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williamjm

UK Politics : Groundhog May

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We're past 20 pages on the previous topic so it's time for a new one.

Technically, I think it's a couple of days past Groundhog Day so the title might not be perfectly timed, but it does feel like a good metaphor for the way the Theresa May's Brexit policy just seems to be endlessly repeating the same arguments.

Edited by williamjm

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It is two days late, but enjoyed the title.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

In order for Labour to win the 2017 election, it would have required a vote swing unprecedented in British political history.

Your point being?

You can't praise Corbyn's performance for exceeding all expectations and in the same breath rubbish the idea that he could ever have won.

Much of his vaunted swing came from consolidating the opposition vote, rather than making inroads into the Tory vote, and this was both why he didn't win, and a valid criticism of his performance. He both could and should have broken that record and defeated the Tories, because their performance was really that bad.

Besides, if your point is that Corbyn could not have won the 2017 election, I'm really not sure why we should believe he can win one in 2019, or ever.

3 hours ago, Werthead said:

When you have three results in a row which show that the polling was way off base

This begs a number of questions to get to the premise: any conclusions drawn are consequently flawed.

All polls, always, need to be taken with a grain of salt. They always have. They're a rough guide, and many polls got the three votes you've cited pretty much right. You should look more closely at the 2017 polls in particular.

And let's be honest, people who write off pollsters are usually doing so because they don't like the current polls. But there isn't any reason to suggest that the polls are wrong, and Corbyn is actually in a strong position to form the next government.

3 hours ago, Werthead said:

I'm assuming so, since Labour could probably arrange some kind of alliance (if perhaps not a formal coalition) with the LibDems and Greens

Could he, though? I think you'll find the difficulties of such a coalition are quite real.

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What is with the English telling the Irish (and other countries) how to vote, not vote, how to hold referendums...all while respecting a fraudulent referendum and criminally investigating the funding and behaviour of the Leave side. 

The referendum was advisory and conducted unlawfully. There are serious questions about the illegality of data manipulation and overspending. Why are we not protecting democracy from law-breaking? 

Why is the UK still going ahead with this monstrosity. I just can't get my head around it. 

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18 hours ago, mormont said:

 

Quote

I'm assuming so, since Labour could probably arrange some kind of alliance (if perhaps not a formal coalition) with the LibDems and Greens

Could he, though? I think you'll find the difficulties of such a coalition are quite real.

Can't speak for the LibDems, but from a fair anecdotal knowledge of the Greens, Labour would have to work hard to get their support now.

From the Greens' PoV they made multiple attempts at making deals with Labour in the recent past, including in the 2015 general election, and it turned out that the Labour agenda was ultimately always "Get your people to vote for us, and accept your annihilation for the greater good. (Oh, and we are going to throw huge resources at trying to get rid of your sole MP, as we see her as a huge existential threat to us.)"

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Quote

Labour would be in government despite having fewer seats than the Tories? Are we assuming things about coalitions again? 

 

Let's run with the 292 Tories, 287 Labour scenario with everything else being held the same.

Subtracting Sinn Fein and the Speaker means that 322 is the magic number. Tories + DUP + Liberal Democrats only gets to 314 (Labour, SNP, Plaid, Greens, and the Independent aren't voting for a Tory Queen's Speech). So a Tory Government is not viable.

By contrast, Corbyn could chuck some Welsh pork at Plaid, and do some negotiation with the Green and the Independent for confidence and supply purposes. That gets him up to 293. He can ignore the Liberal Democrats on these numbers. The last piece in the puzzle is the SNP - but the SNP know that bringing down a Westminster Labour Government again would be... problematic. So they're almost certainly voting for a Labour Queen's Speech (if they aren't, it's another election, where Labour will be optimistic about Scotland).

Barring the SNP getting suicidal, this result would mean a minority Labour Government. No particular need to get complicated with coalitions.

Edited by The Marquis de Leech

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To give some idea of how good 2017 was for Labour, after 2015 Labour needed a 8.8% swing to achieve a majority. It's now 3.6%. Which is tough (a minority is more likely, short of an SNP collapse), but certainly do-able. Corbyn's vote share on what was actually a 2.1% uniform swing (the Tory vote went up too) was much better distributed than Milliband's 2015 result - Corbyn did very well in the marginals.

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So yes. We're making assumptions flawed by lack of deep understanding of UK politics.

 

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1 minute ago, mormont said:

So yes. We're making assumptions flawed by lack of deep understanding of UK politics.

So you think the SNP would force another election in that situation? Because the numbers aren't there for a Tory minority.

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Quite possibly they would, yes.

I'm in a rush just now, so I apologise that there's no time to go into detail, but I see several other potholes in this hypothetical road to coalition too. But it's kind of moot. We can play fantasy politics all day: the point remains that if Corbyn's Labour can't command a poll lead now, that's significant.

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And the problem with pointing out idiocy is what?

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10 minutes ago, maarsen said:

And the problem with pointing out idiocy is what?

Only British politicians are allowed to say mean things about unelected, faceless EU officials. Those are the rules of the game, you would know that if you had paid attention to that for the past... quite a long time.

Meanwhile in Labour...

Quote

Jeremy Corbyn caused much consternation on both sides of the Irish Sea when he attacked the Irish backstop after meeting Theresa May for Brexit talks last week.

The point of that summit had been for both leaders to explore potential grounds for a cross-party compromise – or at least to pretend to. Labour’s big ask was a permanent customs union, but Corbyn’s strident criticism of the lack of a unilateral exit clause in the backstop was the dominant theme of subsequent broadcast interviews.

Not only did this upset Dublin, Labour MPs and Northern Irish politicians, but it completely blindsided relevant ministers in the shadow cabinet, who thought the issue had been settled.

[...]

But Corbyn’s broadside threatened to derail that attempt to finesse a difficult but inevitable transition, from insisting Labour could do a deal without a backstop to voting or advocating for a withdrawal agreement that would still contain one. One shadow cabinet source admits to having no clue as to why Corbyn took such a belligerent tack. “We thought we had got him off that line. He messed up,” they say.

I've got an answer to the why for the shadow cabinet source.

Corbyn is a complete moron and trainwreck as party leader.

But, then again, it's part of his grandscheme, to change the political landscape, threaten the political status quo and attacking the Thatcherite consensus. (sorry, if I have forgotten any soundbite).

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To be fair, a permanent customs union would obviate the need for a backstop, wouldn't it?

Anyway, as to Tusk's remarks, the whole can be read here:

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/02/06/remarks-by-president-donald-tusk-after-his-meeting-with-taoiseach-leo-varadkar/

It's not long, but it's all pretty blunt. For example:

Quote

The top priority for us, remains the issue of the border on the island of Ireland, and the guarantee to maintain the peace process in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement. There is no room for speculation here. The EU itself is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace; or put a sell-by date on reconciliation. And this is why we insist on the backstop. Give us a believable guarantee for peace in Northern Ireland, and the UK will leave the EU as a trusted friend.

 

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4 minutes ago, mormont said:

To be fair, a permanent customs union would obviate the need for a backstop, wouldn't it?

 

I don't think so, as you would still need all the regulatory/single market checks to be carried out and they would need infrastructure too. 

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