2019 United Kingdom general election
“”We would be damaging the fabric of the union with regulatory checks and even customs controls between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on top of those extra regulatory checks down the Irish Sea, that are already envisaged in the Withdrawal Agreement... now I have to tell you, no British Conservative government could or should sign up to any such arrangement.
“”The funny side of the No 10 claim they have got rid of the backstop is that they have in fact transformed it from a fallback into the definitive future arrangement for NI with the province remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union.
| Ravishing guide to|
|God Save the Queen?|
The 2019 United Kingdom general election was unsurprisingly called by Boris Johnson, Prime Minister and National Embarrassment of the United Kingdom, after Members of Parliament just wouldn't let him shove the poor off a cliff. After both the surprise aftermath of the last election thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, and Tory MPs continuously jumping ship after that, (climaxing in Boris himself ordering the whip to give 21 Conservative MPs the boot) Boris Johnson found himself unable to incompetently do what he was forced in to incompetently do, thanks to an unlikely alliance of Labour, the SNP, other smaller parties including the DUP, and, most hilariously, ex-members of the Conservatives. So now we're at a pivotal crossroads in the United Kingdom's history, again, for the third time in three years. Guess who's won.
- 1 Not-So-Unelectable
- 2 Main Parties
- 3 UKIP 2: Die Harder
- 4 Small Parties (<20 MPs)
- 5 Really Small Parties (0 MPs)
- 6 Really Really Really Small Parties (0 MPs and 0 chance)
- 7 Campaign
- 8 Polls
- 9 The End
- 10 External links
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
Despite hearing repeatedly, over and over again, from the same people, how undeniably unelectable the Court Jezzter was during the 2017 United Kingdom general election, the Labour Party came to a knife's edge of leaving the Conservatives in the dust, and forcing them into an unholy alliance with DUP to stay afloat. Unfortunately for everyone, a knife's edge wasn't good enough when Mad May was running the show, and we got such hits as the Grenfell disaster, the Windrush scandal, and a Brexit deal so bad not even Theresa's own party would support it. Austerity continued in all the many forms it took, and the Tories built literally 0 of the 200,000 promised council homes. Labour were a little above where they were during the 2017 general election last time in the polls, for whatever that meant this early into the campaign.
Any smidgen of favour the Tories may have gleaned with centrists utterly evaporated when Boris Johnson took over, both as party leader, and Prime Minister of the fucking country. Through David Cameron and Theresa May's neo-liberalist cocoon, Boris Johnson tore up and revealed the Conservative Party's new form as a neo-conservative to neo-fascist butterfly, depending on where Johnson's nightmare cabinet is feeling that morning.
Sitting Prime Minister,
Leader of the Conservative Party,
MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip
|Advantages: If you really, REALLY want Brexit, even if it's a no-deal, and are absolutely confident Brexit would lose in a People's Vote, and are entirely fine with all the other costs that would come from having this idiot in power for five whole years after we leave the European Union, then Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister for you! So long as you're not voting for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.|
|Disadvantages: Even before you touch his policies, Boris Johnson is a compulsive liar, a massive bigot, and frankly a fucking idiot. His strongest mental skill is being able to read the room enough to know when it's time to ruffle his hair and pull out the tried and true clown suit.
That said, a lot of Johnson's personal shine has come off. He's not now seen as the cheerful joker who was on Have I Got News For You in the early 2000s, but instead a notorious inveterate liar and shit who a good portion of the country absolutely hates. Corbyn may be unpopular, but he has qualities that can, in the right circumstances, shine through - but everyone has something they can hate about Boris Johnson, be it his long and storied history of racism, his homophobia, his weathervane tendencies, his promiscuity (and abject refusal to even discuss how many children he might have fathered)... the list goes on.
Even in the most favourable of scenarios, you are still getting a version of Theresa May's voted down Brexit deal that tears up commitments to workers' rights[note 1] and would risk causing a recession, flinging many into homelessness and dooming the homeless that haven't died on the streets already. The one benefit is that it keeps the Good Friday Agreement in place by keeping Northern Ireland in the European Union's single market and customs union... unfortunately, he promised not to do that, and said it would be a terrible idea.[note 2]
His Home Secretary Priti Patel is a complete psychopath who has stated her approval of capital punishment[note 3] and who has a long history of hard right-wing stances. Even amongst a cabinet of the hard right, Patel stands out badly as someone who you should be genuinely terrified of; Theresa May without May's occasional flickers of liberal or centrist instinct.
