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  #51  
Old 11-11-2019, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiendish Astronaut View Post
Of course it also allows the Brexit party to concentrate all of their resources in the non-Tory seats which will make it harder for the Tories to make gains. They canít pull all their resources from existing Tory seats but the Brexit party can.

I think that maybe Farage is hoping for a Conservative minority government or just a slim majority which allows the hard Brexiters to retain their influence (which theyíd lose in a Tory landslide).
This. The Tories retaining their current seats does not acheive Johnson's objective, which is to secure a comfortable majority. This can only be done if the Tories gain seats.

The hardening of their Brexit position will tend to repel moderate and centrist voters, so clearly their strategy is to appeal to committed Leavers and supporters of a hard or no-deal Brexit. They compete with the Brexit party for these voters. So this decision means the Brexit party will be competing with the Tories in precisely the seats that the Tories need to win. BXP is unlikely to win many - or perhaps any - of these seats, but by splitting the Leaver vote it may deny them to the Tories. This isn't good news for the Tories.
  #52  
Old 11-12-2019, 05:55 AM
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The BXPs prospect of splitting the Leave vote depends on it being seen as the standard bearer for the purest and best of all Brexits. In making the decision to stand down vs Tory incumbents, Farage has thrown away this advantage. Tory Brexit is basically acceptable. If BXP isn't standing for any different kind of Brexit than the Tories, why would you vote for them?

Perhaps more pertinently, given that BXP candidates have taken a big hit to morale, why would you go out and pound the streets for them? The "Party" may be better able to concentrate financial resources, but where are they getting the footsoldiers? They've just taken half their candidates for fools. The level of personal investment the remaining half are feeling must be pretty low.

Farage himself, who is the party's biggest (only) asset on the national stage now looks weak and compromised. How can he answer the question of why people should vote BXP in constituency A but Tory in next door constituency B? His natural attack line of needing to hold the Tories to account is up in smoke.

I don't see how the BXP can continue to be a credible force in this election now that Farage has sold a) the pass and b) his own candidates out.
  #53  
Old 11-12-2019, 06:11 AM
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The "Party" may be better able to concentrate financial resources, but where are they getting the footsoldiers? They've just taken half their candidates for fools. The level of personal investment the remaining half are feeling must be pretty low.
Not least if, as I have seen reported, their candidates had to put down £100 to be allowed to stand, which they presumably won't get back. But then, the vast majority of their candidates were always going to be sacrificial lambs, if not paper candidates.

But it's an interesting question as to the relative influence of footsoldiers, traditional and internet media campaigning. Door-to-door canvassing seems to have gone more or less by the board these days, and I don't expect to get more than the one free leaflet delivery.
  #54  
Old 11-12-2019, 09:04 AM
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"Russia, if you're listening..."

CNN:
Quote:
The UK's main opposition party says it has experienced a "sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack" on its digital platforms.

In a statement to CNN, a Labour Party spokesperson said the attack had "failed" because of the party's "robust security systems."
  #55  
Old 11-13-2019, 04:45 AM
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"Russia, if you're listening..."

CNN:
The "sophisticated and large-scale" attack seems to have been a bog standard DDOS, so maybe Russians, maybe some bored kids.

On the value of doorknocking and leafleting, you can't deny the effectiveness of digital, but I'm led to believe that as far as getting out the vote goes, you can't beat boots on the ground. And of course, there's a psychological effect: it's only worth voting BXP if you think they'll make an impact, and the more leaflets, posters, stalls at the shopping centre etc. that you see locally, the more you might think you're vote was worth. Whereas if all you're seeing is the main parties, it makes BXP look like some sort of sideshow dreamed up by a goggle-eyed con-artist to fleece the naive.
  #56  
Old 11-13-2019, 05:44 PM
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Johnson is out of his depth when confronted by members of the public.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...r-floods-video
  #57  
Old 11-15-2019, 01:13 PM
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While I agree that LibDems could see a considerable upswing from remainers/former Labour voting centrists like myself, I think it's going to be much more tactical than that. I'm a former Labour member and current voter, can't stand Corbyn, have toyed with the LibDems but then I look at my constituency results from last time and can see the Tory's slipping in if we split the vote between Labour and LibDems. So I may have to hold my nose and vote Labour.
I don't understand. The Tories and Labour are both now pro-Brexit parties. They just have different (and arguably equally shit) ideas about what Brexit means. So how does getting a Labour MP benefit you?
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  #58  
Old 11-15-2019, 01:30 PM
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I don't understand. The Tories and Labour are both now pro-Brexit parties. They just have different (and arguably equally shit) ideas about what Brexit means.
Labourís not really pro-Brexit. Depending on which way the windís blowing, their policy is a pro-Brexit, pro-ďNew DealĒ, pro-second-referendum, secretly wanting Remain hybrid. Not content to sit on one fence, theyíve gathered together several to spread their ass cheeks over.
  #59  
Old 11-15-2019, 01:45 PM
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I don't understand. The Tories and Labour are both now pro-Brexit parties. They just have different (and arguably equally shit) ideas about what Brexit means. So how does getting a Labour MP benefit you?
I'm not british but if both parties have equally shit brexit plans, then assuming the other parties aren't realistic contenders, you may as well vote for the party that aligns closer to your interests, right?

