The voting polls have continued to be miserable for the Tories and we are not seeing any real sign of a change since the Windsor agreement last week. You can just feel the frustration from the Tory camp at the moment that apparently nothing they can do actually shifts the vote share polling numbers.
But back in 1995 the Tory brand was tarnished, but it wasn’t utterly trashed by 5 shockingly shit Tory PMs in a row, the Tory cabinet and backbenches full of fascists and conmen and the economy tanking.
Blair pulverised a rather tired Tory government.
Starmer will pulverise a Tory government with DNR tattooed on its forehead.
Though I think a Labour majority is rather more likely than a Tory one.
Whereas the opinion polls are clearcut. The latest has Labour on 50% with a 26% lead.
Sorry but you simply don't come back from this. I've seen it before in 1992-97. An irreversible seachange has occurred and Labour will win a MASSIVE majority.
I suspect Labour will get a small majority, but that would still be a huge shift. Ironically, they might be better off getting none, acquiring a Lib Dem-shaped electoral meatshield, then doing better 4-5 years later.
In fact Mike is guilty of having it both ways with this because he says that 2019 was mostly because of Corbyn's unelectable toxicity whilst at the same time using 2019 as the benchmark.
2019 was a one-off because of Corbyn and because of 'Get Brexit Done', which has now become laughable.
If you are obsessed by swing precedence than at least use the much more realistic 2017 election.
There is real, visceral, anger. A seachange occurred and it will not be reversed for a generation. That's how bad it is for brand tory.
Mike Gapes rejoins Labour
He won’t, cos the Red Vipers need the Blue Vipers to perpetuate the despicable toxic nest called ‘The British Establishment’.
I put the Sue Gray appointment in this context. Sensible people are getting on board now rather than doing a Zahawi.
I was chatting to another senior civil servant recently who said they are all treading water with the tories now whilst cosying up to Labour: formulating policies and strategies for the new Starmer Government.
And everyone in Westminster knows it.
You simply don't come back from that.
Really, we ought to ask the opposite question: just how low might the tories sink? I have them in 100-150 seats but I think it could be the lower end of that and possibly sub 100. Over 150 from here? No chance.
How the fuck is this going to work? How are these people supposed to claim asylum when they are no safe, legal routes to do so???
Hope you are okay?
If only Tories working themselves into synthetic fury about a woman who decided she would prefer to work for an honest hardworking opposition than a corrupt and corrupting government had cared as much about ‘propriety’ when they were defending the never ending Covid piss-
We talk endlessly about Corbyn and his foreign policy problems.
This guy was literally in Number 10.
Yet Sue Gray is a scandal? Pull the other one.
Do the Tories still believe in lower taxes, private enterprise, balanced budgets, properly funded public services, etc? Do they still have a vision of what kind of a country they want or do they simply mark time until the fairly inevitable handover?
The fall in gas prices and the slightly higher than expected growth have given Hunt and Sunak a few tens of billions to shape and mark out their vision. It's not a lot in the overall scheme of things but they need to make their mark and they need to do it now. The strong probability is that people have either stopped listening or no longer believe what they are told but that is their opportunity: 15th March.
The broader question is what they'll do with people, who arrive illegally and therefore can never be asylum seekers, but are from countries that don't accept deportees like Eritrea or Myanmar. What is supposed to happen to them? They'll probably be ground up to make a nutritious dietary supplement for the over 65s.
At the same time we are fast tracking asylum claims from places thought to be legitimate:
All these laws to “stop” small boats assumes that those in said boats are reading/caring about U.K. legislation. They don’t. So they’ll keep coming until something is done to stop the root causes.
Though with the tabloids sales dropping around 15% each year, I wonder if that really matters as much any more.
If the Conservatives fall below about 225 seats, Labour likely have a majority by default, unless you foresee big Lib Dem gains. And that's assuming that the SNP don't deflate.
And whilst Don't Knows plumping for Conservatives in the privacy of the polling booth might happen, Opinium think they've corrected for this, and the answer is still a big Labour win.
Edit - regarding his abilities I suppose it depends on what you mean by ‘idiot.’ I’d say he’s got a slightly higher than average IQ and shockingly poor judgement, but is convinced of his own wisdom. That, however, in itself makes him an idiot as he’s always making stupid mistakes through hubris.
It’s common in government circles of course, but he’s still an idiot.
Ukraine cannot end the war though, that is completely in the hands of the genocidal aggressor.
But equally I think if the Ukrainians could retake Mariupol the Russians would probably give up and withdraw.
Whether they can is a different question of course.
Yesterday’s polling thread confirmed that most people think the government needs to do more to stop irregular immigration, to give one example.
On the other hand, I’m still not sure that Rishi Sunak, in his very insulated little world, thinks that talking and legislating - rather than actually stopping the boats - will endear him to those living in the marginal constituencies.
As such Labour can win, but it will be close, far closer than mid term polls suggest.
These are difficult issues which the government (any government, including the forthcoming Labour one) are going to have to grapple for years. The inability of the public sector to issue passports, disability badges, licences, planning permissions and a multitude of other permissions; the inability to get a response or get through to a person who can deal with the issue; the perception (fair or not) that WFH means nothing actually gets done; a court system that is grinding to a halt, a health service which has more resources but processes fewer patients, there is a massive challenge there.
