dems have ruled out working with Johnson, too.

              I don't like Jo Swinson or the Lib Dems much, and I do think they're a better fit for the Tories, but I think your reasoning is entirely faulty here.

              Also, given that Labour’s policy is to maintain the NHS in the manner to which it is accustomed, and to retain freedom of movement and a closer association with the EU, while keeping Trump at arms’ length, I don’t know whether your assumptions on what constitutes a centrist voter and how they might think really holds much water.

  5. mosa 5

    Boris and the right wing U.K press and Lib Dem partners 1

    Corbyn 0

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      They said that about Corbyn and labour last time ( 2017)…yet they increased their share of the Vote by 9%.

      Dont forget the main British papers, where we get most of our UK news from are completely partisan by our standards, and even usual left wing papers like Guardian and Independent have a tiny audience ( in Uk) and are targeted at millennials, not the usual British labour supporter

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        What does that mean – that the British Labour supporter reads the UK news in papers that are partisan RW rags but is not influenced away from Labour which is likely to do better than might be expected?

        • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          No. We in NZ read the British papers here and get a false impression of say Corbyn/Labour popularity which is shown in the votes.

      • TootingPopularFront 5.1.2

        …and they are Blairite centrist rags now (The Guardian, The Independent), there is NO mass media support for Corbyn and hasn’t been for a long time (we can’t really count the Daily Mirror can we ?!?) – the BBC is a propaganda outfit for Johnson and Farage – an election campaign forces by law media outlets to balance their coverage, that will see Corbyn’s share of the vote increase as his actual message is heard.

        • Dukeofurl 5.1.2.1

          "The biggest divisions in politics are now by age.

          At the last election, Labour had a 41 percentage point lead among under-30s. Among those over 70, the Tories led by 50 points." Pollster Philip Cowley

          The downside of that is the oldies have a higher proportion voting. UK polls dont often get the proportions right, as like here, the political part is tacked onto marketing surveys which are aimed at the 18-45 demographic.

        • Sanctuary 5.1.2.2

          Brexit has exposed how much of the notionally left wing British urban elite is actually just neolib radical centrists.

          And the newspaper this radical centrist managerial-professional class reads is the Guardian (no one reads the Independent, which anyway is basically nowadays just an online only ultra-remain house journal of the Lib-Dems) and the TV they watch is the BBC.

          Much of what you read in those supposed liberal left publications is really just the outraged mewlings of an entitled class that above all wants to re-take power from the cloth cap morons who voted for leave and the socialist “radicals” who “stole” “their” Labour party by turning the clock back to a halcyon Blairite past.

          What they want most of all is a return to business as usual, i.e. with them in charge and lip service to genuine economic and social reform – reform as long as it doesn’t threaten their grip on power.

          • greywarshark 5.1.2.2.1

            Has a sound of prophesy Sanctuary – very descriptive and lively dissection. Outraged mewlings – do you think the same thing is mirrored here?

  6. mosa 6

    Looks like all Boris has too do is target white males in rugby league towns across the U.K and he is back in.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1197362/election-news-latest-boris-johnson-general-election-conservative-polls-december-brexit

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      Polls like that are useless, as shown in Canada recently.

      The electorates vary in different parts of the country in relative strength of parties. plus Wales, Scotland Northern Ireland had totally different dynamics.

      Labour vote concentrated in urban areas, Tories in small towns and rural areas and rich suburbs of cities.

      And if the Lib dems as a 3rd party do well ( I dont think they will) , it could hurt Tories or even SNP as they get their votes from same constituency.

      • Phil 6.1.1

        And if the Lib dems as a 3rd party do well… it could hurt Tories … as they get their votes from same constituency.

        The collapse (and subsequent recovery) in Conservative polling aligns almost perfectly with the emergence (and subsequent decline) in the fortunes of 'The Brexit Party'.

        Meanwhile, the emergence of the Greens and reemergence of the Lib Dems as plausible 3rd party options look far more correlated to the polling fortunes of the Labour party.

        The Lib Dems have been relatively more supportive of a second referendum than any other major party and that message seems to be resonating more with Labour voters than Conservatives.

        • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1

          But there isnt a second referendum. I think the Lib Dems have now shifted again… to 'Cancel Brexit'- which is another hollow promise.

          The Liberal Democrats have pledged to cancel Brexit without holding a further referendum if they win power at the next election. How would that work?

          https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47668466

          • Phil 6.1.1.1.1

            Right, ok. I'm not up to speed with the latest changes in policy positions.