Our NHS will be forced to run more and more ineffectively and lose more and more money to Big Pharma in America, with waiting lists growing longer and, in the trade chaos of immediately after Brexit, many not getting overpriced medication they will desperately need. Johnson's 'pledge' to build 40 new hospitals has already been revealed as a flat lie, being just six, and they're not even all new. A pledge for "50,000 more nurses" was very quickly revealed as the unspinnable flat lie that it was, being as it actually constitutes 31,000 new nurses of various kinds and 19,000 who were simply persuaded to stay - attempts by Conservative politicians to try to defend this are extremely funny to watch, as they try to unsuccessfully reconcile the fact that it is a clear lie and mathematical impossibility with the fact that they are required to defend it on these insultingly disingenuous grounds. 
They have basically no policies. All other parties, even the Brexit Party, have produced full manifestos; the Conservative Party have not, instead producing what can be charitably described as a pamphlet. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the manifesto was a short and lacking programme for a yearly budget, let alone what is expected to be a five year Parliament. One of the flagship pledges is about potholes for Christ's sake. There's a bit of worry as to what Johnson is actually going to do in office, as a lot is left unspoken about the precise aims and effects of many of the things the manifesto says.
Corbyn had only become more of a rising star since the 2017 election, winning more decisive victories in parliament than Margaret Thatcher did as Leader of the Opposition, in even less time. Continuing to, ahem, inspire young people and a previously apathetic electorate, the man every paper and party leader angrily insisted was unelectable has proven himself to be, unfortunately for the Tories, electable. But the man has, er, some issues.
Leader of the Opposition,
Leader of the Labour Party,
MP for Islington North
|Advantages: His 'Man of the People' persona is just as successful in attracting voters as it was last time. Turns out that spending 40 years opposing bigotry, imperialism, forever wars, and of course, the Tories, goes a long way to making people believe in your sincerity, and obviously makes you the polar opposite of widely disliked Blair and his various New Labour cronies - which has caused some inevitable conflict internally, although he's been managing it surprisingly well enough barring the occasional Chuka Umunna, leaving to whichever party seems to catch his fancy.
After a lot of huffing and puffing, thanks to some bad stances recommended by advisors in the rush into the 2017 election, Labour and it's membership in it's recent conference unanimously decided on a simple Brexit policy - attempt to renegotiate a Brexit deal with the EU under a far less divided Labour cabinet, then hold it to a second referendum, which would either give the Brexit deal a proper mandate, or lead to revoking Article 50 and remaining in the European Union. While it makes sense not to limit the party to half the country, it was argued this may turn off a minority of extreme Brexit or Remain voters, displeased with even the implication either side could potentially succeed. This fear would eventually become reality.
Just like last time, free education and smartly strengthening the NHS is extremely popular, and his stances on housing, renationalising railways / mail / water etc. is perfect. His second-use and eventual disarmament stance on nukes is great, unless you're a Question Time audience member and really want to nuke the Middle East.
While it was still unlikely that hardline Scottish nationalists would vote Labour, he lowered some guards in a community that despises the legacy of New Labour for betraying them on multiple occasions, by saying he wouldn't block attempts for a second independence referendum after the "formative years" of a Labour government. Not a shining star of approval, but better than the Tories who would never give nationalists the chance. This fell through completely though - the Tories would end up second to the SNP, and Labour sank really badly in Scotland.
One thing Labour has that other parties don't is a huge and enormously enthusiastic activist base, with a significant component of younger people who have grown up under or had their working lives defined by austerity, neoliberalism, unchecked rentier capitalism and Brexit, and are as such really fucking pissed off - meanwhile, the Tories seriously embittered their activist base in 2017 by treating them essentially as unpaid employees, and are at something of a disadvantage here as a result. With a massive rise in voter registrations in under 35s this time around, and constituency Labour parties in parts having trouble finding work to do for all of the willing activists, it remains to be seen whether the massive on-the-ground presence the Labour party has can outweigh the bias of the media against it, or whether the fabled "youthquake" will happen this time. Ah well - you'll see about that in a minute.
