Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Conservative candidate Boris Johnson are in an epic battle for the soul of Britain.
The UK general election is less than 5 weeks away. The winner will change the face of the UK for decades.
Nearly every pollster had Johnson in front, but no one is really confident of the numbers.
Radical Marxist Corbyn
In a forced distribution scheme, Labour Proposes Workers to Get 10% of Company Shares
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, and John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, want big companies to give employees a 10% stake in their business and a seat on their boards.
They plan to renationalize rail, water, energy and Royal Mail, increase corporation tax and the minimum wage, and extend workers’ rights.
Companies doing business with the government will have bosses’ pay capped and there will be a tax on financial transactions.
Corbyn proposes sheltering the homeless and forcing homeowners to sell their homes to renters at a "reasonable" price, set by the government.
Look to Venezuela for what happens when countries renationalize industries and seize private property for the "good of everybody".
Corbyn's Brexit plan is to negotiate a deal with the EU, then hold a referendum on it.
The Guardian Live Blog reported this morning: John McDonnell has announced a radical Labour plan to commit £400bn of investment to what he called the twin crises of the climate emergency and social deprivation, saying “future generations would never forgive us.” if rapid action was not taken.
Johnson is a centrist in most aspects. He supports more government spending, but let's instead call it investment.
I cannot come up with any proposal of Johnson that one could remotely be called "radical right", yet that is how Eurointelligence labeled Johnson this morning while also discussing Watson standing down as a Labour MP.
As an American journalist put it yesterday, quoting Yeats, the centre does not hold. Tom Watson is probably not the last centrist Labour MP to leave the political scene. What we find particularly depressing is that Watson's new ambition in life is to become a level 2 gym instructor and fitness book author. The UK's political centrists - pro-European Tories and Labourites have completely snookered themselves in the last 10 years. Their mass exodus from the centre has left the UK with a choice between the hard left and the hard right.
Faulty Definition of Centrist
The centrists in Eurointelligence's view are those who wish to kowtow to the asinine policies and procedures of the EU, having no national say.
Johnson genuinely wants to work out a good free trade deal. If he can't do that, he is willing to walk away.
With Remain on one side and Hard Brexit on the other, Johnson's position isn't radical, it's centrist. So are his proposals for spending more money.
Eurtointelligence is half-right. Corbyn an extreme-left radical so much so that in the last two days, two prominent Labour MPs are actively promoting Johnson.
Former Labour MP Ian Austin Urges Voters to Back Johnson
The Guardian notes Former Labour MP Ian Austin Urges Voters to Back Boris Johnson
“There’s only two people who are going to be prime minister on December 13. Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson. And I think Jeremy Corbyn is completely unfit to lead our country. Completely unfit to lead the Labour party,” said Austin, adding "The Labour party’s been poisoned with anti-Jewish racism under his leadership and it is a complete and utter disgrace.”
Ian Austin, Labour MP of 14 yrs says Corbyn:— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) November 7, 2019
💥 "completely unfit to lead our country"
💥 "economic policies would make our country worse"
💥 "put businesses & jobs at risk"
💥 "Brexit policy is a complete fantasy"
💥 "always picks our country's enemies"
When such a widely respected Labour MP as @IanAustin1965 warns the nation that the Labour Party is now in the grip of a takeover by a hard left cabal of Corbyn McDonnell McLuskey Momentum, driving out moderates with toxic anti-Semitic Neo-Marxist extremism, we should all listen: https://t.co/ERD5BiN0AT— George Freeman (@GeorgeFreemanMP) November 7, 2019
Former Labour MP John Woodcock Urges Voters to Back Johnson
Today, former Labour MP John Woodcock joined the Corbin-bashing party.
"The choice to keep Jeremy Corbyn away from Downing Street, to stop him getting his hands on the levers of national security and defence has to be to vote Conservative in this election and that’s what I’ll be doing as well," said Woodcock.
