Unless something very dramatic happens, this general election will be decided by abstainers
The Labour surge everyone keeps telling me to look out for is certainly taking its time to get going. Another new ICM poll is out there, and so far the only observation to make is that the Corbynistas are being outsurged by the Borisconis. The reds are up 2%, the blues are up 3%, the Illiberal Demogogues are down 2%, the Faragists imploding by 3%.
(2 + 3) – (2 + 3) = 0. QED
Except that this is of course a puerile analysis.
To counter the weakness from which pollsters suffer (neither adapting methodology to specific election, nor focusing on marginal seats, nor wondering why respondents might be lying) the LibLeft in Britain comes up with “Everyone knows the polls are rigged”, “The pollsters were wrong in 2017 and they’re wrong now” and “I never pay attention to opinion polls”. In other words, they peddle nonsense, certainty and denial – which pretty well sums up their outlook on life.
So let me offer an educated view.
This election is different because people are outside the comfort zone of their habitual tribal loyalties. They will not want to admit to what they see as class ‘disloyalty’ to strangers with clipboards/ on the other end of a telephone/ offering a self-completion questionnaire.
When faced with some étranger asking them how they will cast their secret vote, they often take the easy way out by saying “I’m not sure”.
In recent years, I have noticed that social/consumer research companies are increasingly uninterested in ‘Don’t Knows’. What I think they should do is try to recruit such respondents for focus group qualitative research. In the hands of a good psychologist (as opposed to the half-baked nitwits who far too often run groups these days) they could provide much-needed insight about likely election outcomes.
And so to the nub of the issue: I have a chum who still works in the market research sector. I also know another person (enough to trust him) involved in qualitative research consultancy to a political Party….which, for obvious reasons, I’m not going to name.
They unwittingly share an observation in relation to what I would term overstated levels of electoral support.
They both believe – without collusion – that in its northern strongholds, Labour is haemorrhaging voters who intend to stay at home.
These are the same electors who got Trump elected by not turning out for the Democrats in the US. The same people who made such fools of the New York Times on election eve. The same dispossessed citizens who no longer have faith in the traditional ability of ‘their’ Party to represent their interests.
Now, there are those who insist that a cabal of SNP, LibDem and Labour MPs could still, after the election, make life impossible for anyone looking to achieve at least some form of Brexit.
But statistically, since last May, the SNP has been stuck on 4%, and the LibDems have dropped from 18% to 14%. Only Labour has moved from 30% to 32%.
The Conservative Party, meanwhile, has leapt from 30% to 42% over the same period.
I’m not giving away any State secrets when I write that a lowish turnout is exactly what Team Boris wants.
So it’s hard to see, in that context, why or how the Remain franchise could “surge” to threaten Boris Johnson’s position. Of course, today as I write on 20th November, there are still 18 days to go: but those out to rubbish BoJo (and I freely admit to being one of them, because he thoroughly deserves it) have thrown everything at the man, and failed to move the electorate much. While with every day, Labour looks increasingly, opportunistically desperate. And finally, in its chosen role as supine State whore, the MSM no longer employs the skills required to dig the dirt out there.
As of this morning, the signs are that the Labour Party of Corbyn, McDonnell, Thornberry, Phillips and Lammy is going to get the most almighty thumping at the hands of the electorate.
In 2017, Corbyn faced the worst and most robotic campaigner in Tory history. In 2017, Momentum did an incredible job of sanctifying the Labour leader. Two years on, those following winds have dissipated. Further, a larger proportion of the electorate has seen the dark side of the EU….and been convinced that getting Brexit done is the best crap game in town.
Clean Leavers like myself do not want Brexit done regardless of the cost, but the hopeless mismanagement of Nigel Farage has disenfranchised even us.
What can I say? Only this: if you can get good odds at Paddy Power on a 59-61% turnout on December 12th, take them. The uniquely boring level of this General Election only serves to convince me more and more that abstention will drive the result.
And don’t get me started on TV debates. Ageing Sovyet dissembler meets heartless mendacious roué with a view to more division. TV stations vying for ratings without a thought for the National Good. They’re pointless. In that, no point made is ever of the remotest real relevance.