There's a significant sense that this election was really the absolute last chance to avert the Tories ripping apart what remains of the public realm and, as the main opposition, this naturally gave an impetus to vote for Labour. Labour should have been, by most accounts, be the prime beneficiary of any anti-Tory tactical voting that goes on.
|Disadvantages: While Labour easily had the better Brexit policy for anyone who's not the most hardline eurosceptic or Remain voter afraid of another loss, this is no longer true. The man now has no position on Brexit, just parroting that he will hold a second referendum, and refusing to say whether he will campaign to remain. First, that alienates people on both sides, and besides, an argument can be made that the EU may not be so eager to renegotiate on a new Brexit deal, if the vote is to leave again. While Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement is unquestionably bad for the United Kingdom and was agreed by a Prime Minister who apparently wanted a "Red, White and Blue Brexit", it is an already settled deal - Labour would either have to negotiate around Theresa's deal, or start negotiations from scratch, something the European Union always has the disappointing potential to not be willing to do. Corbyn would be relying on the favour of simply being a radically different Prime Minister to negotiate from. Of course, if the vote is to remain, there is no trouble, but the dear leader will not campaign for that.
Adding to this, a lot of remain voters simply do not and will not trust Corbyn on the matter of Brexit. His general position of "outwardly respect the 2016 vote while also kicking the Tories in the balls at every opportunity" had the effect of making him appear indecisive, and despite him agreeing to their key demand for the past few years of a second referendum with remain on the ballot this has not as yet won back a good portion of these voters, who believe that his Eurosceptic inclinations make him unsuitable for the job even if he's promising what they said they wanted. Similarly, a lot of Brexit voters don't trust him because he campaigned for remain, and don't trust Labour because the party itself is stuffed with remainers. This distrust ultimately blew up in his face - he failed to gain urban constituencies that could have voted for a more pro-remain Labour, while many legacy Labour seats that had so far been voting Labour for decades (!) now swung to the Tories, wholly on account of Brexit.
The Labour antisemitism fiasco. While the members responsible have left the party either of their own will or by force, and policy is now immediate suspensions, the situation went on a lot longer than it needed to - something the people under Corbyn may have been responsible for. The situation being settled hasn't stopped constant smears from tabloids and Conservatives looking for an easy point of attack.
Besides, the man has now begun to resort to Ancient Greek-style billionare-bashing, promising to tax the rich like anything; most billionaires were actually planning to leave if he won. Heaven forbid! He also seems to believe that money comes from the tooth-fairy, promising sop after sop in the election, such as a hefty minimum wage.
The same personal issues that applied to Corbyn in 2017 still apply now; put simply, the man has a lot of baggage, and isn't very popular overall. While before he could credibly claim to be a new face who people could warm to the more they see him, this time views on him have largely calcified and those who hate him for whatever reason were not swayed.
Scottish National Party
The SNP rode a significant pro-Remain wave in Scotland - the Scots largely wanted to Remain, and the SNP supports this.
First Minister of Scotland,
Leader of the Scottish National Party
|Advantages: Undeniably huge force in Scotland, with more members than the whole Conservative Party, although the SNP's not as strong as they used to be.
They are the first or second party in most Scottish seats, with labour being the third party in all conservative seats. In most Scottish constituencies votes against them favor the Tories.
As another plus they seem less interested in "politicking" than the other main parties. Labour and the SNP are cooling relations, as much as relations can be cooled when Nicola Sturgeon still does the occasional interview calling Jeremy Corbyn a tosser. If it had come down to the line, the SNP would have supported Corbyn in an interrim government to stop a no-deal Brexit and deliver a second referendum. We're now having a general election instead, and the SNP seems rather reluctant to but not entirely dismissive of supporting Labour in a coalition government. (if it came to that)
While Scottish Labour has become less abhorrent under the leadership of Richard Leonard, a leader who represents the Labour Party's shift leftwards, they still don't represent the aspirations of (what would be) their base by remaining a unionist party. A lot of the Scottish left is pro-independence, which undermines SLAB and gives more power and votes to the SNP. In response, Labour has equivocated about whether or when they would allow a second referendum: effectively saying yes, maybe, but only if the SNP vote is high enough, encourages nationalists to vote SNP while annoying unionists.
|Disadvantages: Since they're an exclusively Scottish, nationalist party, it is even more impossible for them to get a majority than it is for any small third party.
