Before you take time to read this you might like to know my form on predicting the results of elections
In 2010 when Brown was kicked out and no party had a majority, I made no prediction as I had no real grip on what was happening. This is a sure sign that the result will not be conclusive which turned out to be the case and Brown left No 10 after a few days of grumping around to make way for the coalition.
In 2015, when all the polls and commentators were predicting a hung parliament, I wrote five weeks before polling day - "The most likely outcome is a Conservative Party with either a majority or near majority" - DRP Newsletter 4th April 2015
I was virtually alone in countenancing this possibility including the experts at Conservative Party HQ. According to Nick Robinson, BBC, the day after the election, "No pollsters, no pundits, no political leaders saw it coming. Even David Cameron, himself did not see it coming. This was a day no one expected. No one could take it in."
So how did I know they would win? Because George Osborne has made sure that house prices would continue to rise in the run up to the election with two special measures.
One, he introduced the help-to-buy programme whereby the government made money available to “help” first time buyers. The result was that all the handouts when straight into lifting prices benefiting those already in the market and doing nothing for the first time buyers. It was a typical piece of Tory skulduggery.
Two, he allowed pensioners to take out their pension pots as lump sums. This had the predictable effect of steering more money into the housing market as older people used their pension money to give to young relatives to allow them to buy a property. These measures and others ensured that the property market felt buoyant in 2014/15 and the fear arose that under the “leftie” leader, Ed Miliband, this would be reversed.
The Conservatives did not advertise these cheap tricks in their manifesto as that would have made them look crafty and self-interested and so commentators failed to notice it. But the British electorate who wanted the property bonanza to continue were all too aware of it.
You should add to that that Cameron had promised a EU referendum. Also in the Tories favour was that Labour had chosen another unelectable leader in a succession of unelectable leaders – Brown, Milliband and [following on] Corbyn.
In 2016, as the US presidential election approached, most people were writing off Donald Trump and a Hilary Clinton win was confidently predicted. I published in the DRP leader of 22 October "Why Trump Might Still Win – If the Vote is Not Rigged"
My gut instinct was to say he would win, but in the end my caution was understandable as he did not win a majority of votes only a majority in the electoral college – and of course it is the latter which counts.
Meme of the day
In 2017 Theresa May called for a general election. This was quite unnecessary as Cameron had bequeathed her a reasonable overall majority but she had fallen victim, as most commentators had, to the opinion polls verdict that she would massively increase her majority.
On the contrary my radar was not picking up this or any strong signal and so I made no prediction. As in 2010 this was a sure sign that the result would be inconclusive – which it was.
So what about the election on 12th December 2019? Here I have no doubt about the result.
There will be a Conservative landslide with Johnson easily winning an overall majority. It will not be as massive as in the old days of the two party system. Now the SNP regularly gains a formidable number of seats and that is enough to have an effect on the size of the government’s majority.
As regards Labour, and the Libdems, things will be messy. As everyone says, this election will be about Brexit. The Libdems will pick up some of the diehard remainer vote, with their totally undemocratic policy of simply ignoring the referendum result. But many remainers do have a soft spot for democracy and so they may look to Labour
But there they will find only confusion. Corbyn and McDonnell think they have found a clever wheeze to appeal to everyone by promising another referendum. It won’t work. People have had enough. This policy just looks like indecision and weakness.
This leaves the only other player – the newly formed Brexit Party. Their pitch is that Boris’s EU deal is not a strong enough Brexit or not one at all and so true Brexiteers should vote for them. I do not say that the difference between the deal that the EU has agreed and the one the Brexit Party want is too subtle for the electorate to understand. That is not why they will make little headway
Very many people will recognise as I do that with whatever deal we have the negotiations will not stop. Whether you have a strong or weak Brexit once we are out that is just a new starting point. It is a new starting point where the rules have radically changed for one simple reason
Instead of being in a club where we have to deal with a whole complicated machinery with multiple hydra-heads we will be an independent nation negotiating with a single body – the EU. This is the difference between bilateral relationship and a multilateral one.
In general, the Constitution Party is opposed to being involved in any legalistic multilateral organisation. The world “legalistic” is important here, For instance, we are in favour of being in the UN and the Commonwealth as these are not legalistic or in any sense federal, as the EU very much is. However, we favour bilateral deals, such as trade deals with other single countries, and many other types.
The big difference between a bilateral deal and a multilateral deal is that in the case of the latter there must be some kind of extranational organisation to administer things – such as the Brussels bureaucracy. With a bilateral arrangement the two countries decide between themselves without ever appealing to a third party
And one more thing. You can just rat on a bilateral deal any time you want. Getting out of a multilateral club as we have found is not so easy
So being in a bilateral deal with the EU whatever the content of that deal is completely different from being in the multilateral club that is the EU. We can flex and change – or opt out completely just like that if we wish
This is why the Brexit Party’s proposal will carry no weight with the electorate. Farage has to be congratulated for the quality of people he has recruited and for the money he has raised but I would not be surprised to see the party virtually give up before polling day if the money runs out.
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So will Boris win because he is any good or just because the others are so useless? Well, he is good. And this is why the result will be overwhelmingly in his favour.
For many of us for a long time the jury was out as to whether underneath the spineless jelly fish exterior there was a politician of real steel or just – whatever jellyfishes have.
From day one as PM he has shown his mettle [sic]. The decision to expel long standing party grandees from the parliamentary party was the kind of thing that is just not supposed to happen. But it did
I wrote about how Boris has something of the Whig side of the Conservative Party in him. The Whigs of any age would have hated the EU. Whether he will go further towards Whiggery by promoting the nation (as Trump is doing) or getting a handle on the thieves in the City of London remains to be seen. But there have been suggestions in his major speeches that he might
Above all he is the only one in the race who talks of the potential of the new independent post-Brexit Britain. He understands what most politicians today have forgotten.
The people need hope.