Thursday, April 20, 2017

It May All Backfire For May

And so. Everyone and his uncle is predicting that British Prime Minister and her Conservative Party will reap the rewards of a double digit polling lead over the opposition Labour Party, and win the General Election in June by a landslide. I'm not so sure.
Yes. She will win. I'm going to stick my neck out and say, with a majority of no more than 20-30. Which will be seen as a shocker. Bearing in mind she has a majority of 17 now.
The first thing that everyone forgets is how badly all the pollsters got their call of the 2015 General Election, and why. You may remember (because I'm an insufferable pr**k, and won't let you forget), I was one of the few to call that election correctly. And the reason is that I paid attention to the true nature of the underlying trends.
Most analysts - even now - say the unexpectedly good result for the Tories was due to a collapse in the Liberal vote. This was true of the seats that the Conservatives gained in the South-West. But, in the North of England, it was the Labour vote which collapsed.
So. All this talk of the huge majority that May will rack up, due to a collapsing vote in the North of England? Folks. It already happened. But. But. The polls, Geoff. The polls. What about the double digit lead that the Tories didn't have back then?
First, we live in a totally different age now. I mean, literally. The SNP closing out Labour in Scotland. Brexit changing the political landscape. Tactical voting now being second nature. Fake news. Alternative facts. Leaders who lie as a political philosophy.
No-one actually tells the truth to pollsters any more. Polls are no more than Christmas wish lists, people thinking aloud, wondering 'what if.' You watch those polls tighten dramatically as reality strikes home. Or not, as folks continue to lie.
Won't make any difference. Because this election is going to be about the stay-at-homes. Tory voters are pretty good at turning out. But, what about those Conservative Remainers? They are used to expressing displeasure by hopping over to the Liberal Democrats. Look at Richmond. They know May is going to win. So, maybe a few surprises there?
Yeah. Liberals Democrats are hopping with joy. But, they worked decades to get to some 54 MP's just a couple of elections ago. They'll pick up a lot of Tory Remainers. But they'll lose some of their own Leavers. Plus, their left-wing, which deserted to Labour in 2015. They ain't coming back. And the few Tory seats they may pick up in the South and South-West. Will be offset by the potential gains they lose to the Tories in the North. Where former Labour Leavers, who moved to UKIP in 2015 (the Labour collapse pollsters missed in 2015), will now switch from UKIP to the Conservatives. Snatching several potential gains from the Liberals.
Please note that last point. This, in my opinion, may well be the trend that everyone else misses this time. UKIP Leavers in the North switching to the Conservatives in droves. But, not enough to offset a surprisingly strong Labour showing, a low Tory turnout overall, and strong(ish) Liberal activity.
Which brings us to Labour. Yes, there are too many who dislike Corbyn. Yes, there are those who will say, s**t, we're going to lose anyway, let's send a message we want Corbyn gone. But. The core Labour folk. The diehards. Those who still sing the Labour anthems in the grimy sandstone temples they call Labour Clubs. They'll turn out. Along with all those Momentum acolytes. The collapse won't be enough to hand May a 100-seat majority.
I could go on. But. Bottom line? One more time. Too many Tories will stay at home. Labour already collapsed in 2015. Any more collapsing between the main parties will pretty much offset itself. Save for UKIP shifting to the Tories in the North. The Liberal Democrats will be lucky to come away with about 60 seats. And, as I say, the Tory majority will be no more than about 30. And the history books will excoriate May. Who will be gone by the following General Election.

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