Some SNP MPs seem to be split on whether or not they hate transgender people, as an extension of the transphobia that's overrunning Scottish politics. They've continuously tried to delay inevitable reforms to the Gender Recognition Act that would give trans people human rights, silently ditching support they had pledged for the reforms from their manifesto, which has somehow made the Lib Dems look good by comparison. Attempts to get Joanna Cherry to stop
UKIP 2: Die Harder
GOD FUCK NOOOOOOOOOOOO
After a state of hilarious undeath and irrelevance, Nigel Farage has returned from his migration to America, upon the realisation that a Brexit bad enough to please his rich friends might not happen. They did psychologically horrifyingly well in the European Parliament election, scoring 29 MEPs, and arguably is the reason Theresa fell on her own sword in order to allow the forcing in of Boris Johnson, since they didn't want lose a flood of voters to Nigel Farage. Because it's impossible for anything good to ever happen in this fucking world, we have to take Nigel Farage seriously, again.
They're not a major party, and they're not a small party since they don't have any seats, but
they'll almost definitely snatch a few in the general election at the rate we're going uh, they're a special party that has influenced this election regardless, so they have their own special section.
Leader of the Brexit Party,
MP for Nowhere
Hey, free broadband, right? Eh? Gonna vote for us now won't ya?
|Disadvantages: Nigel Farage and his minions have to conclude their mission of maximising human suffering in the United Kingdom before they can return to hell. Sexism, racism, islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia - whichever flavour of bigotry you want, with a splash of conversion therapy, they've got.
They will absolutely not be satisfied until they get a no-deal Brexit, one that kills the poor, leaves many without a flow of medication for weeks if not months, that imposes a border along Ireland tearing up the Good Friday Agreement, whatever it takes to be "free" of the European Union. The Brexit deal the Brexit Party would want, the European Union would never and could never agree to, something Nigel knows well.
Brexit, apart from abolishing inheritance tax, is their one singular policy. Even the SNP has a volley of centre-left policies that align it ideologically with Labour, but the Brexit Party, the worst possible Big Tent party, just doesn't have any.
Small Parties (<20 MPs)
“”to be fair to the lib dems it isn't like they have a proven track record of abandoning whatever they were pretending their principles were and supporting the opposite of the thing they said they supported yesterday, maybe this is an anomaly
The Lib Dems, despite getting a grand total of 12 MPs after the 2017 election, somehow fell into getting 9 more MPs from the Conservative and Labour Party in the two years afterwards; the Tories that couldn't stay with Boris Johnson dragging them into the right, and the Labour MPs from the Third Way years that Corbyn couldn't quiet down. They used this newfound power very responsibly, by abstaining or voting against the anti-Tory 'alliance' in key votes.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats,
MP for East Dunbartonshire
|Advantages: Since Jo Swinson's politics are functionally identical to Cameron and May the Lib Dems could be an easy jump off point for Tory voters for whom the bigotry and clownish right-wing antics of Johnson have become too much to live with. Polling indicates that especially with tactical voting and their attractiveness to "moderate right" voters means they can take some traditional Tory strongholds that would be out of reach to any other party.
As they are currently functioning as a refugee camp for centrist MPs, they have a broad ideological net to draw their policy from. There is a core of not-quite-neo-liberalism with a scattering of pleasant social progressive policies.
Trans rights are supported in their manifesto, pledging to reform the GRA, removing the requirement for medical reports, scrapping the fee and recognising non-binary gender identities, on top of introducing an ‘X’ gender option on passports and extending equality law to cover gender identity and expression. On trans rights, (and not having blatant dogwhistles to TERFs) the Liberal Democrats beat the Labour Party, something that's commendable and respectable.
|Disadvantages: The coalition. This proves stunningly unpopular to this day and to say the Liberal Democrats have a trust deficit is putting it mildly. There's widespread scepticism of the Lib Dems' policies ever making it past any coalition negotiations and quite a few Labour voters and former Liberal Democrats will simply never forgive the party for joining up with the Tories. A good portion of their voter base is a lot less hostile towards Labour and Corbyn than Swinson is and a good deal more hostile towards the Tories, and this section of voters is enraged by Swinson's not-infrequent suggestions that Johnson is equally as bad an option as Corbyn - something that plays well with the Liberal Democrat membership, but not the broadly centre-left voter base. This is not helped by the fact that Swinson was a minister in the coalition and is directly responsible for implementing (and staunchly defended) a number of extremely regressive measures.
What started out as an impossible to achieve Brexit stance of simply 'Revoke Article 50' periodically shifts into a self-contradictory stance of supporting a People's Vote, which then devolved into 'We will support literally any Boris Johnson Brexit deal so long as it has a second referendum attached'.
