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The UK elections – Has Labour got the big mo?

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, May 21st, 2017 - 66 comments
Categories: campaigning, Deep stuff, elections, International, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, uk politics - Tags:

Over in England things are getting interesting. The unloseable election called at a time when Labour was at its weakest and most messiest was meant to be a cake walk for the tories. An increased majority was a foregone conclusion and the future of the Labour Party let alone of leader Jeremy Corbyn was not guaranteed.

Theresa May was that certain she would win that she was not even going to debate with her opponent. A series of tightly scripted photo opportunities was all she would need to guarantee her inevitable victory.

And Corbyn was going to be shown up as being totally inadequate for the job.

Well a couple of things are happening.

Corbyn is campaigning really well and giving it everything. His direct style of campaigning where he goes out and meets ordinary people face to face is in complete contrast to May’s.  It appears to be working.

And the polls have started to narrow.

From the Evening Standard:

Labour received a further boost this week as two new polls showed Jeremy Corbyn’s party eating into the Conservative lead ahead of the General Election.

An ORB International poll for the Telegraph put Labour two points up since last week on 34 per cent.

Although Mr Corbyn’s party trailed Tories – on 46 per cent – by 12 points, it matched Labour’s best rating in a mainstream poll this year and added weight to the idea that its campaign is winning over voters.

Crucially, it puts Labour comfortably above the 30.4 per cent share of the vote achieved by Ed Miliband in 2015, a benchmark which some supporters argue should remove pressure on Mr Corbyn to quit if he fails to win power.

Meanwhile, a second poll by Opinium for the Observer put Labour up one point on 33 per cent to Tories’ 46 per cent.

Earlier this week two other polls also showed Mr Corbyn’s party was closing in on Theresa May’s Conservative Party.

And Mr Corbyn said: “This message is getting through. Get on any bus, get on any train, go in any cafe, talk to people.

“The whole discussion and the whole debate is unravelling from the Tory point of view, because people are saying ‘Hang on, why are so many young people in such stress?

“Why are so many older people being threatened by this Government? Can’t we as a society, as a country, as a people do things differently and better?”

The situation is complicated by the first past the post system and by the fact that a progressive Scottish National Party will almost inevitably sweep Scotland and guarantee a left voting block.  They currently hold 8.3% of the parliamentary seats.  And the tories are still way ahead.

But with 19 days to go the result is no longer a foregone conclusion.  And events around the world confirm that established parties should never take the voting population for granted.

66 comments on “The UK elections – Has Labour got the big mo? ”

  1. garibaldi 1

    Fantastic news but he is still up against the all powerful media. Fingers crossed.

  2. Wainwright 2

    Corbyn sounds like a Labour leader. Have to question anyone still peddling the line he’s unelectable.

  3. Bill 3

    Well, still thinking he can do it – in spite of almost all msm being hostile. The SNP did it afterall – against 100% of msm being hostile. And they did it in much the same way as Jeremy Corbyn is at the moment.

    The only fly in the ointment is time. Will the rise in Labour support be linear, or more to the point, will the decline in Tory support be linear, or will it, like a chunk of ice, suddenly collapse due to an accelerating rate of exponential change?

    Obviously, anyone with half a heart and even half a brain will be hoping for non-linear shifts to kick in.

    (Just to reiterate – and no, it’s not entirely an aside – I’ll be expressing no surprise whatsoever if there’s another CW incident in Syria just prior to election day. That Falklands/Maggie effect. )

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Chemical weapons. Sorry.

        • Stunned Mullet 3.1.1.1

          Trying to corner the market in tinfoil futures Bill ?

          • Bill 3.1.1.1.1

            Looking for a lengthy ban Stunned Mullet? Try putting up an argument as to why that scenario’s unthinkable instead of school playground comments, aye?

            • Stunned Mullet 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s about as tinfoilesque a suggestion as those wags who posit that the airplanes flying into the twin towers and pentagon was all an inside job by the USA to justify their ventures into Afghanistan and Iraq.

