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.
However, there are reasons to hold out some hope.
Reason #1: Look at the last election.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.