            But more generally, my point still stands that the Lib Dem's are the major party that most closely represents a 'brexit-skeptic' position and that the polling shows that their messaging is being received much more receptively from Labour supporters than Conservative supporters.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Polls normally leave off 'Dont knows ' from the public release. And British polls have a very poor reputation for getting anything correct added to the usual quagmire of FPP plus strong differences in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland let alone Englands North South Divide.

    • joe90 6.2

      Perhaps Workington man should consider the implications of Johnson's Singapore-on the-Thames.

      The UK could turn into ‘Singapore-on-the-Thames’, according to the EU’s Department for Exiting Europe (DfEE). In a leaked document revealed by the Financial Times, the department said that the UK’s current Brexit trade declaration with regards to maintaining workers’ rights and environmental protection was ‘open to interpretation’. Labour Brexit minister Jenny Chapman said the documents, which reportedly had Downing Street input, ‘confirm our worst fears’.

      https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/26/fears-boris-johnson-is-planning-to-turn-uk-into-singapore-on-thames-after-brexit-10988074/?

  7. Brexit news '

    Boorish makes an ashamed run for the 'wealth creators' saying the economy has grown 19% in the nine years they have been in power and connecting the wealth creation somehow to the NHS having large amounts of money spent on it and the NHS funding a new drug. The Cons have something to demonstrate health advances to the public, in funding for new treatment, from the USA, for cystic fibrosis.( Johnson denies that the NHS is on the table in talks with the USA about trade – after Brexit, though the Conservatives have been meeting with people in the USA medical field.

    (The Cons may be promising new hospitals and infrastructure at present, with the intention after Brexit of selling it off to Big Pharma and the boys there, and at the same time having financial pay-offs in various pleasing ways, for themselves. And Boorish is head Dev of the devious crowd.)

    But Corbyn is getting Johnson’s ire up with his statement that "NHS money is being siphoned off", and the big talk booms out. Will it be the Hare and the Tortoise all over again?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50230931
    Leaders in pre-election clash over NHS, Brexit and economy

    The Labour leader accused the PM – who he has challenged to a one-on-one TV debate – of running down the health service, saying cuts to funding had …contributed to rising waiting times for cancer treatment and operations….

    Mr Johnson said he agreed voters faced a "stark choice" between a government spending "unrivalled" sums on the NHS and a Labour party that would "wreck the economy".

    …The SNP's Ian Blackford says the PM is "willing to throw Scotland under his big red bus"…

    Yet Johnson turns this around, and lays Scottish unhappiness at Labour's feet.

    …While 2020 would be a "wonderful year" under a Tory government, he said electing Jeremy Corbyn would result in further referendums on Europe and Scottish independence…

    and

    Scotland is going to be impossible to predict in the coming election in just about all of its seats – some almost evenly split between the three SNP/Tories/Labour. A veritable battle for hearts and minds to watch.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49594562
    Election 2019: Key questions facing Scotland's parties

  8. millsy 8

    Labour will be wiped out.

    By this time next year, Liz Kendall (ie Blair in a skirt) will be Labour leader and will once again support the holy trinity of war, austerity and privatisation.

    The Israeli extermination of Palestinians will continue unchallenged for the forseeable future.

    So much for the 2020's being 'our' decade.

    • SPC 8.1

      It's likely Labour will lose, but whether Corbyn is rolled will depend on those left in caucus – how far de-selection has got (Corbyn would have been more secure with an election a year from now).

  9. Exkiwiforces 9

    Here are the betting odds from Betfair courtesy of the Australian Newspaper from yesterday.

    Conservatives 10/11

    Labour 23/1

    Lib Democrats 99/1

    Ukip 159/1

    From what my mates are saying in the UK atm, is that BoJo will get back in with the majority to pass Brexit and the sting in the tail will come from the working/ working poor class areas of Midlands to the Scottish Border and parts of Wales. If this happens and more likely it will happen, then it will be a two fingered protest vote to the middle class Toffs/ Labour elite (the Blairites/ Remainers) who have screw the working class/ working poor over when that muppet Blair was in.

    Sorry to say folks old Corbyn is on a hiding to nothing and this may split the Labour Party right down the middle with the working class/ working poor on the left and the Blairites on the right. Might be a rerun of the 80's for the UK Labour and that wasn't pretty either from all accounts.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Wonder what would happen if Labour brought the problem of a broken system to the fore, and promised to run a referendum on Brexit moving also to change the system so there was never more a simple majority, but at least 60%. And in this important Brexit matter, a vigorous flip of say 75% would be needed. That would be a sunny-side-up decision to go forward with.

      Also Labour could put forward the idea of having MMP as in Germany and here, to allow parties to form and represent the different interests. This would get the Blairites going and tend to clean out the messy relationships, left and centre. People would know where the pollies stood; it would give a firm shape to their political allegiances.

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    7 days ago
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