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Well, it’s not unthinkable – the Tories could in theory have had a bunch of agents provocateurs slowly and carefully inserted into Da’esh, and those agents could at an appropriate time be delivered some sarin manufactured in Britain using the Syrians’ manufacturing techniques, to be released immediately following a Syrian regime air attack on a rebel-held area, with the White Helmets in place to record plenty of video of the results. Not unthinkable, just highly unlikely and dependent on a huge and completely watertight conspiracy (this last presumably the reason for Mullet’s “tinfoil hat” reference).

              • Hanswurst

                I imagine it would be more along the lines of an explosion or attack somewhere (possibly even something that occurs every day, but happens to be reported rather sensationally at just that point) with “initial reports” that chemical weapons may have been involved.

                It wouldn’t really matter for electoral purposes if the media had to backtrack a week later and say, “Well actually it was just a couple of kids throwing eggs at a tank”.

                • That just shifts the highly unlikely enormous and watertight conspiracy to one in which every media organisation with people covering the Syrian conflict is involved.

                  • Bill

                    Care to name any western media outlets that have consistently reported from inside Syria as opposed to reporting Syrian events from the likes of Turkey or the Lebanon?

                    The answer is none.

                    Now, when you aren’t even in the country you’re reporting on and therefor relying on second hand reports…

                    And when the UK and French governments have funded and constructed their very own media structures within the country (but given them the appearance of being independent of them and “rebel” news sources)…

                    Yeah, where’s the need for a conspiracy PM?

            • Doogs 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Sorry Bill, can’t help myself. This is for you and a host of other people who use the incorrect spelling.

              The sound ‘ay’ is spelt ‘eh’ and ‘aye’ is pronounced ‘eye’.

              Such as “This is a great show, eh?”
              ” I voted aye to the motion.”

              Don’t be offended. It’s a modern problem, and I know I’m a pedant at heart.

              • weka

                Depends on whether one is Scottish or Kiwi 😉 Pretty sure that Bill’s use of ‘aye’ was both intentional and correct.

                • In Vino

                  If Doods thinks that English spelling and pronunciation are as simple as that, he is not much of a pedant. He is quoting one-off, isolated oddities. and pretending that there is a God-given reason for them.
                  ‘Allayed’ is not pronounced like ‘eye’, although New Zealanders and Australians make it sound that way to other English speakers.

                  • Doogs

                    Doogs, please! And nowhere did I pretend that this was god-given. What I should have said is that “in NZ usage” this is correct.

                    Interesting to hear you mention “allayed” – I think the problem of people who are not from down under hearing “all’eye’ed” is because of the very flat vowel sound as projected by Aussies in particular.

                    Examples – ‘five-a-rit’ for favourite, ‘moot’ for meat, and others. The curious exception, of course, is ‘seex’ for six.

                • McFlock

                  aye’ll agree with that…

                  • In Vino

                    Delayeted!

                  • Bill

                    Aye well, I’ll agree to agree with what you’re saying there McFlock. But only seeing as how what Weka’s said is right enough.

                    Otherwise I might have said – Eh…not sure.

                    Note to Doog. ‘That ‘eh’ as in ‘egg’.

                    • Doogs

                      FYI Bill

                      eh |eɪ|
                      exclamation
                      used to represent a sound made in speech, especially one used to express enquiry, surprise, or to elicit agreement: ‘Eh? What’s this?’.

                      aye 1 |ʌɪ| (also ay)
                      exclamation
                      archaic or dialect said to express assent; yes: aye, you’re right there.
                      • (aye aye) Nautical a response accepting an order: aye aye, captain.
                      • (in voting) I assent: all in favour say aye.
                      noun
                      an affirmative answer, especially in voting. the House divided: Ayes 211, Noes 271.

                      From the OED.
                      I do note however that ‘aye’ is also pronounced ‘ay’, and in all my years I have not heard it pronounced in the context explained above as ‘ay’. You will note that Oxford has it as archaic. Nonetheless, my main point of contention was that when you put the exclamation at the end of a statement following a comma you are expressing an enquiry, as stated in the meaning for ‘eh’.

