Tories could easily win a big general election majority on opposition parties' vote splitting

Patslatt1

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Alister Campbell who was PM Blair's PR adviser told Pat Kenney on Newstalk that history could be repeated with a splitting of the Labour vote by the Liberals that gives the Tories a big general election majority as happened with PM Thatcher. The latter's victory was based on about 35% of the vote as the Tories went up the middle under first past the post voting system.
The Liberals' resurgence as shown in the EU parliamentary elections and Labour leader Corbyn's low opinion poll ratings coupled with his radical hard left socialism likely will prevent a typical historic general election fading of Liberals from recent high poll ratings.
So a Tory government majority is quite feasible that would be potentially disastrous for Brexit trade negotiations with the EU and for Irish UK trade. It looks as if an election pact or at least the offer of one by Labour to the Liberals and possibly to other parties will be needed to prevent such disaster.
The pact would need to specify that where opinion polls predicted (within + or - 2%?) a Tory MP victory if some or all of the weaker candidates except for the stronger ones or the strongest didn't withdraw, they would withdraw.
The Liberals may be in an overconfident mood in their resurgence and refuse an election pact. If so, Labour should still publicise an open offer of a pact and claim the high moral ground of acting in the national interest to prevent a disastrous Tory hard Brexit. In contrast to the desertion of Boris Johnson's brother from the Tory government, refusal of a pact by the Liberals would look very selfish to voters.


 


benroe

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Nigel Farage offered the Tories a pact yesterday, reckons together they would be unstoppable, I tend to agree, they are a much more compatible union than a Lab/Lib pact, accusations of them veering far right wouldn't be anything new to them either.
 

Sync

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Sure. The unproven right wing party with 0 MPs and zero history or achievements is obviously a compatible partner for people who have voted Tory for decades. Much more so than the Lib Dem councillor from down the road.

“Hey morons: we think you’re too stupid to assess people on their merits. See this Tory who’s been a councillor for a decade? Well we’re NOT going to ask you to vote for them. Instead can you vote for this pub owner who sells tin foil alien shields in their spare time?”
 

Dame_Enda

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Thatcher's party won 43% in two GE's and 42% in her last win in 1987.
 

raetsel

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Nigel Farage offered the Tories a pact yesterday, reckons together they would be unstoppable, I tend to agree, they are a much more compatible union than a Lab/Lib pact, accusations of them veering far right wouldn't be anything new to them either.
If they manage to agree a pact, they will get a decent majority, but there are a number of obstacles. It is being speculated the Cummings will block any pact, (he despises Farage) and secondly there has to be some doubt as to whether Johnson wants to leave with no deal, which is one of Farage's stipulations.
 

pippakin

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Depending upon what happens with Brexit the next election and possibly all UK elections in the foreseeable future will be about Brexit in which case its no longer a two horse one donkey race. The Brexit Party and UKIP thrive on Remain lies and hypocrisy, UK voters are unaccustomed to being openly insulted by anyone let alone politicians who owe their jobs and their wonderful expenses to the very people they are insulting
 

Patslatt1

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Thatcher's party won 43% in two GE's and 42% in her last win in 1987.
First past the post can produce election majorities on less than those figures,possibly as low as a third if the losing parties' votes are heavily concentrated with a lot more votes than needed to win majorities in constituencies.
 
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Dame_Enda

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First past the post can produce election majorities on less than those figures,possibly as low as a third if the losing parties' votes are heavily concentrated with a lot more votes than needed to win a majority.
I know that. The 2010 election was odd because the Tories won about 5 times the Lib Dems number of MPs despite being only around 12% ahead of them in the popular vote. The polls were extremely volatile in that election, just as they were in 2017 when Labour started off over 20% behind the Tories and almost caught up in the popular vote.

