Are the Tories back to being a National Party after their resurgence in Scotland & Wales?

Never say never in politics. Not so long ago the Tories were virtually written off in Wales and Scotland. They were widely regarded as the English Conservative Party. But no more – in both Scotland and even more dramatically in Wales they seem on course to be firmly re-established, making the Party once again very much a national Party.

Tory comeback

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May’s Manifesto Dilemma – Campaign in Poetry or in Prose?

“Campaign in poetry, Govern in prose” is a phrase attributed to US Democrat politician Mario Cuomo.

Translated into more cynical language it means – campaign in lofty (but ill-defined) slogans and ‘big ideas’ but avoid putting too much detail into it – real life governing isn’t that simple.

Theresa May would almost certainly love to do exactly that. She is very good at ‘talking the talk’. Since winning the Tory leadership and becoming PM she has made lots of sweeping, but not well defined, commitments. Her instinct would almost certainly to try and do the same in her GE2017 Manifesto.

But she has a problem she ought to be considering. Manifesto’s matter – especially and paradoxically, I would argue for a government with a large majority. Continue reading

UKIP – RIP? Increasing signs that the UKIP bubble has burst (with a small lesson from history?)

First, they are slipping in the polls. A YouGov poll has them at only 7%, a massive slippage from their previous double figures polling and triumphs like the 2014 European election results where the achieved 26.6% of the vote and 24 MEPs. At the last General Election in 2015 they managed nearly 13% of the national vote, 3.8m votes, but only won one seat.

Second, and probably of more symbolic importance, they are losing credibility. The only UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell, left the Party after having successfully defected from the Tories and defended his Clacton seat in a by-election in 2014, and again in 2015. But their new leader, Paul Nuttall, failed dramatically in Stoke in 2017, getting only a quarter of the vote in a seat seen as a prime UKIP target. More importantly the Party seemed riven by internal faction fighting after 2015 and the departure of Nigel Farage as leader.

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The Long Road Back (if there is one)

(GE2017 Post No. 3)

In yesterday’s post I suggested that Jeremy Corbyn would not give up being Labour Leader – even after a crushing defeat – until his succession by another hard-left candidate was assured.

Let’s make two assumptions – Labour get badly defeated in GE2017 and Corbyn does go and is replaced by someone who can start Labour’s climb back. Big assumptions I know, but what would happen then?

Well we have two examples of one of the major Parties suffering a big defeat followed by a – as it turns out very slow – recuperation: Labour in 1979 and the Tories in 1997.

I have compared the number of MPs gained by each Party in their initial big  General Election defeat – Labour 1979 and Tories 1997 – and then at each subsequent election until they regained power. The results do not look pretty.

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