This means that the next year and a bit until the general election is an extended job interview for Keir Starmer with the voting public. He has the opportunity to convince 2019 Tory voters looking for an alternative that he's a sensible, trustworthy chap, who shares their frustrations with where the country is going wrong, and will at least avoid completely wrecking things as he attempts to fix them.
I don't have a massively high opinion of Starmer, but he at least gives every impression of understanding that this is the challenge he currently faces. You can't always say the same for other politicians.
Hire many fewer civil servants, but make them actual experts rather than The Right Sort of People.
Cut costs, increase productivity and put reality back into public policy making at a stroke.
It will never happen of course.
I think Tories sub 200 seats, possibly sub 150. I don't think Sunak can turn it around.
Incidentally, the Atlantic did a quick summary of the possibilities yesterday:
It isn’t a zero sum game.
Equally characteristic was the stooge who occupies the post of Cabinet Office Minister making the killer point that the Gray appointment had been announced before ACOBA had been notified.
The 'announcement' was, of course, a leak. Quite probably from his side.
Still, it got BigG worked up, so did the job.
This is a particularly critical calculation for the US, which has to face the prospect of defending Taiwan from China.
Remember before Trump emerged in 2012 Romney was much tougher on Putin than Obama was
PR also gives RefUK MPs and reduces the number of SNP MPs too
Then there are the costs of letting Russia 'win', or get a 'win'; the fact they will be back doing the same thing in a few years, with Russia or a.n.other rogue state emboldened by what has happened.
I'd also argue that it's perfectly possible for Ukraine to taker back control by pushing Russia out: even including Crimea. They may not, but last autumn showed they were capable of inflicting significant reverses on Russia. And unlike what some on here said, that involved pushing Russia right back to the border.
There's also the question of what this is doing to Russia, both economically and militarily. I was expecting a Russian push this spring, but it's looking increasingly likely that the attacks we've seen so far *were* the attack. If so, then the Russian military is in a really poor state.
I know the above seems rather optimistic, and will have Topping and Dura_Ace clutching at their pearls, but there may well be reasons to be optimistic.
Are we obliged to take in anyone from any really poor/crap country who makes it to our shores. There are hundreds of millions of such people.
On this I think the fundamentals of the question hinge.
The idiots making themselves look stupid by getting in a lather about Sue Grey and partygate are the Johnsonian old guard. They are carving out post politics careers for themselves on GB News. Sunak is staying noticeably quiet.
Of course, that's easy to say, and much harder to do, especially as it is so obvious. But if there's been one constant in this mess, it's been Russian strategic and tactical stupidity. Do we think they've suddenly developed brains?
I don't know the answer to any of these issues, they are just things that are worth thinking about.
May be worth considering a new market type I saw on Ladbrokes ahead of the race for predicting the top 2 and top 3. Mostly, I think that's a fool's errand, but if the Red Bull retains its competitive advantage it could be worthwhile.
Inflation is falling and growth is picking up in Western countries, so yes, we’re entirely capable of sustaining this.
If however they are forced to retreat from Bakhmut that may change. That really would be a shock and a shocker for them.
I said years ago, when the Tories were still recording double-digit leads and everyone assumed another Tory victory, that a Labour majority on my range of possible results (as well as an increased Tory majority on the range as well). The logic being when many said it was 'impossible' was that any change dramatic enough to see the Tories lose their majority could be dramatic enough that it pushes the swing far enough that Labour enters majority territory.
Well, I think that possibility has come to pass.
If I was to rate my range of possible results now I would estimate:
Labour landslide majority: 5%
Healthy Labour majority (2005-style): 50%
Slender Labour majority 20%
Hung Parliament 20%
Tory majority 5%
We could have a sane conversation about asylum. Instead we have absolutist children who have given up on governing and just want a few days of positive headlines in their client media. Having failed to notice that isn't enough any more. The people who mouth-foamingly care about stopping all asylum don't want headlines, they don't want excuses or people to blame.
They want RESULTS. The results they were promised and they voted for. Yet another round of "SINK THE BOATS" front pages followed by record numbers of boats only makes their poling calamity worse.
Irregular use of emails, secondment of party employees & an endless parade of payroll support. I don’t make claims without evidence. Anyone who thinks the answer to the party & Govt problems is more of the same is not paying attention.
HUMZA Yousaf has called SNP MP Joanna Cherry “desperate” after she claimed the “party machine” were backing his leadership campaign.
Its football. Comedy results happen - laugh them off and move on. Won the League Cup and knocked Barcelona out of the Europa league last week, let the Scousers have their fun, regroup, win more trophies.
Charnwood, Tory majority of 22,397
Rutland and Melton, Tory majority of 26,294
Harborough, Tory majority of 17,278
South Leicestershire, Tory majority of 24,004
Election Calculus predicts the Tories would be reduced to less than 175 seats if they lose seats like Harborough. Well below a hundred if Rutland and Melton falls. No idea how the boundary review is set to shake those up though.
It's striking just how quickly Moscow's authority in Central Asia has collapsed. A thread, spinning off the claim by National Anti-Corruption Committee (NAC) Kirill Kabanov chair that "there is no respect for Russia in Central Asia" 1/...