Having followed UK elections since the 1990's its notable that when the Lib Dems have a good election, their popular vote growth tends to be disproportionately concentrated in rural England where it results in a lot of seatless growth because of rock solid Tory majorities there (except in the Southwest where the margins are tighter and the Lib Dems were historically strong when local Yeovil MP Paddy Ashdown was leader).
 

Patslatt1

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If they manage to agree a pact, they will get a decent majority, but there are a number of obstacles. It is being speculated the Cummings will block any pact, (he despises Farage) and secondly there has to be some doubt as to whether Johnson wants to leave with no deal, which is one of Farage's stipulations.
Historically, Liberals' strong polling faded dramatically in general elections. There is a good chance this will be the Brexit party's experience unless the voters haven't vented their antiestablishment anger enough in the EU elections.
 

Kevin Parlon

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So a Tory government majority is quite feasible that would be potentially disastrous for Brexit trade negotiations with the EU and for Irish UK trade.
Why would a Tory government majority be potentially disastrous for trade negotiations?
 

wombat

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Why would a Tory government majority be potentially disastrous for trade negotiations?
Depends on which Tories are left standing, if its Johnson, he may have no interest or worse still, he may have no one capable of negotiating.
 

Kevin Parlon

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Depends on which Tories are left standing, if its Johnson, he may have no interest or worse still, he may have no one capable of negotiating.
This doesn't make coherent sense to me at all. Why wd Johnson have no interest in something that will make him more popular at home and more secure in power? What do you mean by "no one capable"?
 

wombat

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This doesn't make coherent sense to me at all. Why wd Johnson have no interest in something that will make him more popular at home and more secure in power? What do you mean by "no one capable"?
I don't believe that Johnson is interested in a deal. Remember that no kind of deal will satisfy Farage & co. Johnson wants to fight one battle at a time and his priority is to see off the Brexit threat. He has fired or lost most of his experienced ministers, what remains don't have the experience to know when and how to compromise.
 

Kevin Parlon

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I don't believe that Johnson is interested in a deal. Remember that no kind of deal will satisfy Farage & co. Johnson wants to fight one battle at a time and his priority is to see off the Brexit threat. He has fired or lost most of his experienced ministers, what remains don't have the experience to know when and how to compromise.
Disagree. Just because they won't take a deal at any price doesn't mean they don't want a deal.
 

wombat

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Disagree. Just because they won't take a deal at any price doesn't mean they don't want a deal.
They don't want the deal that May agreed to but after 3 years they haven't suggested an alternative acceptable to the other side. According to the EU they still haven't proposed an alternative which sounds like they're not serious.
 

midlander12

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Alister Campbell who was PM Blair's PR adviser told Pat Kenney on Newstalk that history could be repeated with a splitting of the Labour vote by the Liberals that gives the Tories a big general election majority as happened with PM Thatcher. The latter's victory was based on about 35% of the vote as the Tories went up the middle under first past the post voting system.
The Liberals' resurgence as shown in the EU parliamentary elections and Labour leader Corbyn's low opinion poll ratings coupled with his radical hard left socialism likely will prevent a typical historic general election fading of Liberals from recent high poll ratings.
So a Tory government majority is quite feasible that would be potentially disastrous for Brexit trade negotiations with the EU and for Irish UK trade. It looks as if an election pact or at least the offer of one by Labour to the Liberals and possibly to other parties will be needed to prevent such disaster.
The pact would need to specify that where opinion polls predicted (within + or - 2%?) a Tory MP victory if some or all of the weaker candidates except for the stronger ones or the strongest didn't withdraw, they would withdraw.
The Liberals may be in an overconfident mood in their resurgence and refuse an election pact. If so, Labour should still publicise an open offer of a pact and claim the high moral ground of acting in the national interest to prevent a disastrous Tory hard Brexit. In contrast to the desertion of Boris Johnson's brother from the Tory government, refusal of a pact by the Liberals would look very selfish to voters.
First of all, Thatcher never got elected with 35% of the vote. Both herself (3 times) and Major (in 1992) won 42-43%, which even in PR systems would bring a party towards an overall majority, as it did several times for FF. Her 'majorities' were however increased by the fact that Lab and the Liberal/SDP Alliance (later the LD's) were quite close in support terms in many parts of the country and their votes tended to take from each other.