Also, I thought labour is currently advocating for a second referendum?
  #60  
Old 11-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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That's the thing, though: the Lib Dems are realistic contenders. That is, they and the SNP (which doesn't stand candidates in England and Wales) are the only significant party which is fully pro-Remain.
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Labour’s not really pro-Brexit. Depending on which way the wind’s blowing, their policy is a pro-Brexit, pro-“New Deal”, pro-second-referendum, secretly wanting Remain hybrid. Not content to sit on one fence, they’ve gathered together several to spread their ass cheeks over.
Okay, let me restate that: Jeremy Corbyn is pro-Brexit (or at least is officially pro-proceeding with Article 50) and nobody else in the party seems to have any balls.
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Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 11-15-2019 at 03:18 PM.
  #61  
Old 11-17-2019, 07:52 PM
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I'm not british but if both parties have equally shit brexit plans, then assuming the other parties aren't realistic contenders, you may as well vote for the party that aligns closer to your interests, right?

Also, I thought labour is currently advocating for a second referendum?
Two things:

Both parties having equally shit ideas about what Brexit means, as RNATB says, is not the same thing as both parties having equally shit Brexit plans. Labour's Brexit plans include a referendum with an option to Remain, so their plan allows the people to veto their shit Brexit idea. The Tories' brexit plan involves implementing their shit Brexit idea without giving the people any say in the matter. Therefore, if you think both parties have equally shit ideas about Brexit, you should vote Labour.

And, if you think both parties Brexit plans are equally shit, the conclusion is not that you should vote for whichever party aligns closer to your interests. Your vote isn't given to you for your personal advantage. You have the same duty as any citizen who is given any degree of political power or influence; to exercise it for the common good. If you use your vote to advance your personal interests, you can hardly object to elected officials using their office to advance their personal interests.
  #62  
Old 11-20-2019, 07:44 AM
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For those following along, last night the UK had its first election debate for the upcoming election. It was limited to the two main contenders, Corbyn and Johnson. Both did alright, although neither gained any ground in my opinion. It opened with Corbyn looking into the wrong camera, which made him seem bit clueless. They each had opening statements, with rebuttals of their opponent’s opening statement. In my opinion, Johnson had the better opening statement, but Corbyn had the better rebuttals. The next half-hour was a debate on Brexit which Johnson clearly won. He was emphatic that the UK would exit the EU under his Brexit plan if the Conservatives won the election. Corbyn failed to produce a coherent Labour plan. Instead, he just said that Labour would come up with a new plan and would hold a second referendum. He tried to attack Johnson on the fact that post-Brexit trade negotiations would take years to accomplish, but failed to say how his new plan would avoid these negotiations (presumably by staying in the customs union). Johnson’s attack was to ask Corbyn numerous times if he would support leaving or staying under the Labour second referendum. Corbyn declined to answer by dodging the question.

The next portion of the debate involved questions on several topics. Corbyn was the better of the two in this portion of the debate. He answered questions by stating what Labour would do if they won, and emphasised the areas, especially the NHS, he wanted to spend more on. He also gave a strong answer denouncing antisemitism, which has been an issue for the Labour party. Corbyn tried attacking Johnson on privatisation, but Johnson’s counter that Corbyn was making things up was effective. Johnson, during this part of the debate, kept trying to steer the debate back to Brexit which annoyed the moderator. One interesting segment was a question on honesty. The crowd actually laughed at Johnson when he started his answer. It was a clear chance for Corbyn to hammer Johnson on his reputation, but Corbyn handled the question pretty mildly.

Closing statements were pretty non-descript. Overall, I’d say the result of the debate was a draw. If I had to pick a winner, I’d say Johnson because Corbyn’s refusal to answer which way he’d vote in a second referendum was pretty glaring.

