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UK General Election. Negatives and positives? May 12, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Seat projections on foot of polls in UK. Depressing.

Very very depressing.

But are there any silver linings in all this? Any suggestions?

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1. irishelectionliterature - May 12, 2017

Hard to see any positives. Labours manifesto seemed good, but they are being undermined from within and unexpectedly the anti Labour media coverage is incredible.
To see the Tories possibly winning a good number of seats in Scotland running almost purely on a Unionist ticket is awful too.
Theresa May is being totally stage managed and has zero charisma.

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Aonrud ⚘ - May 12, 2017

The effect of anti-Labour media and optics are really highlighted by the polls indicating majority support for several of their policies – banning zero-hours, renationalising rail, and others – while, on which party ‘seems to have more realistic and well thought through policies’, a majority answered Conservatives.

If people could be convinced to look at the policy…

Listening to the 6pm news on Radio 4 yesterday, they played a series of vox-pop recordings of people who’d ‘voted Labour all their life’ but couldn’t ‘bring themselves to’ this time, with little analysis or further questioning. They could have asked, how is this so substantively different from previous elections? For those who could vote, why didn’t you have the same problem in ’83? etc.

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Mick 2 - May 12, 2017

The reasons people give for not voting Labour in those vox pops never cease to amaze. One of the commonest refrains from anti-Corbyn MPs and talking heads is “you can’t blame the media for everything”. Not everything, obviously, but to listen to the parroted nonsense responses to “Why aren’t you voting Labour then?” in vox pops, the effect of the relentless character assassination of Corbyn couldn’t be clearer. One of the most astonishing answers, which comes up again and again, is that he’s unelectable. In other words, the Tories don’t need my vote because they’re going to win anyway and drive a bulldozer through my community, so I’ll vote for the Tories. Then there’s the “he’s a bit scruffy” stuff. Dire.

I recommend John Harris’s campaign trail videos at the Guardian. They’re basically vox pops fleshed out into ten-minute shorts. I don’t like his articles but these are fantastic. He and his cameraman seem to have a knack for capturing vivid moments of pathos, anger, hope… Here’s a very sad one… https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2017/may/09/cuts-anger-frustration-and-labour-still-cant-break-through-video … and a more hopeful one… https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2017/feb/22/they-dont-care-about-us-the-anger-and-apathy-behind-the-stoke-byelection-video

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2. Ed - May 12, 2017

Positives? In the short term (this side of next month’s election), I see very few. In the medium to long term, possibly. Labour has climbed a bit in the polls since the election was called, to around 30%, which was their vote share in 2015. Under the circumstances, if they could repeat Miliband’s performance two years ago, it would be a real achievement. Almost certainly the same vote share would still result in them losing seats, if the UKIP vote collapses and goes to the Tories. But it would still be an achievement to maintain the same levels of support in spite of all the internal turmoil and the fallout from Brexit.

Stephen Bush has some ideas for why Labour’s polling has improved here:

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/june2017/2017/05/unnoticed-and-unreported-jeremy-corbyn-surging-polls

He includes as one theory that the polls have simply got it wrong and are overestimating Labour’s support, which can’t be ruled out. The pollsters have made adjustments to their methodology that were supposed to address the problem of Labour’s support being overestimated last time; I also wonder if the ‘shy Tory’ phenomenon is such a factor now, after 18 months of media coverage telling people that Labour is toxic in every conceivable way. Anyway, it’s worth bearing in mind before counting any unhatched chickens, even small ones.

But if the polls turn out to be accurate, and Labour gets about 30% on election day, that will be an important marker for the next five or ten years. Labour’s right wing and their press allies are already gearing up for the immediate post-election period, they want to oust the left from the leadership (not just Corbyn as an individual, of course) and turn sharply to the right on the economy, immigration, defence and foreign policy etc; if they get their way, Labour will be standing well to the right of Blairism over the next few years. I expect they will also launch a major purge of the membership.

Trying to stop that from happening will be very difficult, and perhaps impossible. But a better-than-expected election performance would make it a little bit easier to resist the pressure for a drastic shift to the right. That matters a lot for what happens over the next five years or so: once the election is over and the Brexit negotiations start in earnest, May is going to have to make some hard choices and disappoint some parts of the pro-Brexit coalition. There’s also a very good chance that her government will make a complete mess of the whole thing. There will be opportunities for the main opposition party to capitalize on the whole balls-up, so it matters a great deal whether that party is anchored to the left or to the right. Labour’s manifesto is mostly excellent; unfortunately it’s not going to be a blueprint for government in a few weeks’ time, but it’s important to keep ideas like that on the table for a few years’ time. If we can’t do that, the future is going to be very bleak indeed; any backlash against the failure of Brexit may just result in another shift to the right.

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3. GW - May 12, 2017

Hm – I don’t know. The Tories will win by a largeish margin, but perhaps not by such a huge one.

But perhaps I’m just feeling unusually optimistic today, and whether that will make any difference in the context of Brexit is doubtful.

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4. irishelectionliterature - May 12, 2017
Mick 2 - May 12, 2017

Ha, whoops, didn’t see you’d posted it too. Watched it at work a few days ago and was almost crying at my desk. Really quite distressing.

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irishelectionliterature - May 12, 2017

There’s another one on Facebook that focuses on The Labour lady and the Father in the wheelchair. Really is grim stuff.

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5. CL - May 12, 2017

“Margaret Thatcher’s economics have achieved her political objectives: they have reduced the civil society that supported Labour to quaint pieces of heritage”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/09/labour-wales-industry

“Labour is fighting back in Wales – but the Conservatives are still on course for an historic triumph at the general election…
http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2017/05/08/the-latest-welsh-general-election-poll/

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6. Dermot O Connor - May 12, 2017

Tories “get what they want”. Gypsy curse.

If JC holds on until the convention and allows rule changes to the leadership, that’s also a boon. Hopefully a lot of Lab MPs to lose will be careerist Blairites, to boot.

The labour right would sooner see a tory win than a left winger (see Lol Duffy vs. Angela Eagle, 1992), only fair to return the compliment.

The dynamics of this election are unique (BREXIT), so will be moot 4 or 5 years out.

Also, LibDems -1, haha. They “got what they want” in 2010.

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