                    • weka

                      Bill wasn’t saying ay, he was saying eye. At least that’s how I heard it. He probably knows better than any of us 😉

                • Doogs

                  Not according to my dictionary, and my 65 years of usage.

                  • McFlock

                    only if your interpretation of the original comment is correct, yes?
                    only if your interpretation of the original comment is correct, aye?

                    • weka

                      I think putting a ? with aye is a particular Scottish thing that Kiwis wouldn’t expect, hence Doog thinking Bill was saying eh (ay).

                      ‘Eh’ has to be the stupidest piece of spelling in the whole English language, which is saying something.

                    • In Vino

                      Eigh?

          • greywarshark 3.1.1.1.2

            StunnedM
            I think you mistake sarcasm for witticism.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.2

      Snowball effect = non linear increase!

      Here’s hoping, go Jeremy!!

    • DoublePlusGood 3.3

      Surely if they were going to do a false flag incident they would do it in London for maximum fear?

      • Bill 3.3.1

        Oooh! And then suggest that evil Assad is bombing the UK. Fuck, I think even the most gullible of the gullible would have problems believing that one.

        It’s about outrage DPG – not fear. (And if before June 8th, possibly about getting May a bump in the polls. She’s alreay said she wants a new vote on military action in Syria if she wins the election) Assad is to be removed. So let’s bomb the country back to the stone age same as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Oh. Can’t. Need a pretext.

        Enter chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians by their own government.

        People will again believe Assad to be a psychopathic idiot. People again won’t allow themselves to countenance the fact that the heachoppers making the claims and sending the tweets and making the vids and what not are a UK/US/EU presence in Syria that has been bank-rolled to the tune of $100 million +. (Not a bad amount of money for what by some accounts is only 3000 people)

        An never mind if all evidence points to headchoppers unleashing the chemicals (eg Ghouta – remnants of a rocket that did not have the range to have come from government controlled areas, Khan Sheikhoun- even photographic evidence showed the projectile was not delivered from the air) ‘we’ got blanket media control – facts schmacts.

        • Stunned Mullet 3.3.1.1

          “People will again believe Assad to be a psychopathic idiot.”

          Whether you’re for or ‘agin’ him I didn’t think their were many that had stopped believing he’s a psychopathic idiot outside of the usual apologists and sycophants.

          • Bill 3.3.1.1.1

            Personally neither for nor agin.

            But tell me. When did people begin thinking he was a psychopathic idiot? Was it at any time during his Presidency before 2011?

            I guess the genesis of the idea must be somewhere in the first 10 years of his Presidency, yes? And I’m guessing the western media was jam packed with stuff, between the time of him becoming President in 2000 and the beginnings of 2011, about how he was a lunatic.

            Except.

            Do your own time bound google search. Come back and tell me what you’ve found. (You won’t need much space.)

        • Cemetery Jones 3.3.1.2

          This is my concern about the situation. May is going to win big time because of Brexit, and the reason for that is of course that Corbyn’s opponents won’t respect the vote, while I suspect he does, albeit with some legitimate concerns. But by refusing to allow Corbyn to be realistic about Brexit, they are going to hand May a very strong majority – and she will be using it for war in Syria long before she uses it for Brexit.

  4. weka 4

    I’ve forgotten how FPP works. Can Labour choose to govern if it gets together with Libdems, SNP etc the day after the election? Who determines who is allowed to form govt?

    • Same as here – whoever controls a majority in Parliament gets to be the government. If that majority consists of three parties, it doesn’t matter as long as they agree on confidence and supply.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        No PM. No need for any confidence and supply agreement or arrangement. It’s a fixed term parliament.

    • Bill 4.2

      Any party looking to form the government must secure 50%+ of an initial vote of confidence.

      Theoretically (and ignoring the N Irish parties because I can never remember which of them falls where in terms of Westminster’s divides) if the Tories can’t secure a 50%+ vote, then Labour could get the nod from the Green, SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru…and if that’s 50%+, then Labour form the government.