Added to this, although the party has a manifesto, many of their policies are incredibly piecemeal and are generally focused around trying to solve problems caused by neoliberal capitalism with weak government action that... perpetuates neoliberal capitalism. Their climate change policy in particular is the second-least ambitious of the major parties' after the Conservatives', which is borderline unforgivable given the urgency of action. Their promise of a "£50bn remain bonus" that they propose to spend is laughably disingenuous, as this "remain bonus" actually consists of spending that they would have to cut if Brexit happened, rather than an extra influx of new money into the budget.
Swinson's sole fixation in virtually all interviews and debates has been the necessity of stopping Brexit as a first step, and the campaign itself is branded with "LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - STOP BREXIT". This would have possibly worked in an election that was solely about Brexit (as Boris Johnson was very keen on the idea of, and for different reasons so was Swinson), but it turns out that general elections aren't solely about Brexit, and as soon as other issues reared their heads the Lib Dems were left with a campaign message based entirely on something nobody really gave a shit about.
Of course, the other plank of the Lib Dem campaign has been easily refutable lies. Their famed "Lib Dems can win here!" bar charts took on a new dimension of untrustworthiness, many based not on polling but instead on the European Parliament elections (which took place at a different time, with different constituencies, under a different voting system, with a different electorate, with massively lower turnout, and rampant tactical voting that the Liberal Democrats themselves encouraged). In one case the electoral projections site Flavible had to expressly tell the Liberal Democrats to stop putting out leaflets with their projections on them as they were in no way reliable for that purpose.
Overall the Liberal Democrats have shown more inclination to try to prevent Labour gaining or holding seats than anything else, with the party parachuting in big-name candidates like Sam Gyimah and Chuka Umunna into Labour-winnable seats and Labour-held marginals, and parachuting a candidate into Canterbury (a seat Labour won in 2017 with a remainer MP by a handful of votes) against the express stated wishes of the local party and its previous candidate, who dropped out.
Turns out that taking in members from other parties without regard to their baggage is a bad idea - Lib Dem voters were hoping the party's days with homophobia were over, when Jo Swinson accepted two raging Tory homophobes: Phillip Lee, who tried to pass an amendment that would ban anyone with HIV from entering the country in 2014, and Sam Gyimah, who famously filibustered a bill that would pardon gay men convicted of sexual offences that are no longer criminal... in 2016. The bill ran out of time. Employing these two clowns when they could have just as easily sat as independent MPs says more about Swinson than it does about them, and resulted in LGBT members of the Lib Dems quitting the party, including their chair of the Lib Dem LGBT+ group, Jennie Rigg. They are both still members of the Liberal Democrats.
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party, after previously considering Boris Johnson their Tory darling, have discovered what everyone else already knew about him after being utterly betrayed by the Tories, resulting in the DUP siding with the Labour Party in parliament both out of principle and spite. Blood only runs so deep, and by some horrific twist of fate the fucking DUP have come out of this looking sympathetic, humiliated in Westminster and back in Northern Ireland too.
(NOTE: Not a terrorist organisation)
Sinn Féin continues to be highly popular in Northern Ireland, and their stance of abstention is still popular amongst Irish voters, if problematic to their own interests. (R.I.P Martin McGuinness)
The Independent Group For Change
TIGFC (formerly Change UK (formerly Change UK-The Independent Group (formerly The Independent Group))) would be the remain equivalent of the Brexit Party, if the Brexit Party died immediately.
Dreamed up by previously mentioned Chuka Umunna (the ChUK Party, get it?), it's fate was sealed as soon as it failed miserably in the European Parliament elections, in strong contrast to the Brexit Party's success, which cemented them as a nightmare for years to come. Umunna quit being high on his own supply and split off to the Lib Dems, abandoning the party he created to interrim leader Heidi Allen, who then abandoned it to interrim leader Anna Soubry. They still, somehow, had 5 MPs left before the general election. They will be "proudly" fielding three parliamentary candidates who are still there somehow, according to their website.
CYMRU AM BYTH!
Leader of Plaid Cymru
|Advantages: While Welsh Labour has improved under the leadership of Mark Drakeford, both a longtime Corbyn supporter and also not Carwyn Jones, their legacy is still a shitstain in Wales. The downside is the voters annoyed with Labour aren't going to vote for Plaid Cymru, they're going to vote Conservative.
They have quite a good record with environmentalism, which has been overshadowed by the Labour Party's acceptance of a radical Green New Deal after their 2019 conference. Oops.
