Tag Archives: election diary

Election Diary 3: Into the final stretch

Harold Wilson stated more than fifty years ago that a week was a long time in politics, and in a general election campaign this is especially true. There are just under two weeks left until the country goes to the polls, and a huge proportion is still up for grabs in this most divisive election. It is also the most important since Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979, which fundamentally changed Britain, for better or worse. 

It is therefore little surprise that two main parties have recently shifted their focus going into the final weeks and days of the campaign. Labour, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s increased poll ratings, has not garnered enough support to pose a real threat to Boris Johnson’s plans for majority rule. His party has now focused its attempts on retaining its Northern Leave-voting seats, which could give the Lib Dems an opportunity to heavily target previously Labour-supporting Remainers. The huge spending pledges have not caught the public’s imagination as much as Corbyn and Seumas Milne would have wanted, nor have their plans for large-scale renationalization. Or, for that matter, the party’s disgraceful failure to combat, let alone admit to, its anti-Semitism. 

A new poll, employing a method that accurately predicted the 2017 election result claims that the Lib Dems are on course for thirteen MPs if the election were held today. If true, this would a disastrous. After the recent successes in European and local elections, such a poor showing would mean that the Remain voice would have virtually no voice in Parliament, and would, I fear, mean the final failure of the Remain campaign as a whole. 

The party’s pledge to revoke Article 50 is one of the main reasons for this slump. Speaking to even the most ardent Europhiles, I have found a disquiet about the policy. For Jo Swinson to succeed, she needs to position herself as the moderate, opposing both the extremes of Corbyn and Johnson. Supporting revoking does exactly the opposite. It presents the Liberal Democrats as un-democratic, ignoring the first vote and not allowing even a second. Much anger in the public at this extreme turn has meant that a rethink is needed if the current poll figures are to be reversed. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 32 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDj Pocock 13th Dec - 4:12pm
    Tbh I just don't think the appeal is broad enough. As a working class liberal I feel like the only one here at times. We...
  • User AvatarSean Hyland 13th Dec - 4:04pm
    As a Lib Dem supporter but not a party member can i respectfully offer some views. I can in some respects see why a focus...
  • User AvatarHywel 13th Dec - 4:03pm
    This hasn't aged terribly well....
  • User AvatarRuss Kent 13th Dec - 4:03pm
    Sad to say this, but if the Tories and Labour were so bad, why did the LibDems not capitalise. What did they do wrong that...
  • User AvatarHywel 13th Dec - 3:59pm
    "The election result might not have been completely terrible" It's impossible to take an article that begins this way seriously. The party does need to...
  • User AvatarChristian 13th Dec - 3:47pm
    With hindsight it was a mistake not to try and find Chukka Umna a safer seat. When it comes to it he’s probably the leader...
Tue 7th Jan 2020