I’ll be brief here. Last night after the debate, I said that Amber Rudd came out the winner while Paul Nuttall was the loser. People on social media were outraged. What debate was I watching?
Rudd won because by putting in a strong performance at a time when one was necessary (and up against a crowd that was weirdly pro-Left, given it was supposed to be balanced) she will have massively improved her standing within the Conservative Party. Nuttall demonstrated how redundant UKIP have become with every breath he muttered. No one else got much out of it. Farron and Lucas were solid, but so what? It won’t change anything that’s going to happen on June 8th in the slightest.
I think the night will probably help the Tories a little bit. It was a chance to see the “coalition of chaos” in action, after all. I also think that the audience cheering every time there was an anti-fracking or pro-immigration point made (but interestingly enough, not for anything to do with stopping Brexit or a second referendum) will play into the current Tory narrative: Corbyn and his cronies are on the march, it’s a big metropolitan elite conspiracy to “steal” the election from the Conservatives, whatever you thought of the dementia tax, you need to vote Tory on June 8th or it will be Corbyn in Number 10 being led around by gaggle of lefties in other parties.
But then again, what do I know? To me, the “Labour bounce” seems very cynical; a way to make the election exciting before the Tories romp home with a large majority in a week’s time. I’m watching the Left, who a few weeks ago were telling us polls were nothing more than a cynical ploy, all of them rigged to tell a story meant to influence the way people vote, getting sucked into what appears to me to be a cynical ploy involving polls designed to get people to vote a certain way (and it’s not for Labour).
Given how many people are being taken in by this, I have sometimes wondered in the past few days: could we really be headed for Corbyn in Downing Street in what will only be a few day’s time? And then I always think, no way. Not because I really care all that much – yes, Corbyn would be a terrible prime minister but so will May – but just because I just don’t see it happening. I guess we’ll all find out soon enough.