Their partnership with the Lib Dems and the English/Welsh Greens could help them in some areas.
|Disadvantages:They're making the same mistake they made in the last election, taking a stance of Plaid Cymru vs. Labour, one in which Cymru will always come up short. Maybe since they have the same voter share, they think if they aren't hostile to a party they could be friendly with, they'll lose support.
And most Welsh people don't actually want independence, not that voting PC would achieve it anyway.
Green Party of England and Wales
Wait, they're doing the Lib Dem pact too? Huh. Go Greens!
and Siân Berry
|Advantages: They will hold Brighton Pavilion, a reality Adam Imanpour, the Labour PPC, has probably already accepted - and the Lib Dems know well, not holding a candidate there at all. Look, let's let them keep their one and only seat, okay?
They have good policies, just unfortunate that they're all now held by the Labour Party.
They have the chance to capitalise on the attention given to environmental issues this past year... any day now...
|Disadvantages: Now that the Labour Party is just as left-wing and environmentally conscious as the Greens, they've lost their reason for existing back when New Labour was the only real opposition to the Conservatives. Voting them instead of Labour could result in the far more environmentally unfriendly Conservatives swooping in.
They booted Caroline Lucas as co-leader, the only MP the Greens have, and the only person keeping the Greens sane. If they're gonna go off a cliff edge, they're gonna do it with Siân Berry, alright?!
Jonathan Bartley, definitely not an idiot, went on live television to say he would ban halal meat, an essential part of muslim life, culture and religion. Amid widespread discussion on antisemitism in Labour and islamophobia in the Conservatives, this was truly an epic gamer move.
Finally, they oppose nuclear power despite being a "Green" party, which is kinda weird, as it's basically impossible to fill in the fossil fuel gap that quickly with just renewables. Also, their rubbish collection record in Brighton isn't that great...
Really Small Parties (0 MPs)
Social Democratic and Labour Party
They suffered a humiliating defeat in the last election, losing all 3 of their seats in parliament to the DUP, although they only dropped in the Northern Ireland vote share by -2.2%. That's first-past-the-post for you, I suppose.
Ulster Unionist Party
Unsurprisingly, the UUP are no longer doing their pact to not contest certain seats with the DUP. This is as a direct result of the UUP losing all their seats - one to Sinn Féin, and one, more painfully for them, to the DUP, as well the utter embarrassment the DUP suffered at the hand of Boris Johnson, being indirectly responsible for almost putting a border in the Irish sea, a unionist's worst nightmare.
UK Independence Party
Even less support in the polls than their normal tiny share. The most pointless party standing in the election. The only party they're beating is The Independent Group.
Leader of the UK Independence Party
|Disadvantages: They don't even have a Leader! They do not have a fucking Leader anymore! They don't even have a DEPUTY Leader!
The furthest right they have ever been, they were utterly humiliated in the European Parliament election by the Brexit Party when even their far-right goons couldn't win them any seats. (in the case of illiterate alt-lite celebrity Carl "I wouldn't even rape you" Benjamin, made them fall by -29.1% in the vote share)
Set to self-destruct, as almost every candidate has jumped ship. Inevitable that it will be left as a political ghost town.
Really Really Really Small Parties (0 MPs and 0 chance)
Renew was founded in 2017 by Sandra Khadhouri, Chris Coghlan, James Clarke, and James Torrance, and stood 3 candidates, all in London constituencies, in the 2017 general election. It claims to be centrist and pro-EU. It got 3.7% of the vote in the West Central by-election on 4 April 2019. On 31 October 2019 it announced it would stand 51 candidates, but less than 2 weeks later reduced that figure to just 4: Bromley & Chislehurst and Hackney North & Stoke Newington in London, Sefton Central in Merseyside, and Edinburgh North and Leith. But the field of centrist pro-EU parties is cluttered, with Change UK, the SNP, and the Lib Dems challenging for votes.
The strategy of the ultra-Leave Conservative Party and the "ultra-Remain" Liberal Democrats began to unravel during the campaign. General elections aren't just about one issue, and never will be. The NHS is on people's mind, austerity is on people's mind, global warming is on people's mind. Brexit hasn't gone away, but Conservative attempts to twist the narrative back to Brexit and only Brexit have been an effort in futility. Or so everyone thought.
