So, Prime Minster Theresa May has called an early general election for June 8th. Am I the only one who thinks that this is a bad idea? The only reason that I see that she’s going ahead with the latest in a long line of u-turns on recent policy (she had earlier pledged not to go to the country).
I heard the announcement on the radio yesterday with a groan…. a groan in hearing the predictions in the media that the Conservatives would win an increased majority. Some public opinion polls put them around 20 per cent ahead of Labour, and they have the backing of most of the media, even though they don’t deserve it.
The Sun, Mail, Star, Express, Times and Telegraph will all back the Conservatives, with The Guardian, Observer, Independent and The I have some liberal readerships but won’t back any party. Only the Mirror will back Labour… reluctantly. TV and radio broadcasters gave up their long pretence about impartiality years ago. Bloggers on the internet will always have their say, but they will not have any influence on the final result.
This is being billed as the brexit election, yet in all the continued fury over the EU referendum result, there has been very little scrutiny over many of the government’s most controversial domestic policies. Indeed, May’s strategy is to personally discredit her opponents to ensure that the Conservatives will stay in power for a very, very long time.
Here are my electoral predictions:
- The Conservatives will win the election, with a bigger margin than Margaret Thatcher ever achieved. They will take more seats from Labour to form a majority, but might lose some seats to the Liberal Democrats.
- Labour will be defeated, and be reduced to around 90-100 seats, losing most of them to the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. But Jeremy Corbyn will remain leader because many of his potential rivals may have either lost their seats or decide not to stand again. They are DOA in Scotland, and will increasingly lose ground in Wales and northern England. If this trend continues, they could be trapped with their sole support in London… but that won’t last forever.
- The Liberal Democrats hope that they will win back some seats in parts of the country where they are competitive with the Conservatives, but that’s a big ask. They will have more success against Labour, focusing on the support of the anti-brexit vote.
- The Scottish National Party will probably hold on to all their seats and take the three seats they don’t have, making the support for independence more likely, Plaid Cymru could finally break out of their strongholds to take seats in Labour’s South Wales heartland. The Greens hope to add to their sole seat in Brighton. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom Independence Party may look as if they are imploding… but don’t right them off just yet.
This should be potentially the most important election this country has seen for years. Brexit will certainly change our country, but for some reason I feel we may be sleepwalking to disaster…