I didn’t view the follow-on when the other party leaders had the chance to make election speeches.
  #63  
Old 11-20-2019, 09:45 AM
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The Corbyn Cult believes he walked on water. Unfortunately, I think the ‘Get Brexit done’ appeal from Boris is going to win. The average person is likely just sick of the whole thing and Labour’s waffling all over the place hasn’t helped at all, plus all the squabbling among the other remain parties.

Anyway, just an observation from across the pond. I don’t even comment on the U.K. election on Twitter because I’m tired of waking hi and being torched by Corbyn’s Cult.
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  #64  
Old 11-20-2019, 01:58 PM
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<blockquote>If I had to pick a winner, I’d say Johnson because Corbyn’s refusal to answer which way he’d vote in a second referendum was pretty glaring.</blockquote>

No Corbyn fan, me, but I think one's opinion on how effective Corbyn's strategy was is largely determined by one's opinion on Brexit. Corbyn clearly believes there are voters who don't want the government to determine the final outcome of Brexit. What if he's right? A clear majority support a second referendum even though support for remain vs leave is still as close as it ever was.

My (Labour) constituency voted 80% Remain. Mr Johnson's banging on about getting Brexit done is not going to win him any votes around here. What about all those Tory seats in London and the Home Counties that voted remain? Clearly Corbyn wants to win some of those without alienating the Labour Leave seats up north.

Will it work?

I doubt it, but it doesn't seem like an obviously stupid strategy to me.
  #65  
Old 11-20-2019, 03:26 PM
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When you try to play both sides of the street, you just wind up being hit by traffic in both directions. Labour's failure to come up with a coherent Brexit policy is why they're losing so badly.
  #66  
Old 11-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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<blockquote>If I had to pick a winner, Iíd say Johnson because Corbynís refusal to answer which way heíd vote in a second referendum was pretty glaring.</blockquote>

No Corbyn fan, me, but I think one's opinion on how effective Corbyn's strategy was is largely determined by one's opinion on Brexit. Corbyn clearly believes there are voters who don't want the government to determine the final outcome of Brexit. What if he's right? A clear majority support a second referendum even though support for remain vs leave is still as close as it ever was.

My (Labour) constituency voted 80% Remain. Mr Johnson's banging on about getting Brexit done is not going to win him any votes around here. What about all those Tory seats in London and the Home Counties that voted remain? Clearly Corbyn wants to win some of those without alienating the Labour Leave seats up north.

Will it work?

I doubt it, but it doesn't seem like an obviously stupid strategy to me.
The labour party's Brexit position is OK (now) - labour are boxed in something savage on Brexit, prime Tony Blair would be struggling to communicate a convincing message here, let alone JC. It's his ownself that bolloxes things up - matter of record that he is anti-EU and has been for decades. So he's having to articulate a relatively nuanced position with no personal conviction and it's just deadly.

Labour manifesto out today:

https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/upl...festo-2019.pdf

McDonell did a superb job last time out so be interesting to see how this one goes over. Already received a very sceptical response from the Institute of Fiscal Studies but they may be a bunch of Tories, not sure.

https://www.ifs.org.uk/election/2019...fs-researchers
  #67  
Old 11-21-2019, 04:37 PM
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If Labour actually managed to have a position on Brexit, they might be able to communicate it. As it is, their position is to let other people decide. As for the rest of their manifesto, I too could write a document promising everybody a pony that farts rainbows, but I doubt even in my wildest fantasies I could come up with so many financial contradictions...
  #68  
Old 11-23-2019, 02:16 AM
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Question Time Leaders Special
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cQMzVjHBeI

Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Jo Swinson, and Boris Johnson each faced half an hour of tough, serious questions from informed members of the public, with the moderator keeping the focus and not letting them off the hook. It was an excellent format.