      After that, it’s up to them what arrangements (if any) they come to with any other party.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Ok, so it’s not 44 vs 35 (yougov below), it’s more like 44 vs 44. In which case it’s already a very tight election. I’m guessing that SNP puts the left bloc ahead. Why are people not talking about this? Is it because the Lib Dems are hedging their bets, and/or can’t be trusted?

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          Or 47 vs 44 if Ukip/Tories form, which I assume they will. We need a FPP calculator.

          Are you sure it’s 50% of the vote, or 50% of the seats?

          • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.1.1

            It’s effectively 50% of the seats, since the confidence vote is a vote by MPs in the House.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.1

              ta.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1.2

              And each seat is the result of a plurality vote in each electorate rather than a proportional vote across the country.

              • AB

                Yes – it’s FPP, so can give completely aberrant and anti-democratic results.
                In 2015 the Tories got 36.9% of the popular vote and won 330 (50.8%) of the 650 seats in the Commons, i.e. a variance of +13.9%
                Labour got 30.4% of the popular vote and won 232 (35.7%) seats, a variance of +5.3%. The big losers in terms of seats versus proportion of the popular vote were UKIP and the Greens.

                This is why we have MMP in NZ – because no government with just 36.9% of the vote has any legitimacy whatsoever – yet in the UK they basically get to run the show. Margaret Thatcher never got more than 43.9% of the popular vote. FPP is a total crock.

                Generally speaking under FPP – a 9% lead over your main rival in the popular vote across the country will probably translate into a very large majority of seats in parliament.
                You can see this from the 2015 results – the Tories 6.5% lead in the popular vote over Labour gave them a 15.1% lead in the number of seats.

                So the gap has to close a lot more before we can pop any corks. Hoping beyond hope though

                Even more bizzarely, when the UK had a referendum in 2011 to change from FPP to an alternative, it was rejected by a proportion of 2:1 of voters. Talk about voting for your own enslavement.

          • mickysavage 4.2.1.1.2

            Complicated because 44 v 35 in an FPP enviroment will give the Tories a great number of seats but the SNP’s 56 or seats will potentially be very important.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.2.1

              Ok, so the only way to understand what the electorate is thinking pre-election would be to poll each electorate? Doesn’t that make a nonsense of the 10% Tory lead media thing?

        • Bill 4.2.1.2

          You can’t easily translate the voting percentages into seats because although the SNP only have something like 6% of the UK vote, they’ll win over 50 seats, while if UKIP had 6% of the vote, they probably wouldn’t win a single seat.

  5. weka 5

    This from Corbyn,

    “#YouGov/#SundayTimes #Tory lead collapsing, the lowest since last year. #May’s lead has halved – #RT as this should be #trending #GE17”

    Conservatives 44% -5
    Labour 35% +4
    Lib Dem 9% no change
    Ukip 3% no change

  6. weka 6

    🤔 John Palethorpe‏ @jjpalethorpe 3m3 minutes ago

    That Tory lead in the UK polls is mostly down to the utter collapse of the UKIP vote, now the Tories have gone full eye-ball swivel.

    That’s something Gordy Brown and Ed Miliband didn’t have to deal with, the UKIP eurosceptic bulwark pulling votes across constituencies.

    Given the anti-Corbs Labour lot insist he couldn’t win, that Labour’s polling similar to Blair ’05 really is a repudiation of that idea.

    https://twitter.com/jjpalethorpe/status/866097814777995264

  7. Rob 7

    Just like last time, can’t wait to see the exit polls. But keep getting your hopes up and spending hours on intellectualising the situation without truly grasping what it’s all about.

    • Ed 7.1

      Rob, your comment appears as a comment on the initial post – perhaps you could tell us just what it is all about – or did you intend this to be a comment on another comment? – or were you trolling?

  8. adam 8

    This could be a win and lose election for the Tories. They could win, and be the losers. They will have a real united left in Parliament against them. Every day austerity will be questioned, every day questions will be asked about their decisions with clear and well presented alternatives now on the table.

