The 2019 European Elections: Part 2
Party loyalties are collapsing. In the 2017 general election the Conservative and Labour vote combined was 83%. As of the 8th April 2019, opinion polls for the two parties was twenty points lower.
This is the second part of my European Elections summary analysis. I will be documenting the fortunes of the Labour and Conservative parties.
Since the 1920s, the only parties in Britain that have been in power with more than 326 seats in the House of Commons have been Labour and Conservative. They used to stand for different issues and had fundamental differences on political issues of the past 100 years. It used to be a huge deal with regards to the person who got in 10 Downing Street. Because of Britain’s EU membership, coupled with post-1997 politics, Labour and Conservative sounded the same. In fact, so similar, one can’t fit a fag paper between the two.
Since the 1980s, Labour has redesigned itself going from left-wing policies of the likes of Michael Foot to centrists like Tony Blair. Labour swung back to the Left with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm. As for the Conservative Party, they went from centre right-wing to more centrist in the 2001 when leader William Hague severed the Conservative Party’s links with the Monday Club. For those who don’t know, The Monday Club was a pressure group that was aligned with the Conservative Party that lasted from the 1960s until 2001. At its peak in the 1970s, it had 35 MPs, 6 of them ministers and 35 peers, with membership totalling about 10,000.
It has got to a point where Labour is becoming increasingly neo-Marxist whilst the Conservative Party under David Cameron and Theresa May has become increasingly socialist-lite. They don’t stand a chance in the 2019 European Elections. Why is that? Let us take it one party at a time.
Party loyalties are collapsing. In the 2017 general election the Conservative and Labour vote combined was 83%. As of the 8th April 2019, opinion polls for the two parties was twenty points lower. The local elections around England were a major opportunity for UKIP, which scored 9% in the same ComRes poll.
How did all this come about? On the 29th March 2019, Britain was supposed to have left the EU. It hasn’t because the majority of MPs decided that they knew better. Voters lend them powers once they are voted into parliament in a general election. Parliament seized that power knowing full well that the power they borrowed doesn’t belong to the parliamentarians. Think of Brexit as a way of getting that power back to the people it truly belongs to: the British people.
The Labour Party backed a second referendum. This is an ill-thought through decision, irrespective of the motives, which came about because of the sudden emergence of The Independenct Group, which became CUK. One controversial MP included Chuka Umunna. The Labour Party are openly putting up Remoaners as MEP candidates and are banning pro-Brexit individuals from standing at all. Out of all people in Labour, they put up Lord Andrew Adonis to be candidate for MEP. To the public, that is a clear sign of Labour being very out of touch with 5 million of its Leave voters.
The Conservative Party aren’t faring any better. In fact, the party faces a freefall in the polls. Theresa May, being Theresa May, ignored that and still did her own thing of wilfully – or not – destroying the Conservative Party as an institution. The final nail in the coffin was when the Conservative Party put up one of their lead MEPs (Sajjad Karim) as a Remoaner who wants to overturn Brexit by staying in the Single Market. We also had Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke dismiss the importance of collective responsibility, threatening to resign should the government fulfil its campaign promises to deliver Brexit. They went further by abstaining to vote on a motion, which would have left a managed no deal exit on the table. There were Conservative MPs who defected to CUK, which included Anna Soubry.
Both the two traditional parties ripped to pieces their own manifestos, so what is the point of making promises that could be torn up during a mandate? Both Corbyn and May have shown a total lack of political leadership, which will impact on how their respective party is perceived. The local elections gave us a glimpse of the electorate’s verdict. Corbyn’s deliberate ambivalence isn’t what people want. It will be too reminiscent of Theresa May. This is unlikely to wash with the citizens of this country, but they just didn’t notice that. Their focus was on keeping the EU and the EU’s supporters happy. They failed even at that.
On the 2nd May 2019, local elections took place across England and Northern Ireland (two constituent countries in the United Kingdom). On the 3rd May, results of the local council elections were counted. Both Labour and Conservative lost hundreds of councillors across the board. UKIP, despite being a shadow of its former self, made some big gains. Some voters even went as far as spoiling their ballots by writing statements such as “Brexit Betrayal” or “None of the above” to name a few examples. The Conservatives and Labour lost hundreds of seats. Independents, Liberal Democrats and Greens gained hundreds of seats between them. This doesn’t automatically mean that voters changed their minds over Brexit. They did this to give the 2 big parties a punishment for not delivering Brexit. There were renewed calls for Theresa May to resign. May blamed her loss on Brexiteer MPs. The local election wasn’t another referendum on Brexit. The Brexit Party didn’t stand and the switchers away from Labour and Conservative were both Leave and Remain supporters. The contests were mostly about local issues. Just wait until the European Elections. Both parties could get hammered by the Brexit Party.