Yesterday afternoon seems so long ago now. Back when we had some vague hope that somehow the Tories wouldn’t get a majority, yet Labour would lose badly enough to get rid of Corbyn. Tactical voting would work, it really would. Raab and Johnson are going to lose their seats. Now, we’re here in the early moments of a new era of Tory hegemony.
In 2017, right after the general election, I stuck my neck out by writing a book entitled “Apocalypse Delayed: Why the Left is Still in Trouble”, the thesis of which is that the next election would turn out, well, much like this one has done. Yet even when the data pointed to this happening pre-exit poll, I resisted it. I didn’t want to face the truth even when it was staring me in the face.
I write this as all but eight seats have declared. It is clear that the Tories not only have a majority, but a massive one. Boris Johnson has won. He will be prime minister for as long as he likes. If you want upsides to this, I’ll try my best: he’s less likely to be forced into no deal at the end of next year now. With a large majority and the Labour Party in ruins, Johnson can afford to piss off the ERG. Where are they going to go? Farage has destroyed the Brexit Party to help Johnson get this huge win. Everyone is so sick of Brexit that any complaints will fall on deaf ears. Boris is the Brexit king now.
The Labour Left have been ruthlessly exposed. They are trying to blame the loss on Brexit, but that makes no sense – why does Brexit have to be a handicap for the Labour Party, not the Conservative Party who created the whole mess and have been stewards of it in government for the last three and a half years? The other scapegoat is the Liberal Democrats. Come one, guys, seriously. Yes, it split the Remain vote in a handful of London seats, but that isn’t why Labour lost Bolsover. You’ve lost a huge chunk of the country that has religiously voted Labour for decades. It’s because you picked a leader people don’t like. It was clear they didn’t like him, but you stuck with him anyway. So, you lost, very badly.
This gives us some hope that Labour can turn itself around. They’ll have to, eventually: the Lib Dems have destroyed themselves as a credible alternative. No one is going to leave either of the two big parties to join the Lib Dems after what happened to the defectors. We all have to hope the Labour membership come to their senses and get tired of losing.
What’s ahead? Looks like years and years of being in “transition” while Johnson tries to get a trade deal with the EU and the US and fails on both fronts continuously. No one will really care though, I don’t think; it won’t hurt him with his newfound base. Yes, the Tories now need to deliver to their seats in the north of England – in theory, at least. They could easily be given another chance no matter what if Labour keep insisting on putting up terrible leaders to run against them.
At some point today, I’m putting out a forensic examination of where I think it all went wrong with the Lib Dem election campaign. Until then, I’m going to sleep.