Production Errors, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Boris
While general elections have always had parties accuse media organisations of political bias, something is... off, more than normal. Starting with "accidentally" having their hand slip all the way into the archive footage from 2016 and "Accidentally" splicing it between footage from 2019, where Boris Johnson didn't put the wreath at the Cenotaph down wrong, these mysterious 'production errors' have been repeating themselves, with the BBC editing the audience laughing at him during Question Time out of a BBC broadcast, and even allegedly lying to the Labour and Scottish National Party that they had already booked an interview with Boris Johnson, (they hadn't) these mistakes indicate that either everyone in BBC is incompetent at their jobs, or something... strange is going on.
The BBC has been accused of not reporting on statements only recently emerged about racist and sexist reporting by Johnson, while Labour has been fairly questioned for their record on antisemitism - a situation not helped by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg literally saying islamophobia matters less than antisemitism. The BBC themselves have asked the Conservatives to remove political advertising containing Kuenssberg, believing the footage of her could "damage perceptions of our impartiality". Yikes.[note 4]
However, when Boris Johnson refused to do the Andrew Neil interview, the BBC finally stood up for journalistic integrity. They recognised how it would make them appear biased, so they refused to let Johnson appear on their flagship programme the Marr Show, until he finally agreed to be interviewed by Neil...
They changed their mind 24 hours later. A day later. They agreed to host Johnson on Marr. But no, it's not bias! They're not thin-skinned! They had to abandon their principles because of, uh... the terrorist attack on Tower Bridge! So it's fine. No blemishes on their record.
A study by the University of Loughborough indicates that press attacks on Corbyn and the Labour Party are more numerous than last time, and that's saying something.
Boris Johnson has decided that, after one debate with Jeremy Corbyn and one Question Time, he's all tuckered out from all that scrutiny. He ducked out of a debate on CLIMATE CHANGE on Channel 4, is ignoring calls to do an interview with Andrew Neil like every other party leader invited, and will not attend the BBC Election Debate. While the BBC has replaced him in the Election Debate and won't hold an Andrew Neil interview at all without him present, Channel 4 hilariously empty-chaired him... with a block of ice. Not accepting definitely-not-Leader Michael Gove at the last second has had the Conservatives threaten Channel 4 for a "provocative partisan stunt", and only accepting the leader of a political party an "arbitrary requirement". At least their dads aren't trying to help...
But not to worry, folks! Johnson isn't dodging interviews - in fact, he did one with Nick Ferrari, notorious racist who has held interviews with Johnson for years. In it, he said he would do the unpopular TTIP, (the American-European TTP) said his racist and misogynistic articles were actually the opposite of that, (anti-racist and feminist articles, presumably?) and refused to answer questions about how many children he fathered. Even when he cherry-picks his interviews to be easy rides, they still end up being a car crash. It's almost impressive.
London Bridge Stabbing
A terrorist attack on London bridge on the 29th of November was capitalised by Johnson (predictably) blaming the Labour party and pushing for harsher sentences, despite the fact the victims were criminal rehabilitation workers and the direct rebuttals/complaints from the family members . Conservative justification clung to the idea that had he been in jail for another two years (as per Tory sentencing changes) he would have been magically rehabilitated. Though as usual, nothing sticks. Two days later most of media was back with laser focus on Corbyns innumerable evils, like (allegedly) not watching the queens speech, though lying directly to the queen is fine.
An MRP poll released by YouGov on Nov 27 predicted Conservative 359, Labour 211, Liberal Democrats 13, Brexit Party 0, Green 1, SNP 43, Plaid Cymru 4, Other 1, Northern Ireland 18. This poll is held in higher regard than normal polls, as it accurately predicted the hung parliament in the 2017 general election. On the other hand YouGov are clear that this is not a prediction of the election result, just a snapshot of voting intention weeks before the election. Whether the 2017 result was a fluke or MRP really is an unparalleled miracle method of predicting an election outcome was yet to be seen: it was probably better than traditional polling because of the difficulties of mapping national polling figures onto multi-party constituency contests, but Patrick Sturgis, a poll expert at LSE, said "as with any statistical model, MRP is prone to a range of errors, and there seems to be an unrealistically high level of confidence in it." You'll see in a moment how that comment turned out.
Early December polls predicted a Conservative majority, with a lead over Labour of 7-12%. Concreting the notion that the Tories could chop the legs of their voters and they would still crawl to the booth to vote for them. There was a bump for Labour at the apparent expense of LD, but the Brexit vote still tumbling made the nature of the swings unclear. And finally...
