Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A strange election in which all parties will win big

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Theresa May summoned the television cameras and announced an hour and a half ago that she was ‘going to the country’. She told the Queen, who no longer has the power to dissolve Parliament, that she was holding an election.

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 is ignored, as it can be because no law can be entrenched under an unwritten constitution.

It’s a very odd election because all the main parties will probably gain.

The election is very good news for Labour because they will be annihilated now, not in 2020. They will therefore get to choose a new leader in June. There is no obvious leader but any leader will be very much better than the present extreme left leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

The election is very good news for the Liberal Democrats because Labour will be annihilated and the Lib Dems stand to gain many formerly Labour votes and some seats (though the Lib Dems are stronger in Conservative seats).

Many Conservatives will vote Liberal Democrat using the election as a second referendum on leaving the EU.

It is even possible that the Lib Dems might replace Labour as the second party. Seriously.

An election now is also good news for the Conservatives who are expected to win a landslide instead of their narrow 8 seat majority. It will be a majority big enough to impress the other countries in the European Union.

It is also good news for the Scottish Nationalists, who hold almost all the Scottish seats in Westminster, if they stand on a platform of taking Scotland out of the United Kingdom and back into the European Union. They might lose seats but if they win a Scottish majority they will still claim a mandate for another referendum on independence.

Even Jeremy Corbyn wins because he will leave a job he obvious cannot do and go on holiday.

It's not clear who will lose.

But it will mean the end of the wonderful comfort for the Conservatives of knowing that victory at the next election was a slam dunk certainty. No government, before Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership two years ago, had enjoyed that comfort since the National Government in the 1930s.

I had expected Corbyn to be twisting in the wind till 2020.

Changing metaphors, Mrs. May is shooting her fox.

I expect the Tories will win by a landslide and imagine they will. Everyone expects this. A poll over Easter predicted a 200 seat majority. 

But how well will the Liberal Democrats do? 

Their platform will be: remaining in the Single Market. 

They could conceivably hoover up most Labour Remain votes. They could attract a lot of Conservative and other Remain votes too. 

And the British electorate punishes politicians that call unnecessary elections. You see that at by elections caused by ennobling an MP and you saw it in February 1974 when Edward Heath went suddenly to the country on the slogan ‘Who Governs Britain?’ and received the answer ‘You don’t’.

In theory, the Liberal Democrats could even come first and might even be able to stop Brexit, although they say they have accepted the referendum result. It's very unlikely indeed, as they hold a mere nine seats out of 650 and 55% of the population in the latest poll supported Brexit. 

But they used to win elections before 1918. Suppose, like a plague bacillus long buried, they came back to life?


  1. It is simply practically impossible for Lib Dems to actually 'win' - more probable is that Labour will lose many seats to them. I believe that there are 650 constituencies/seats. Made up of Tories (330) Labour (229 SNP (54) ) Lib Dems (9) + the others.. One would assume that Labour will lose approx 25% of their seats to LibDems and 10% to Tories, ( maybe the SNP will lose seats to the Tories also) that would then give them the req majority and 'carte blanche' to take the UK out of the godforsaken mess that is the EU Commission. I am sure the gov analysts are confident of a 'result'. The UK can then lead the way once again. And June is great month for the feel good factor.

  2. This is, constitutionally speaking, the proper course of action. To go to the country when Parliament is out of step with public opinion over so great a question.
    Labour are going to be eviscerated and the Lib Dems will not get anywhere as fast as they think because they still lack a political tribal backing. Protest parties do not win elections.

    1. Tell that to the Pirates, in near binary situations all bets are off.

  3. The Lib Dems and SNP find themselves in interesting opposite situations - for the latter, having won 56 out of 59 seats, the only way is down, and Sturgeon has just started distancing herself from "voting SNP means another independence referendum", having found that costs her more votes than it gains; meanwhile, for the Lib Dems, merely returning to double digits would be a "recovery" after their 2015 obliteration.

    This probably puts Sturgeon in the bizarre situation of almost certainly losing seats, yet reversing on her current stance and spinning that loss of seats as a "victory" and "mandate", directly contradicting her current position. The Lib Dems, of course, will have some gains and spin this as a mandate to undermine Brexit, but they've been reciting that from their little corner all along and nobody's listened: even if they manage to retake third place, will that change?

    "The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 is ignored, as it can be because no law can be entrenched under an unwritten constitution."

    No, it hasn't been ignored - it was precisely that legislation which Parliament invoked to trigger this election! That Act said calling an early election would require a two-thirds vote to do so, which is what happened.