The most egregious example of a 'minority majority' under FPTP was in fact Blair in 2005 who won a 'majority' of 64 with just 35% of the vote. Again, at the time the LD's were quite strong (they won over 60 seats) and were soaking up Tory votes in the south and south-west of England in particular, cancelling out gains the Tories were making from Lab elsewhere.

By contrast, in 2017, the Leave and Remain votes 'herded' behind the Tories and Lab respectively, despite Lab's ambiguous position on Brexit, giving the two parties an extraordinary 84% of the vote combined, the highest two-party vote in decades. This had the effect of the Tories losing seats despite a big jump in their vote, and Lab gaining 30 or 40 seats though still well short of a plurality, despite winning far more votes than Blair did in 2005.

We have no idea what way the 'herding' will happen this time, but happen it will, because the GE is going to be a referendum by any other name. The most likely and logical way would be for people to vote for the strongest Remain candidate in their constituency, whether or not there is a formal pact (I'm presuming the Leavers will generally plump for the Tories though they will lose some votes to the Brexit Party and the rump of UKIP). So 'splitting the opposition vote' may not happen in the way it is being portrayed. Furthermore, there are really going to be 3 separate elections happening - the Tories vs the LD's in S England and middle-class London suburbs, the Tories v Lab in London generally (insofar as there are any Tories left there) and in N England and Wales, , and the SNP v everyone else in Scotland. With a few exceptions, the 3 main opposition parties are not really competing for the same ground any more, so the fact that say Lab is on 25% and the LD's on 20% does not mean they are 'cancelling each other out'.

Two final points about the Tories - they are down at least 10 seats before they start, as the SNP will either virtually or totally wipe them out in Scotland. This is before you even think about the 30 or so they have lost through defections, whip removals etc. Also I do not believe they are on 35%. Johnson has so whittled down the party's support to its hardest core, like the GOP in the US, that I have my doubts as to their ability to break 30%.

In short, they are not going to 'easily' win a big majority, and in fact I would be 'gobsmacked' (to paraphrase a prominent Tory Remainer) if they won a majority at all. Rejoice, rejoice! (as Mrs T used to say).
 

Patslatt1

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First of all, Thatcher never got elected with 35% of the vote. Both herself (3 times) and Major (in 1992) won 42-43%, which even in PR systems would bring a party towards an overall majority, as it did several times for FF. Her 'majorities' were however increased by the fact that Lab and the Liberal/SDP Alliance (later the LD's) were quite close in support terms in many parts of the country and their votes tended to take from each other.

The most egregious example of a 'minority majority' under FPTP was in fact Blair in 2005 who won a 'majority' of 64 with just 35% of the vote. Again, at the time the LD's were quite strong (they won over 60 seats) and were soaking up Tory votes in the south and south-west of England in particular, cancelling out gains the Tories were making from Lab elsewhere.

By contrast, in 2017, the Leave and Remain votes 'herded' behind the Tories and Lab respectively, despite Lab's ambiguous position on Brexit, giving the two parties an extraordinary 84% of the vote combined, the highest two-party vote in decades. This had the effect of the Tories losing seats despite a big jump in their vote, and Lab gaining 30 or 40 seats though still well short of a plurality, despite winning far more votes than Blair did in 2005.

We have no idea what way the 'herding' will happen this time, but happen it will, because the GE is going to be a referendum by any other name. The most likely and logical way would be for people to vote for the strongest Remain candidate in their constituency, whether or not there is a formal pact (I'm presuming the Leavers will generally plump for the Tories though they will lose some votes to the Brexit Party and the rump of UKIP). So 'splitting the opposition vote' may not happen in the way it is being portrayed. Furthermore, there are really going to be 3 separate elections happening - the Tories vs the LD's in S England and middle-class London suburbs, the Tories v Lab in London generally (insofar as there are any Tories left there) and in N England and Wales, , and the SNP v everyone else in Scotland. With a few exceptions, the 3 main opposition parties are not really competing for the same ground any more, so the fact that say Lab is on 25% and the LD's on 20% does not mean they are 'cancelling each other out'.

