Britain's election and Labour's thin ray of hope

The polls for next month's general election do not currently look good.
Labour is far behind.

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However, there are reasons to hold out some hope.

Reason #1: Look at the last election.

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Labour is down by 10 points today, but it was down by 20 points in 2017, and nearly closed it by election day.
Labour outperformed the polls at the ballot box as well.

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Reason #2: Tories are running on the same message

May fought the 2017 general election on a ticket of securing a large enough majority to deliver Brexit.
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Johnson is essentially trying to replicate this message, but hopes that he will be more effective in getting it across to voters.

The Tories are basically saying "Third time is the charm."
It's not going to inspire anyone.

Reason #3: Wrong kind of friends

Donald Trump is extremely unpopular in Britain.

President Donald Trump has waded into Britain’s election campaign, lavishing praise on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and savaging the main rival facing Johnson in his Dec. 12 snap election, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. But we're not so sure Trump's comments did his “friend” any favors.
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His comments, which directly contradicted Johnson’s pledge to negotiate a free trade agreement with the U.S. after leaving the EU, prompted Downing Street to issue a rebuttal Friday.

In further comments that likely had Johnson’s campaign team wincing, Trump — who is hugely unpopular in the UK — described the UK prime minister as a “fantastic man” and said they had “a great friendship.”

“When he was running, they were saying, 'He’s the Trump, he’s the Trump.' We have a lot of the same things going,” he said. He also urged Johnson and Farage to team up and form an “unstoppable force” to win the election.

And then, as if to prove that Trump is calling the shots, Johnson and Farage came to an election agreement to team up for a Hard Brexit.

The Brexit party leader claimed he had changed his mind about fielding candidates in 317 seats held by the Tories after Johnson released a video pledging to take Britain out of the EU by 2020 and to pursue a Canada-style trade deal.

The abrupt nature of Farage’s reversal prompted claims from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP that he and Johnson had struck a secret pact in favour of a hard Brexit, which both sides denied. Farage admitted he had been offered a peerage by the Tories as recently as last Friday but claimed he had turned this down.

Reason #4: Boris Johnson is not going to run a strong campaign

This is the headline in the sympathetic WSJ for the first week of the campaign.

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Boris is not known for being a good debater either.

Reason #5: Does anyone believe Boris?

Johnson has taken a lot of heat for a decade of Conservative Party austerity.
So what does Johnson do? He promises to end austerity. Period.
Just like that.
Meanwhile, his party is calling for more austerity.

Does this sound like a believable policy change?
Or does it sound like a cynical and transparent election ploy to steal Labour's thunder?
Since Corbyn has already staked out these grounds, it looks like a sign of "Me Too" weakness by Johnson.

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Comments

It is unclear to me whether Jeremy wants to Remain in the EU or not.

I keep assuming that's his position but I'm not sure,

Can anybody here enlighten me? I think I'm missing something crucial.

The Lib Dems and Plaid (Wales) + Greens are for Remain along with the SNP. That's a lot of combined seats and votes. I don't get why Jeremy doesn't plainly say that Brexit will harm the working classes and poorest people the most and join with the others to fight Brexit.

(Fully admitting that my understanding of the strategy and politics across the pond are not anything I clam to understand.)

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NYCVG

@NYCVG
Tories are like used car salesmen. They promised one thing and it turned out to be much worse.

Lib Dems simply want to ignore the will of the people. "You are free to vote, and we are free to ignore the results"

Labour says, "Give us the power to negotiate the best deal that we can. Then, when you actually know what you are getting, we'll have a People's Vote, and we'll do whatever the people decide."

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@gjohnsit That clears it up a bit.

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NYCVG

Cassiodorus's picture

It's not like their current alternative is New Labour. I can understand why they would dislike New Labour. Are they basically passive before a mass media slanted toward Conservative rule?

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"I was Zuckerberging people before Zuckerberg's balls dropped." -- the Devil, on "Rick and Morty"

Creosote.'s picture

@Cassiodorus
But in a Guardian comment section, one writer mentioned a nice older woman who said
"then we'll get our Queen back!"
Bit like wishing one could return to the Sixties before Occupy. Or the thirties before antibiotics.

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Bollox Ref's picture

The referendum was merely advisory. With such a narrow margin of 'victory' (see Dubious Money), Parliament should have said 'thanks, but no thanks'.

As to Corbyn, Labour would romp home if Sir Keir Starmer was Leader. I'd certainly vote Labour to see him in office. Jezza not so much.

Another De Piffle 'government', and the break up of the UK is guaranteed.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref
and to do that you must respect the will of the people.

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Bollox Ref's picture

@gjohnsit

'Will of the people'. Funny stuff.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref
then we have something in common.

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

Don't forget that Russia interfered with the Brexit vote.
/s

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@Bollox Ref However, the treaty of Lisbon essentially enshrined neoliberalism into the de facto EU constitution. The EU is now effectively ruled by un-elected technocrats with the interests of international corporate capitalism foremost. Several articles of the Labour manifesto would be illegal under under the EU rules. Labour has suffered from the pseudo-left media such as the Guardian trying to brand Corbyn as anti-semitic. Brexit has commanded everyone's attention so that Labour's progressive populist proposals are rarely discussed. Labour's position on Brexit, although fairly reasonable, comes across as lukewarm in the current charged political climate. Labour would have been better off if the Tories had made a clean Brexit and an election could be fought on other issues.

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