    Like I said they other day – TINA is dead, and I don’t think any of the liberal parties can handle a world which not only questions them, but puts well thought out, and constructive alternatives.

  9. Ad 9

    June 8.
    16 days.
    10 points apart.
    Now A .8% shift per day to do it.

    Much further apart than last time.
    Don’t wish for a miracle.

    Anyone who wants to tilt for Corbyn, donate 100 pounds today.

  10. Glenn 10

    He may do well with the grey vote that usually goes Tory.

    “He told an audience in Birmingham: “Not satisfied with plunging our social care system into crisis, Theresa May’s nasty party has promised more attacks on older people – scrapping the triple-lock on state pensions, removing the winter fuel allowance and asset stripping the ill by forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.

    “Labour will protect the winter fuel allowance and triple-lock on state pensions to deliver a secure and dignified retirement for all, and spend an extra £45 billion on the NHS and social care over five years, so that older people can get the care they deserve…society should not be setting the future of our young against security for the old. We have the wealth to offer a decent, secure life for all.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-eyes-grey-vote-accuses-theresa-may-triple-whammy-attack-on-pensioners-manifesto-a7747036.html

    Imagine even when you live in your own home being charged for every bit of care needed to keep you out of hospital. Half hour visit by the district nurse..ding.. 50 pounds please or would you like your estate billed?

    Strong and Stable says Theresa May….Idi Amin probably used the same slogan.

    • “He told an audience in Birmingham: “Not satisfied with plunging our social care system into crisis, Theresa May’s nasty party has promised more attacks on older people – scrapping the triple-lock on state pensions, removing the winter fuel allowance and asset stripping the ill by forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.”

      Who the merry hell do these Tory / neo liberals think the fuck they are ?!!?

      The hell with them !

      ” Strong and Stable says Theresa May….Idi Amin probably used the same slogan.”

      That calls for a song .

      Idi Amin – the Amazin’ Man song – YouTube
      Video for idi amin song▶ 4:50

  11. Sanctuary 12

    Latest polling has the Tories down 12%, Labour up 9% and the gap between the parties now single figures.

    More to the point, the momentum shift is all with the Labour party. Yesterday Corbyn pulled a huge crowd of many thousands in super marginal Wirral West.

    Corbyn has definitely surprised the Tories with his vigorous old-style campaigning. he is pulling big crowds and is getting political cut-through in the face of a hostile media, in a manner very similar to how other popular uprisings against the liberal capitalist establishment have succeeded.

    The Labour manifesto offered the one desperately yearned for ingredient missing in some much of the triangulated politics of the radical centre – hope. People are daring to hope and even the Corbyn nay-sayers are moving back to Labour and saying they will vote for Labour because of it’s policies.

    • Bill 12.1

      🙂 And there was The Guardian banging on just the other day about how he was only pulling any kind of a crowd in safe Labour territory (eg – Hebden Bridge).

  12. McFlock 13

    This is beginning to look like a bloody nose for the tories, regardless of final outcome.

  13. hectorjones electrical 14

    Our only hope is demo-cracy. Funny how that translates into oldsters–Corbyn, Sanders– who were active before the ‘return of the rich’ in 1980. I.e. the ‘ leftists’ in power since have been as weak as wishes–more importantly, dubious. Long live the people–more appositely, the politicians who believe in the rule of the people.

    Funny though, it was as simple as the politics overthrown in 1980. I was there and almost immediately opposed the ‘friends of the rich’ in power, as did a lot of others. At the least, I would have preferred Ozzy’s ever-dubious-of-authority forcefulness of resistance. Neoliberalism was bankrupt from the start.

    They took advantage of NZers’ reasonableness. My older family were fierce about not taking a backward step. Even my gentle grandfather exhibited this in one of my few memories of him: a dairyowner gave him an Australian coin in change–fireworks. It could be interpreted as pedantry, but with that pedantry we would still have our old social-democracy. It was heresy for them to place their weight on their back foot.

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