Sturgeon did well, Corbyn so-so, Swinson did pretty badly, Johnson - bluster and waffle. Johnson was laughed at when he said telling the truth was important, and 'get Brexit done' produced a loud groan from the audience. He had a hard time.
  #69  
Old 11-27-2019, 06:01 AM
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Open question: In your opinion, will the current antisemitism row cause critical damage to Labour in the 12 December elections?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50564965
  #70  
Old 11-27-2019, 06:12 AM
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Open question: In your opinion, will the current antisemitism row cause critical damage to Labour in the 12 December elections?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50564965
I think itís more the Cult of Corbyn that will be the damage of Labour. You either have to be 100 percent with Corbyn or youíre a Blairite or a Tory. I donít even comment on the U.K. election on Twitter because I know Iíll wake up being torched by the red rose brigade. I am American but Iíve been studying UK politics since before most of them were born.
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  #71  
Old 11-27-2019, 06:28 AM
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Open question: In your opinion, will the current antisemitism row cause critical damage to Labour in the 12 December elections?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50564965
I don't know how much the UK electorate will a) accept that Corbyn's Labour have an anti-semitism problem or b) care. But: Corbyn is handling this appallingly. A letter from a Chief Rabbi is a big deal, and needs a response on the same scale. Continuing to insist that he has already apologised (when?) and therefore not apologising now and struggling to do something as easy as outright condemn statements that Zionist Rothschilds secretly control the world with something stronger than "People shouldn't say that" doesn't do anything to kill the story. Journalists will keep asking him if he's going to apologise, he'll keep on deflecting and the story will stay alive.

Even from a purely cynical point of view, even if he believes he's done nothing wrong wrt anti-semitism, he would be well advised to make an apology, sit down with the Chief Rabbi, make a joint announcement about how much he's learned and try to put the issue to bed.

As it is, every policy announcement and appearance he wants to make can now be thrown off course by questions about what he's going to do about anti-semitism in his party. This is what will be damaging - his message (which is always harder for Labour to get out than for Tories) will be derailed, voters won't get the view of him and Labour that his campaign wants, and he'll struggle to cut through accordingly.
  #72  
Old 11-27-2019, 08:21 AM
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I've been thinking about 2017 vs now.

In 2017 Corbyn was way behind in the polls (hence why the election was called). But throughout the campaign he surged massively, the Tories lost their majority and he looked like an impressive campaigner whose policies appealed to a large slice of the electorate. But it was also true that the Tory campaign was awful, not just in terms of being fronted by the robotic May but also in terms of content. In particular the manifesto launch was a spectacular own goal with major policies which would negatively impact core Tory voters, and which had to be walked back.

So the question always was, to what extent was 2017 a reflection of Corbyn/Momentum's campaigning skill, and to what extent a reflection of an unbelievably shite Tory campaign?

I think (tentatively!) that we're getting an answer to that now. The Tories produced a dull and unimaginative manifesto that made barely any ripples. Boris hasn't done anything amazing as a campaign front man, but he hasn't done anything awful either. The Tory lead is holding up in the polls. It may have shrunk slightly in the past week, but it's still healthy. Depending on which turnout model the pollster is applying, their lead is between 7 and 13 points. By contrast, the Labour campaign has (I feel) failed to ignite. I just don't have the same sense of momentum. In particular, 2017 was notable for Corbyn's rallies. Dismissed as preaching to the choir (by me among others) they turned out to be an effective way of a) getting social media footage of Corbyn barnstorming to a pumped up crowd and b) energising supporters to hit the doorstep. I don't know if I'm just missing it, but I don't get the feeling those rallies are happenign with the same frequency or energy.

In short, I think a lot of 2017 was down to the Tory campaign imploding, and in the absence of something of that scale to jolt people out of their current view of the parties/candidates, the Tories will hold on to their lead.
  #73  
Old 11-27-2019, 08:55 AM
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I agree, I think that 2017 was a result of the Maybot and magic money trees plus that too many people put faith in Labour as a stop Brexit party.

I’m not seeing much positive about Labour on social media, there’s none of the optimism in the clips of Corbyn rallies from 2017. All I’m seeing is vitriol from Twitter accounts with a red rose and a lot of it is directed towards the Liberal Democrats
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  #74  
Old 11-27-2019, 04:11 PM
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I'm not sensing a seachange coming, and with two weeks left to go, it's a bit late for one to start. If Boris doesn't trip over his own dick (always a possibility), and without some 'black swan' event like the Grenfell Tower fire (which happened seven days after the last election), he is probably rolling home.
  #75  
Old 11-28-2019, 12:46 PM
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I know Labour is going to lose: nothing but claims of rigged polls from Corbynís cult today on Twitter
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  #76  
Old 11-28-2019, 02:20 PM
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To be fair, there is a MASSIVE amount of anti-Corbyn disinfo being promulgated on social media at the moment, so I wouldn't at all be surprised if some of the polls were genuinely rigged. There was also the Conservatives getting caught changing one of their Twitter accounts to look like a fake fact-checking site and using it to potshot Corbyn during the television debate. Corbyn is running an awful campaign but the Tories keep getting caught out engaging in blatant lies and dirty tricks, and it's not doing them any favors either. It has been noticed that Jacob Rees-Mogg has been removed from the public eye for the duration, and even Boris is cutting back on public appearances as his support drops every time he talks in front of a camera (a problem that, apparently, Jo Swinson also suffers from).

