Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Boris' incompetence more significant than Farage games

I’m not sure that the decision by Nigel Farage plc to opt out of fighting Tory-held seats will turn out to be the unalloyed advantage to the Tories as which some have presented it.  It will undoubtedly assist them in some seats, but some ex-Farage candidates are talking about standing as independents, and the impact on those seats where former Tories are standing as independents is also unclear.  And allowing Farage plc to concentrate on a smaller number of seats may damage the Tories' chances in those seats.  But the legitimate labelling of all Tory candidates in 317 seats as being “officially endorsed by Nigel Farage as the best route to a no-deal Brexit” will leave some of them (yes, there are still a few remainer candidates amongst the Tory ranks) feeling uncomfortable, and its impact on the sizeable minority of committed Tory voters who are remainers is also yet to be seen.  (As an aside, why does there appear to be no police investigation into what looks to be a corrupt attempt by the Tory Government to bribe Farage with a peerage?)
The bigger advantage being enjoyed by the Tories at the moment is the disarray amongst their opponents.  Last week, the Lib Dems’ leader declared, not for the first time, that Corbyn is unfit to be PM, and when pressed as to why, the first thing that came into her head and out of her mouth was that Corbyn would never launch a nuclear strike.  I agree with her assessment of Corbyn on this issue, but for many people, that’s one of the few positive reasons we could find for voting Labour.  It also reaffirms that, for all the talk by the Lib Dems that their priority is stopping Brexit, their true position is that even a no-deal Brexit would be preferable to having Corbyn as PM, and that is influencing their decisions on standing or not standing in constituencies.  It’s not a good position from which to seek the support of Green and Plaid voters in relevant seats in Wales.  And that's without even mentioning their strident opposition to allowing the Scots another vote on their future, and their transparent attempts to ally themselves with both Labour and Tory in Scotland to undermine the SNP.  ‘Stopping Brexit is the top priority apart from the other ones’ is sadly typical of muddled Lib Dem thinking.

The polls are currently suggesting that the best hope of avoiding a Tory victory is that the Tories’ own gaffes and incompetence will cut their poll lead and we end up with another hung parliament.  The good news is that, so far at least, they seem to be trying hard to oblige.

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