Deputy Labour Party Leader Quits
Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Bashes Corbyn
Incredibly powerful message and appalling that any community in our country has been forced to feel like this. https://t.co/8LeQJRESnP— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) November 7, 2019
Eurointelligence accurately commented this morning: "We are less interested in global polling than in micro-level intelligence in these elections, because we are seeing massive regional swings."
That is what most are wondering, including me.
What About Alliances?
In the pact, the parties agree to stand aside in more than 60 seats to avoid splitting remainers’ vote
My first thought was ho-hum so what? Without Labour, it's mostly meaningless.
This morning I read this claim on the Guardian Live: Unite to Remain press conference this morning it was claimed that “at least 44” of the 60 seats covered by the Lib Dem/Green/Plaid Cymru pact were winnable.
My immediate thought was how many did they hold already and how many were Labour seats.
The Guardian Live answered my question this afternoon.
in an interview on the World at One, Prof Sir John Curtice, the leading elections expert, said that in practice he thought the pact would result in remain parties winning only around six more seats than if the three parties had been competing against each other.
He said just over one in three of the 60 seats were already held by one of the three pro-remain parties, or by Labour, which is committed to a referendum with remain as an option. And he said that in some of these seats, and in some seats where the Lib Dems were not far behind the Conservatives in 2017, the Greens did not stand anyway two years ago.
Curtice said that, by standing down in Beaconsfield, the Lib Dems and the Greens might also help Dominic Grieve to hold the seat, following his loss of the Conservative whip.
The net might be four or five, or even less. I envision a scenario in Wales in which it's possible that vote-stripping by the Lib-Dems from Labour hands the seats to the Tories.
Let's now turn to regional battles where the election will be won or lost.
YouGov reports Labour’s London Lead Slimmer Than in 2017
The chart looks ominous for the Tories, but it isn't. They are poised to pick up seats.
Compared to 2017, the Conservatives are down 4%. But they could still end up taking seats off Labour on current polling, as the Labour vote share has dropped 16% over the same period. Most of those leaving Labour are heading over to the Lib Dems, who are up 10%.
This drop means Labour will have a battle to hold marginal seats such as Battersea, or Kensington, which it won by just 30 votes in 2017.
In further bad news for the party, most Londoners do not hold Jeremy Corbyn in high regard. Just one in five (20%) think he’s doing well as Labour leader, compared to over three times that number (65%) who think he’s doing badly. Even amongst those who voted for the party at the last election, more now think he is doing badly (56%) than well (32%).
UK London Polls
Only two lines matter, the top and bottom.
In 2017, Labour got a whopping 54.5% of the London vote to 33.3% for the Tories.
London MP Split
The above chart from List of Parliamentary constituencies in London
With only 33.1% of the vote vs 54.5% for labour, the Tories managed to get 21 out of 73 MPs. Liberal Democrats rate to pick up a few seats and the Tories perhaps as many as 10 under the current polling math.
Wales looks remarkably similar to London except there are three polls to consider.
In the 2017 general election Labour got 48.9% of the vote to only 33.6% for the Tories.
Wales MP Split
The above chart is from 2017 United Kingdom general election in Wales.
On a 50-50 but giving Plaid Cymru the same four seats, the outcome would look closer to 18-18-4. That would be a pickup of 10 Tory seats.
If Johnson campaigns well in Wales, a pickup of 8-14 seems likely.
It is possible the Brexit Party is helping the Tories in Wales.
Blue Wave vs Red Wall
The Financial Times asks Can Boris Johnson Break Labour’s ‘Red Wall’?
Along that line are 96 Labour-held seats that mostly voted Leave. In 81 of those 96-held seats Labour barely won.
Seats the Conservatives Aim to Win
Theresa May made huge mistakes. She campaigned poorly. Johnson will focus on the most winnable seats.
He is also promising to do more for Northern Britain, including more spending.
Johnson does not have to win 96 of those seats.
If he can swing 10 in London that will balance out 10 DUP seats lost. He also has to overcome the probable loss of 10-13 seats in Scotland.
Of those 96, he may need to win 25 or so for a comfortable working majority.
The polls suggest that is likely.