I think there's going to be an anti-Conservative swing but the extent to which it will benefit Labour, the Lib Dems, Brexit Party or other parties remains to be seen (although the SNP will almost certainly do well).

Also, it looks like Sinn Fein and the SDLP are gunning for the DUP and frankly I can't get too upset about the thought of Arlene Foster being handed her own backside even if it benefits Sinn Fein.
  #77  
Old 11-28-2019, 02:27 PM
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BTW, the irony of republicans pushing a Remain agenda and unionists pushing Leave when Brexit would likely increase republican sentiment in NI is not lost on me.
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Old 11-28-2019, 05:00 PM
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Boris Johnson (and Nigel Farage) decided not to participate in a climate change debate between party leaders on Channel 4. So they were replaced with ice sculptures. Unfortunately, "earlier speculation that the ice would be carved in a representation of the prime minister proved wide of the mark." Instead, they were replaced by ice sculptures of the planet Earth.
  #79  
Old 11-28-2019, 06:55 PM
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My considered opinion on the forthcoming GE: every cunt has lost their fucking minds.

I won't be taking any questions at this time.
  #80  
Old 11-29-2019, 05:30 AM
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Boris Johnson (and Nigel Farage) decided not to participate in a climate change debate between party leaders on Channel 4. So they were replaced with ice sculptures. Unfortunately, "earlier speculation that the ice would be carved in a representation of the prime minister proved wide of the mark." Instead, they were replaced by ice sculptures of the planet Earth.
And now Boris is all butthurt about it, threatening Channel 4 with a "review of their broadcasting remit" for daring to replace him with an ice sculpture when he didn't bother to show up.

I really don't think Boris wants to get into a war with the media right before a GE; even the Boris-friendly media outlets know that letting the government punish the media for unfavourable coverage (and especially for something so trivial) sets a very bad precedent that could bite them later. And it's not going to do him much good with the public either; it's a big baby move from a big sulky baby Boris.
  #81  
Old 11-29-2019, 07:34 AM
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I've been thinking about 2017 vs now.

In 2017 Corbyn was way behind in the polls (hence why the election was called). But throughout the campaign he surged massively, the Tories lost their majority and he looked like an impressive campaigner whose policies appealed to a large slice of the electorate. But it was also true that the Tory campaign was awful, not just in terms of being fronted by the robotic May but also in terms of content. In particular the manifesto launch was a spectacular own goal with major policies which would negatively impact core Tory voters, and which had to be walked back.

So the question always was, to what extent was 2017 a reflection of Corbyn/Momentum's campaigning skill, and to what extent a reflection of an unbelievably shite Tory campaign?

I think (tentatively!) that we're getting an answer to that now. The Tories produced a dull and unimaginative manifesto that made barely any ripples. Boris hasn't done anything amazing as a campaign front man, but he hasn't done anything awful either. The Tory lead is holding up in the polls. It may have shrunk slightly in the past week, but it's still healthy. Depending on which turnout model the pollster is applying, their lead is between 7 and 13 points. By contrast, the Labour campaign has (I feel) failed to ignite. I just don't have the same sense of momentum. In particular, 2017 was notable for Corbyn's rallies. Dismissed as preaching to the choir (by me among others) they turned out to be an effective way of a) getting social media footage of Corbyn barnstorming to a pumped up crowd and b) energising supporters to hit the doorstep. I don't know if I'm just missing it, but I don't get the feeling those rallies are happenign with the same frequency or energy.

In short, I think a lot of 2017 was down to the Tory campaign imploding, and in the absence of something of that scale to jolt people out of their current view of the parties/candidates, the Tories will hold on to their lead.
It's a winter election and I just don't think you're going to have hordes of people fired up to stand in the freezing cold for a political rally.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:50 AM
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And it's not going to do him much good with the public either; it's a big baby move from a big sulky baby Boris.
And it doesn't look good that he appears to have sent his dad to make his excuses. Diddums.
  #83  
Old 11-30-2019, 02:54 PM
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Can someone explain how Jo Swinson became party leader? She is young and inexperienced, but unlike, say Buttigieg, who is obviously intelligent and talented, she just comes off as average. Did the Liberal Democrats have no one better? It's a huge missed opportunity given the limitations of Johnson and Corbyn and the fact there is a large anti-Brexit constituency which has no other party to go to. With a better leader this could have been a breakthrough year for the Lib Dems.