Two final points about the Tories - they are down at least 10 seats before they start, as the SNP will either virtually or totally wipe them out in Scotland. This is before you even think about the 30 or so they have lost through defections, whip removals etc. Also I do not believe they are on 35%. Johnson has so whittled down the party's support to its hardest core, like the GOP in the US, that I have my doubts as to their ability to break 30%.

In short, they are not going to 'easily' win a big majority, and in fact I would be 'gobsmacked' (to paraphrase a prominent Tory Remainer) if they won a majority at all. Rejoice, rejoice! (as Mrs T used to say).
I checked YouGuv polls yesterday. They show a big bounce for the Johnson effect at the expense of the Brexit party. Johnson's charismatic personality and declared Brexit extremism counters Farage's charisma and extremism as the Tory party voters correctly anticipated in the leadership contest.
 

Dearghoul

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First of all, Thatcher never got elected with 35% of the vote. Both herself (3 times) and Major (in 1992) won 42-43%, which even in PR systems would bring a party towards an overall majority, as it did several times for FF. Her 'majorities' were however increased by the fact that Lab and the Liberal/SDP Alliance (later the LD's) were quite close in support terms in many parts of the country and their votes tended to take from each other.

The most egregious example of a 'minority majority' under FPTP was in fact Blair in 2005 who won a 'majority' of 64 with just 35% of the vote. Again, at the time the LD's were quite strong (they won over 60 seats) and were soaking up Tory votes in the south and south-west of England in particular, cancelling out gains the Tories were making from Lab elsewhere.

By contrast, in 2017, the Leave and Remain votes 'herded' behind the Tories and Lab respectively, despite Lab's ambiguous position on Brexit, giving the two parties an extraordinary 84% of the vote combined, the highest two-party vote in decades. This had the effect of the Tories losing seats despite a big jump in their vote, and Lab gaining 30 or 40 seats though still well short of a plurality, despite winning far more votes than Blair did in 2005.

We have no idea what way the 'herding' will happen this time, but happen it will, because the GE is going to be a referendum by any other name. The most likely and logical way would be for people to vote for the strongest Remain candidate in their constituency, whether or not there is a formal pact (I'm presuming the Leavers will generally plump for the Tories though they will lose some votes to the Brexit Party and the rump of UKIP). So 'splitting the opposition vote' may not happen in the way it is being portrayed. Furthermore, there are really going to be 3 separate elections happening - the Tories vs the LD's in S England and middle-class London suburbs, the Tories v Lab in London generally (insofar as there are any Tories left there) and in N England and Wales, , and the SNP v everyone else in Scotland. With a few exceptions, the 3 main opposition parties are not really competing for the same ground any more, so the fact that say Lab is on 25% and the LD's on 20% does not mean they are 'cancelling each other out'.

Two final points about the Tories - they are down at least 10 seats before they start, as the SNP will either virtually or totally wipe them out in Scotland. This is before you even think about the 30 or so they have lost through defections, whip removals etc. Also I do not believe they are on 35%. Johnson has so whittled down the party's support to its hardest core, like the GOP in the US, that I have my doubts as to their ability to break 30%.

In short, they are not going to 'easily' win a big majority, and in fact I would be 'gobsmacked' (to paraphrase a prominent Tory Remainer) if they won a majority at all. Rejoice, rejoice! (as Mrs T used to say).
Excellent post.
 

PBP voter

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Tories are scum.

Look at amount they invest in infrastructure. Eg Crossrail.

FG were right to cancel metro north.
 


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