Saturday, 10 June 2017

Well That Was The Result That Was. #GE2017

We don't need any more post-election analysis. This is not the post-election analysis you were looking for. These are just my own feelings on what happened.

May has been awful pretty much from day one of her premiership. Her lack of judgement is only slightly worse than her love of meaningless phrases. She likes to talk about unifying the country but has made NO effort to do so. She talk(ed)s of "Strong and Stable Government" just after calling an election that risks total uncertainty before the Brexit negotiations.

Over the last few days that lack of judgement has become obvious even to many True Believing Tories. Her election trouble was not inevitable (forgetting for a moment the election itself was absolutely unnecessary). If she'd compromised on her Brexit message (yes the referendum was won by Leave but the result was close, throw the Remainers a bone!) and truly united the nation. If she'd thought through the need for a positive message at election time ("Only I can save the country" works when you're the challenger, not when you represent the 7 year incumbent party). If she'd actually explained ANYTHING she planned to do after an increased majority was given.

Some still deceive themselves (one of her outgoing advisors still thinks she is a unifying Prime Minister!) but most accept she misread the mood of the nation.

However she didn't misread the mood of the right-wing electorate. Among all this fuss about her failures many seem to be missing the sheer number of people who did vote for her. Her problem was Labour also had a huge number vote for them. After the Tories destroyed the Lib Dems in 2015, the progressive vote wasn't as split as it used to be and with the Brexit message former Lib Dem voters who supported that nice Mr Cameron aren't likely to stick with the UKIP-courting Tories of 2017. Tory strategy of defeat the Lib Dems was a thought about only short-term without thinking that it might not be the best idea long-term.

And Labour. A few seats up from their 2010 result when they went into Opposition. The glory of this result is more to do with expectation management than a stunning victory. A check mate of a Tory majority. Now if Labour can keep their voters, and wait out the disasters that seem inevitable under the current Tory leadership and subsequent drop in Tory support, they could win their own landslide at the next election. But that is a big ask. Whether they could do better with a less left-wing, non-terrorist supporting leader is academic. Corbyn did better than expected. Big whoop.

Speaking of low expectations... didn't the Lib Dems do well? Sure we lost the greatest Parliamentarian of this century so far and vote share. Sure we failed to gain back second place status in some seats we were previously in contention for. Sure our campaign barely registered nationally. Sure our leader often failed to convince he really meant things. But 50% seat increase! Big whoop.

Speaking of failures... the SNP. :)

May has enough seats to try to be a minority Government. There isn't any other viable option. Alas she's decided to go for broke and is looking to get into bed with the DUP for an overall majority of... 2.

A coalition of chaos with terrorist supporters and bigots? Well, you can't say May didn't see this coming.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Why I'll Probably Vote Lib Dem And You Probably Should Too

When this election was called I thought getting rid of the Tories was secondary to trying to get rid of Brexiters.

Of course this election turned out to be about everything BUT Brexit. I'm still rabidly pro-EU. I'm not giving up on the dream but I think the fight for Remain is now totally over. The fight for Return will have to start but it can't exactly do that for a while.

The Tories have shown themselves to be even more useless than I'd given them credit for. Since May took over as Prime Minister I've struggled to understand some of her actions. Her failure to actively build bridges with Remains and picking a judicial fight over Article 50 rather than just get it through the Commons first time are top among the pre-election "blunders". These pale in comparison to the errors that May has made since calling the election.

She can't help but say hypocritical things like how she was too busy thinking about Brexit to attend a debate (well you called the election during the negotiations Prime Minister!) or complain about Labour being all soundbites and no substance (this needs little explanation!). Her manifesto policies were not just poorly conceived and rather empty, they were also pretty bleak. There was no vision there, none of the promise that Brexit supposedly will bring. It was all charges and pain.

Despite being extremely cool towards Corbyn before (his stances on the Falklands War and the IRA remain deep concerns to me), he seems like a professional whilst May appears dangerously inept.

At this point I'm more concerned about the prospect of a May return than a Corbyn premiership.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems, the only party I've ever voted for at general elections, have not taken off. The Brexit focus turned out to be the wrong strategy. They remain tarnished by coalition and caught off guard in what is turning out to be a possible national re-alignment politically. But right now the Lib Dems are the most sensible of the three main national parties (though some of those "Which Party Should You Support?" websites have me down as SNP!!). Their manifesto is sensible and costed. Tim Farron is a bit wet but he's not crazy and he's not utterly inept. At this point that's the best we can hope for.

You'd think as a near life-long Lib Dem member, a past paper candidate, and a liberal to my core, the decision to vote Lib Dem should be straightforward based on what I've laid out above. However, here in Dover, Yougov have got the seat down as leaning Labour. A chance to help punish the self-obsessed Tories who've put themselves before our national interest is calling out to me. I'm fighting it, but I don't think I'll know how I'll vote until I get to the polling booth.

And if you think that's crazy just take a look at this on the Yougov projections. If accurate (take a very large pinch of salt!) it suggests we could see massive seat changes across the country unlike anything seen for many years. I still think the Tories will win handsomely. But you never know!