When is the last time Britain had such deeply unimpressive party leaders as Johnson, Corbyn and Swinson ? I am guessing the answer is pretty much never which is deeply worrying given the huge challenge of Brexit that the next leader will likely face.
  #84  
Old 11-30-2019, 04:35 PM
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Well, now we've got our 'black swan' event - but whether it hurts Johnson or helps him remains to be seen.
  #85  
Old 11-30-2019, 07:36 PM
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Can someone explain how Jo Swinson became party leader? She is young and inexperienced, but unlike, say Buttigieg, who is obviously intelligent and talented, she just comes off as average. Did the Liberal Democrats have no one better? It's a huge missed opportunity given the limitations of Johnson and Corbyn and the fact there is a large anti-Brexit constituency which has no other party to go to. With a better leader this could have been a breakthrough year for the Lib Dems.

When is the last time Britain had such deeply unimpressive party leaders as Johnson, Corbyn and Swinson ? I am guessing the answer is pretty much never which is deeply worrying given the huge challenge of Brexit that the next leader will likely face.
This is not just a British thing. Canada had the same issues. Just to name two recent examples:

Stephane Dion became leader of the Liberal Party (at the time the official opposition). He is big on environmentalism and federalism (as opposed to Quebec separatism; Mr. Dion is from Quebec). Unfortunately he is not media trained and does not have charisma. He basically surprised everyone by winning the leadership, and was then demolished in the election.

One of Dion's rivals was Bob Rae, who decades ago was the premier of Canada's largest province... which made him fantastically unpopular. I've read books about how bad he was, and yet he was seen as more competent than Dion. However Rae could not possibly have won the election (for different reasons than Dion). Rae had been kicked out of office after only one term, so maybe the Liberals didn't want to vote for a proven loser.

Andrew Scheer is the leader of the Conservative Party. He won the leadership by a fraction (less than 2%), falling behind the more charismatic Maxime Bernier until the last ballot (when the everyone-but-Bernier movement supported Scheer). Bernier is basically Canada's Trump, and I think if he won the leadership things would have gone much worse for the Conservatives. (Bernier launched his own party, but didn't manage to win a single seat. Scheer actually won the popular vote by one or two percent, but this was mainly due to winning massive support in only one region in the country.)

To figure out how Swinson won, it's probably necessary to analyze her rivals. They may have been worse.

The primary process (or leadership election process, whatever it is called in whatever country) seems to be broken, especially with today's hyper partisanship. Far too often the winner is whoever is most extreme and is able to recruit the most new members to the party. What wins leadership campaigns rarely wins elections. Of course, the fact that totally unsuitable candidates can win locally (rather than losing to more suitable opposition candidates) causes problems too. This isn't a specific comment about Ms. Swinson. She's a centrist and beyond her being a very strong Remainer I know nothing about her.

IMO, if Labour had a pro-Remain leader, Remain may have won the referendum. Corbyn has charisma (somehow), at least among young people, which is how he won his leadership campaign and why he still has support in his party. It's not possible to eject him, just like Trump will not be found guilty by the Senate (even if he's caught on live TV saying "I wanted a quid pro quo"). The polls are tightening (apparently his pie-in-the-sky manifesto is more popular than Boris Johnson's pie-in-the-sky manifesto) but Corbyn is essentially running for minority leadership. I think a lot of Britons might be upset at the thought of him winning, even if they agree with the platform, because he will have to negotiate a new deal with the EU (I don't know what he would do differently), pass that deal through a minority Parliament, then hold a second referendum...

So I guess I'm less interested in how Swinson became leader, and more interested in how Corbyn remained leader. Labour Remainer members did themselves a disservice by continuing to support him.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:59 AM
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So I guess I'm less interested in how Swinson became leader, and more interested in how Corbyn remained leader. Labour Remainer members did themselves a disservice by continuing to support him.
Corbyn won because the alternatives were Burnham, Cooper and Kendall, all of whom were continuing in the tradition of Ed Miliband in promoting a "Tory-lite" watered-down Blairism version of the Labour Party. All three gave pat, pre-prepared answers to every question, regardless of whether they actually answered the question being asked. None of them demonstrated any interest in what the party membership cared about, particularly with regard to austerity.

