As promised last night, I want to devote today’s main piece to some developing realities about what the Party line-up may well look like at the next General Election. As the imminent breakaway from Labour had been the worst kept secret at Westminster over the weekend, this seemed like an appropriate time so to do.
Over the last six months, I have posted several times about the likeliness of a unique next General Election – most notably last September, and then again in December. We still await the launch of Faragism2….but it isn’t far way.
In 1981, we had the Gang of Four SDP founders, which foundered within a few years. Today we have a Gang of Seven – of whom, I have to observe, all are confirmed Remainers, and 5 out of 7 are Jewish. Predictably, they claim that theirs will be a new kind of politics. There just isn’t a great deal new about the issues that led them to leave Labour. And the idea that Chukka Umuna is a different kind of politician is on a par with the suggestion that Nicholas Soames is anorexic.
It amuses me that – so open-minded are they as a new Independent Centre Party – they dismiss out of hand the idea of joining the LibDems. The Press Conference rationale behind this at times reminded me of the Pythons mickey-take of rigid schism politics in A Life of Brian.
1: Right, so we are the People’s Front for the liberation of Judea and….
2: Er, so are we going to join up with the Judean People’s liberal Front?
1: Of course not you fuckin’ moron, we fuckin’ spit on the Judean People’s liberal Front.
But regardless of their chances, the less than Magnificent Seven have now lowered Corbyn Labour’s chances of winning a General Election from hugely unlikely to impossible. It matters not that the latest polls show Labour drawing level with the Tories: under our FPTP system, it’s winner take all at constituency level. Further, at best the breakaway will split the Left vote; at worst, it will take millions of working class Labour and Conservative voters back to UKIP’s successor under Nigel Farage.
In 2015, Farage stole more from Labour than he did from the Tories. In 2017, UKIP unwisely stood aside….thus handing the New Messiah garland to Jeremy Corbyn. Momentum Labour cannot count on that tailwind next time.
I cannot see the next Election creating anything less than divided chaos at Westminster. I feel certain that the right message about tactical voting would get the Brits a better kind of politics. I just can’t see who would deliver that message in a credibly selfless way to actually make enough voters follow the lead.
So the most likely outcome is a vote split eight ways….in roughly this order of seats:
The only coalition likely to put together a majority for power would be Remainer. Brexiteer voters would thus once again be at the mercy of a Commons MP majority. It would be a “no change” election.
But if Farage2 decides to fight only those seats that voted Leave in 2016 (and signs a real pact with ERG Leave Tories to give them a free run in their constituencies) then it could be anyone’s election…..especially if Leave MPs are smart enough to focus media minds on individual target seat polls, as opposed to the usual barely relevant popular vote nonsense that misleads us every time.
None of this takes into account a new Conservative leader, and what he or she might bring to the table. Hopefully, however, it offers a potential way out of division created by élite cheats.