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.
Corbyn won’t be in Downing Street because whatever the froth of the ‘party lead’ figures, May is ahead on every polled measure of who would be the best Prime Minister.
And as 2015 showed, that’s what counts when people put their X in the box: no matter what happened which the Conservative lead, the Labour lead, people just didn’t think Ed Milliband would be the best Prime Minister. And so he wasn’t.
People can tell pollsters whatever they like about which party they are thinking of voting for; but when it comes to the serious business of voting, they are thinking about who they want standing outside number 10, and all the evidence is that that is not Jeremy Corbyn.
[By the way — I only saw the opening statements, but is it just me or can Farron really not do comedy? I felt embarrassed for him, having to say those forced lines with that over-egged delivery, and he really didn’t read the room.]
Dean W says
@K Yes,judging by post debate media reaction you’re pretty much alone in your views on Tim Farron’s performance. Still can’t please all the people….
Paul W says
This election reminds me of 1992, only the threat to the UK from Momentum Labour is turbo-charged and real on just about every level.
So I will leave the last word to Sir John Major (5 April 1992):
“If I could summon up all the authority of this office I would put it into this single warning – the United Kingdom is in danger. Wake up, my fellow countrymen. Wake up now, before it is too late.”
So the GE choice comes down to something akin to;
Would you rather step in a smelly turd or a sticky turd?
John Minard says
Yeah I think Rudd did much better than May would have done, and more than held her own. She got the sound bites including the ‘Money Tree’ jib at Corbyn, who looked and acted rather tired, or maybe he’s a bit of a gent, a softy at heart, he didn’t want to go for the slap down! Someone harder and more quick-witted would have took that ball and scored by saying something like “well you can talk – who knows what other surprises you have in store with an uncosted manifesto – that’s your ‘money tree’ (pointing to the studio audience), their private wealth, their national insurance!!” Always use greater force against itself!
In other news, see how the Tory’s today have gone totally OTT with Barclays blue! A very reassuring colour but also a nice attack angle!!
Farron’s behaviour in the Andrew Neil interview was on a par with the worst car crashes we’ve seen in the campaign. Did he not have any inkling of how painful it is listening to that kind of thing?