Corbyn, conversely, actually answered the questions being asked, opposed austerity and appealed to the young and the left-leaning who had felt that Labour had abandoned them. The fact that he has no leadership skills to speak of is, to put it mildly, unfortunate. I'd been hoping from the beginning that Corbyn would force the party to reconsider what it actually stood for and then an actual more competent leader would emerge to challenge him and Labour could move forward, but apart from a tepid bid from Owen Smith no one seems to be either inclined or capable to try to grab the reins.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:38 AM
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no one seems to be either inclined or capable to try to grab the reins.
That will depend on the election result. But it will require someone to do so from within the new direction the party's taken under Corbyn, just without his personal limitations and the more rigidly purist acolytes at the centre of his operation.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:05 AM
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Well, now we've got our 'black swan' event - but whether it hurts Johnson or helps him remains to be seen.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:54 AM
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The primary process (or leadership election process, whatever it is called in whatever country) seems to be broken, especially with today's hyper partisanship. Far too often the winner is whoever is most extreme and is able to recruit the most new members to the party. What wins leadership campaigns rarely wins elections.
Iím afraid I donít agree with this analysis, at least for Canada at the federal level. Both of the two major parties, Liberals and Conservatives, have similar leadership systems, designed to ensure that the winning candidate has general support in the party across the country. Itís not just a popular vote of the party members.

That system does in fact weed out extremists within the party. Take the last Conservative leadership. Candidates like OíLeary drop out early for lack of support. Candidates like Trost go nowhere. And candidates like Bernier, who advanced radical (by Canadian standards) positions on immigration and supply-management trigger an ďanybody-butĒ movement against them.

And the statement that winning leadership doesn't lead to electoral success just make no sense to me, sorry. In 2013, Justin Trudeau won the leadership on the first vote, with over 70% of votes cast and 80% of constituency points. And two years later, he won the general election with a good majority, taking the Liberals from third party status to majority government, something no other party leader has done in Canadian history. The Liberal leadership process certainly translated into electoral success.

By contrast, the Conservative leadership conference went to 13 ballots before Scheer won in a squeaker. To me, thatís a sign of a divided party, not a flaw in the leadership process.
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:23 AM
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It's a winter election and I just don't think you're going to have hordes of people fired up to stand in the freezing cold for a political rally.
Well, OK. But what's the alternative that does the same job? Because Labour's great strength is meant to be its activist base who are more prepared to doorknock and GOTV than the much smaller and much older Conservative membership. But a 2017-style performance is going to need (among other things) a motivated membership - especially as it's December.

That said, there have been some small pro-Labour shifts in the polls - an average of a couple of points shaved off the Tory lead in the last week. It's got some way to go, but equally the way the seats and voters are distributed, Tories need more than c.6% lead to get a majority so narrowing down rather than overtaking may be "good enough". There's still quite a way to go though. The decline of the Lib Dems may bring some Labour waverers back into the fold; there's also tactical voting at play. But you still feel the Labour campaign needs a bit of kick up the arse.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:09 AM
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Can someone explain how Jo Swinson became party leader? She is young and inexperienced, but unlike, say Buttigieg, who is obviously intelligent and talented, she just comes off as average. Did the Liberal Democrats have no one better? It's a huge missed opportunity given the limitations of Johnson and Corbyn and the fact there is a large anti-Brexit constituency which has no other party to go to. With a better leader this could have been a breakthrough year for the Lib Dems.

When is the last time Britain had such deeply unimpressive party leaders as Johnson, Corbyn and Swinson ? I am guessing the answer is pretty much never which is deeply worrying given the huge challenge of Brexit that the next leader will likely face.
She is indeed mediocre and is hardly alone in Westminster in that regard - unfortunately she also lacks that likeability fairy dust that effective political communicators have in their DNA, she badly rubs the electorate up the wrong way. I guess in fairness a national campaign either makes or breaks you, it's not really possible to know how a person will perform as it's such a giant step up from local or Westminster-focussed party politics

