The polls look dire for anyone but the Conservative party. Labour are floundering, as they were always going to, and the Lib Dems have been effectively squeezed. The latter has come about due to a combination of the fact that both the Tories and Labour have an interest in seeing the Lib Dems crushed, the Tories in order to win, Labour in order to destroy any nascent centrist uprising, and the fact that the Lib Dems have not run a good campaign, at least at national level.
The Lib Dems are so fearsome of attacking Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in any meaningful sense that I am starting to worry that this is intentional. When I was working on the Yes to AV campaign all those years ago, focus groups told the campaign that when it was explained to them, people on the whole didn’t really like AV. So, the campaign decided it would avoid talking about AV as much as possible. Which meant that the No side slammed the AV voting system mercilessly, while our side talked about making MPs work harder. It wasn’t a surprise we lost 68-32. I fear that the Lib Dems have got some focus group shite telling them that people really like Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Instead of realising that this was what they needed to break down, they thought “Let’s talk about building a better future instead. Everyone loves us again and has totally forgotten about what they didn’t like about the coalition.”
The one thing the Lib Dems have managed to communicate effectively is that they won’t put Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10. I could have thought of less painful ways they could have gone about doing this than making a bad puppet video, but I do have to hand this to them. And this factor could be key. If it looks like the Tories are headed for a landslide and potential Lib Dem voters really don’t think Labour has any chance of winning, this combined with good local campaigning could mean there are enough Lib Dem MPs returned to deny the Tories a majority.
The difference between the Tories getting a majority and being in a minority situation is truly epic in terms of the future of the UK. If they get a majority, even a tiny one, BoJo will have five years to do what he likes with. The Lib Dems will fall to pieces while Corbyn carries on as leader for a bit, just long enough to install Rebecca Long-Bailey in his place. The Tories will know that not only do they have five years to govern ahead of them, no matter what problems hit them during the first half of the 2020s they will most likely face a Rebecca Long-Bailey led Labour Party at the next election. It would be a dominating position to be in.
A hung parliament, which could only mean a handful of seats less for the Tories, and we’re in a whole different political universe. Boris will have lost, his credentials as a winner permanently damaged. If the Lib Dems have done reasonably well, Corbyn is in trouble, as his plan to hang on to install RLB could be met with angry MPs not taking it, looking at the fact that Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna managed to stay in parliament despite walking out on Labour. Although it’s a long shot, Labour moderates might even be able to get hold of the party again after a brief civil war.
The Brexit landscape would be completely different as well. Everyone is assuming Johnson wouldn’t allow a second referendum, but I find this puzzling. This is a man who breaks promises all the time and is known to do whatever it takes to hang onto power. Maybe he’ll want to pack it in and ask Labour to try and form a government. But this seems out of character. Also, if Labour takes the reins, Brexit is seriously imperilled. Would the ERG types risk that? If they oust BoJo, who could they replace him with as leader that wouldn’t cause the party to have its own civil war?
The fate of the nation rests on about 20 Tory-Lib marginals, whether anyone likes that fact or not. It could see the Tories triumphantly restored to majority status, having vanquished all competitors; or it could see them humiliated, Raab taking the place of Portillo this time out. If you care about Brexit not happening, I would go and canvass in those seats.
Remain alliance says
Let’s be clear about this nick
There is a majority remain vote over leave
The liberals love in with tory austerity for 5 years shows they can compromise heavily
If they are determined to stop brexit then they must seek a stop brexit pact with a remain labour party
Corbyn is irrelevant he is neutral
McDonnell is up for it
Both parties for the love of god want a second referendum
Why let boris and farage get their hard brexit
If the tories win a majority on the back of swinson doing a clegg then your party will be crushed forever
It is one minute to midnight look at the polls
In the name of god come to an arrangement with labour in a remain alliance or both are going down in flames
Labour can come back the liberals wont
Ben Rich says
Labour can certainly deliver votes to the Lib Dems in seats in which the Lib Dems have a better chance of winning than Labour but this will not always be seats where Lib dems came second last time (of which there are very few) as the delta polls in say Finchley and Golders Green or Cities of London and Westminster clearly show.
In contrast many Lib Dem voters would vote Tory NOT labour if forced to choose between them overwhelmingly because of Corbyn who is anything but irrelevant. Again look at the constituency polling.
So the lesson is what really would make a difference would be if Labour would withdraw candidates across the South of England and particularly in the South West. This WOULD help Lib Dems defeat Tories.
In contrast there are very few seats where the Lib Dems can deliver a significant boost to Labour by withdrawing while at the same time they would lose all the Tory-LD marginals where the Tories would say they are in bed with Corbyn.
i am afraid that the the claim that Lab and LD voters are interchangeable is a triumph of hope over psephology…
Labour leadership is not remain , it is leave although on softer terms, anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves in their desperation to prevent brexit. Also putting Corbyn into power with his economic and foreign policies is worse than brexit and I hate the thought of a hard brexit and voted remain. Wake up and smell the coffee, Labour and Corbyn is not your salvation.
Somewhere I dream of Labour being crushed and the moderates seizing back control but its a dream as RLB will take being controlled by Milne , McCluskey and McDonnell. I just hope people like Chuka and Berger win their seats alongside with Sam from the Tories and show a centre party forming around the Liberals is viable and more move across. The problem here is the leader in Swinson is also not electable and in her case I am hoping she loses her seat forcing an early leadership election and putting Chuka in her place. Then maybe just maybe a revived centrist force is possible in 5 years stopping a corbynite labour party and more tory rule , a long shot maybe but the only route back to sanity in my view
When I was working on the Yes to AV campaign all those years ago, focus groups told the campaign that when it was explained to them, people on the whole didn’t really like AV. So, the campaign decided it would avoid talking about AV as much as possible.
Wait what? So you were actively trying to trick people into voting for something you knew they didn’t want?
Were you the baddies?
Remain alliance says
Then the result must be the yellow tories must be squeezed to an inch of their lives
As you said given the choice of voting corbyn or tories they immediately jump on the blue mattress
You are right they are not interchangeable
At last Chuka Umanna has begun to spell out directly that Johnson’s past behaviour render him utterly unfit to be Prime Minister.
“I am alarmed that somebody can spew out the range of prejudice that has flowed from his mouth during his time in public office, and lie again and again and again, and it should not be an issue in a general election.
… clearly, I do not believe he is fit to be prime minister. And if you look at the things he has said and done in his behaviour, which follows the Donald Trump playbook, that should disqualify him from being able to be in office.”
Many of Johnson’s lies are on public record as is that so many those who have worked closely with him are appalled that he should be Prime Minister.
I do hope that Chuka’s broadside will be followed up with a concerted message.
Remain alliance says
6 million public sector workers 5 percent
Nearly 4 million waspi women born in the fifties all to be compensated for stolen pension
Free student education
That’s a total over 10 million voters
The tories offer
Jack shit and hard brexit