Despite it all, despite everything the Tories had going against them, despite the trackable unpopularity of Boris Johnson, despite their pamphlet of a manifesto, despite their lurch to the right-wing... they made a clean sweep, with an 80+ seat majority, in no small part thanks to the Brexit Party completely giving way. In the end, the Labour Party was just not trusted on Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn outstayed his welcome to the electorate. In retrospect, 2017 should have been taken as a warning sign; a sign that even with the Conservative Party in its worst shambles ever under May, Labour still could not win. With the power of hindsight, perhaps Corbyn should have fallen on his own sword in early 2019 as Theresa did - however, the past is the past, and the future under a Tory supermajority is very bleak. However, it bears noting that the Conservative share of the vote only actually increased by +1% - and their platform of 'do Brexit' and 'fuck Jeremy Corbyn' will be old news by 2024. If the Labour Party actually manages to get its shit together by the next general election, the Tories could actually be in trouble.
Some small solace can be taken in that centrist politicians were fucking eviscerated: the Liberal Democrats lost not only every single one of their 9 newfound MPs, but also their joke of a leader, Jo Swinson, who was forced to resign as leader with immediate effect after just over 4 months. Change UK, who were polling so low they weren't even in most polls, lost every one of its MPs too, not that they had actually been elected to their new position properly anyway. In the old days, the LibDems should have swept - they were the only centrist party as Labour and Tories both moved to political extremes. That they collapsed likely reflects how times have changed in Britain, and that centrism, and by extension neoliberalism, has little future here.
The SNP, however, absolutely cleaned up in Scotland, gaining 13 seats and managing a huge +8.1% swing in Scotland, benefitting from a noticable increase in support for Scottish independence and the humiliation of Scottish Labour, who got their lowest share of the Scottish vote since 1910, only managing a single seat. The Scottish Conservatives, who didn't even have a leader during the election, had their seat total cut in half, although that still makes them the strongest unionist party in Scotland. In truth, it was the SNP that were the true victors of GE2019 - although Boris Johnson will never give them the Indyref2 they so desperately want.
Oh yeah, and the Brexit Party got 0 seats. So that's nice.
- The lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations of Boris Johnson and his government.
- An interactive Guardian article with bite-size information on the policies in the manifestos for each of the main parties' - outside Northern Ireland. You can approve and disapprove of certain policies, and the article gives you an overall score at the bottom.
- More specifically, Boris Johnson's renegotiated deal removes a section that would force the UK to abide by EU standards on workers' rights. While this doesn't specifically mean that the Tories would immediately worsen them as soon as we leave the EU, it removes the chains around them stopping them from doing that. What they do after that, who knows??? (they'd worsen them)
- See quotes at the top.
- Patel: "This is really about our criminal justice system actually, and if any conviction for example, you need ultimate burden of proof."
But the point Hislop was trying to make is that in some cases, there are mistakes.
Hislop interjected: “Are you saying they were guilty? All these people?”
“No I’m not saying they were guilty, obviously,” Patel hastened to add.
“So they would be dead?” Hislop suggested, if there was capital punishment.
“The point is,” Patel steam rolled ahead, “it’s about having deterrents. If you have strong deterrents –“
- Dislike and general criticism of Kuenssberg is not a new thing - she got in trouble from the BBC Trust saying she had breached impartiality and accuracy guidelines by misrepresenting Jeremy Corbyn's views on a shoot-to-kill policy, in relation to how he would order police to act in the event of a terrorist incident. Her own personal Twitter account is a volley of hilarious misrepresentations of Labour policy, but she can't get in trouble for being an idiot on social media.
- From the horse's mouth: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18023840.boris-johnson-criticised-praising-northern-irelands-single-market-access/
- General election 2019: Indyref2 needs pro-yes majority says Leonard, BBC, 25 Nov 2019
- General election 2019: Corbyn rows back on indyref2 comments, BBC, 13 Nov 2019
- Latest poll puts support for Welsh independence at 24%, FullFact.org, 25 Nov 2019
- Newport West byelection: voters look away from main parties for renewal, The Guardian, 31 Mar 2019
- See the Wikipedia article on 2019 Newport West by-election.
- See the Wikipedia article on Renew Party.
- Voting intention & seat estimates, YouGov, 26 Nov 2019
- FAQs about YouGov's 2019 general election MRP model, YouGov, November 27, 2019
- After the failures of recent years, can the polls be trusted in 2019?, Patrick Sturgis, The Guardian, 12 Nov 2019