I think the biggest talent vacuum has to be in labour and is a huge missed opportunity for the left, in hindsight. JC couldn't run a bath and can never be elected, but if he had someone younger and credible to hand over to a year or so ago, once he had shored up his powerbase, then that would have been a huge play. Not old, talented, on the left of the party, electable - it's asking a lot and not sure that person exists.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:15 AM
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I think the biggest talent vacuum has to be in labour and is a huge missed opportunity for the left, in hindsight. JC couldn't run a bath and can never be elected, but if he had someone younger and credible to hand over to a year or so ago, once he had shored up his powerbase, then that would have been a huge play. Not old, talented, on the left of the party, electable - it's asking a lot and not sure that person exists.
Rebecca Long-Bailey is being talked about as the anointed successor.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:29 AM
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It would be nice to see Labour pick a female leader (Beckett and Harman only having held the role in a temporary sense).
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:02 PM
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Can someone explain how Jo Swinson became party leader? She is young and inexperienced, but unlike, say Buttigieg, who is obviously intelligent and talented, she just comes off as average. Did the Liberal Democrats have no one better? It's a huge missed opportunity given the limitations of Johnson and Corbyn and the fact there is a large anti-Brexit constituency which has no other party to go to. With a better leader this could have been a breakthrough year for the Lib Dems.
Swinson had a close association with Vince Cable, the previous Liberal Democrat leader, which undoubtedly helped. Also, although comparatively young, turning 40 early next year, sheís a party veteran. She was first elected to Parliament in 2005, and served in Government with Nick Clegg when he was Deputy Prime Minister. Personally, I tend to think of the 21st century Liberal Democrats as the nice, middle-class, centre-left party. Swinson fills that niche pretty strongly. As a campaigner, I think sheís made two mistakes. On Brexit, she shifted the party from pursuing a second referendum to outright Article 50 revocation. That probably alienated some soft Remainers who wanted to respect the first referendum, but were willing to accept a second referendum was fair given the tumult in Parliament. The other mistake is that she hasnít established the Liberal Democrats as a clear alternative to both the Conservatives and Labour. She needed to go on the attack, generating soundbites the media would report. Against the Conservatives, the easy target is to attack Johnsonís character. Against Labour, attack Corbyn and McDonnellís spending plans. Whatever Swinson is saying is barely being reported, which means itís not interesting. So instead of being ďtheĒ third party in the election, the Liberal Democrats are just one of the ďotherĒ parties in the election while the Conservatives and Labour battle it out.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:13 PM
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Rebecca Long-Bailey is being talked about as the anointed successor.
Her or Angela Rayner would both be a big step in the right direction (though neither a stellar candidate IMHO) - both just a bit too inexperienced to take the baton this time round. Rayner in particular would be tough I reckon, she's pragmatic, compelling life story and can represent the left without being weighed down with the usual ideological nonsense that just steals oxygen.

Last edited by Busy Scissors; 12-03-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:40 AM
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Compared to other UK election threads, this one is incredibly slow moving.

I'm pretty sure that's a comment on this election - it's been pretty dull with no major incidents positive or negative for any party, just a grinding out of planned campaign strategies. There's a lot at stake in this election, but none of that has really come to the fore, somehow.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:49 AM
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A poll released at midnight shows the conservative party with a 14 point lead. It was the same polling company that in 2017 had it narrowed down to one point in the last days of the election. It looks very ominous for Labour. Boris Johnson is a moron but all he's had to do was repeat his canned line of getting brexit done and then just run down the clock.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:58 AM
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Rebecca Long-Bailey is being talked about as the anointed successor.
Rebecca Wrong-Dailey as she's better known. She's dreadful. The labour voters I know who hate Corbyn talk of his close associates in pretty damming terms and she's high up the list for criticism. I find her smug, self-satisfied and intensely annoying and the only benefit she'd bring is that she isn't Corbyn. She has the same demeanour as Corbyn though and has been his uncritical lap-dog and enabled him to be the worst labour leader in my living memory.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:02 AM
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It would be nice to see Labour pick a female leader (Beckett and Harman only having held the role in a temporary sense).
Perhaps but I think the might be best to concentrate first of all on choosing a leader who can command a decent amount of respect amongst a) the back benchers, b) the electorate. their gender is, and should be, irrelevant.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:36 AM
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Perhaps but I think the might be best to concentrate first of all on choosing a leader who can command a decent amount of respect amongst a) the back benchers, b) the electorate. their gender is, and should be, irrelevant.
Sure, but if it starts to seem like Labour is incapable of either recruiting, retaining or appointing women who are meet those qualifications then that is going to be a problem. In any individual leadership contest, it might just so happen that the best candidate is a man - but it's happened in every leadership contest Labour have ever had, which cannot be said of the Conservatives, the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour and even UKIP. That's a series of coincidences which can't be expected to last much longer without people beginning to wonder what it is about Labour that means it can't produce a woman who commands sufficient respect among the backbenches and the electorate.
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