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A depressingly persuasive analysis… March 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…from Eddie Ford and the Weekly Worker on foot of the recent UK by elections. Three quotes in particular stand out.

Firstly in relation to the recent by-elections in the UK:

Essentially, in Copeland a big slice of the Ukip vote simply marched into the Tory camp. There is every reason to think that that this pattern will be replicated, to one degree or another, in the general election, as May ploughs ahead with her Brexit plans – EU deal or not, World Trade Organisation rules or not. If Brexit actually happens, which is a possibility in the new world of Trump, that would further place a question mark over Ukip’s future – with job done, surely time to close shop. Then again, if Marine Le Pen does defy the polls and becomes president of France – not something you can completely dismiss – then the EU will be finished anyway, almost making Brexit redundant. There would be nothing to exit.

Then in relation to the potential for a ‘centrist third party’ he writes:

But the situation today is totally different. British politics is increasingly polarised, albeit in contradictory ways, between left and right – and now is being repolarised along Brexit lines, with even more contradictory outcomes. The centre ground is not undergoing a significant revival. In Stoke and Copeland the Lib Dems merely showed that they still exist. Nor does anyone in the Labour Party seriously think that there is going to be another SDP that is going to provide them with an alternative career plan – or dislodge Jeremy Corbyn.

And finally:

When you look at opinion polls, what is immediately noticeable is not the growth of the centre – forget it – but the strength of the Tory Party, increasing its electoral position over this period to almost 1950s levels of support. Hence a YouGov poll, published on February 17, has the Conservatives on 40% and Labour on 24% – with the Lib Dems on 11% and Ukip on 15% (support for other parties totals 11%).6 Theresa May continues to be the favoured choice for prime minister, with 49% of people preferring her to Corbyn. The Labour leader is backed by only 15% of voters, whilst 36% don’t know.

And Ford argues that the current line of the BLP which appears to almost set itself at odds with a good two thirds or more of its voters and the majority of its activists, that is to seem to be de facto supporting a hard Brexit rather than pushing for the softest Brexit possible, is a significant error. As he writes ‘Consolidate your base’.


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