Where are we in the 2019 General Election?

Get Brexit done. Revoke Article 50
or provide for the many not the few. These are the slogans for this general
election. So Matt Cole where are we currently in relation to this general
election? We’re approaching what you might call the last orders phase of the
election that is to say that there’s going to be a bit of time to keep
talking there’s going to be some opportunity to discuss what’s being
going on but you won’t be able to order any new material that is to say that
it’s gonna be difficult once we get past the weekend to be able to introduce
whole new issues to have a big impact on the campaign. We’ve seen today or in the
last few days that Jeremy Corbyn has tried to reignite the debate about
Donald Trump and the NHS and the government’s negotiations with American
authorities. That sort of material could have a real impact but once we get past
the weekend even in the age of social media which makes drinking up time
shorter that it’s going to be difficult to get a story going which embeds
with the electorate well enough to make a big difference. So has Brexit been the
defining issue? Because isn’t it due to Brexit we’ve got this election? Well it’s
because of Brexit that we’ve got the election it’s because of Brexit
everything in the last three years has happened but it’s curiously been the
sort of I’m stuck between the sleeping giant and the elephant in the room it
is not that nobody’s mentioned it which is what the elephant in the room is but
nobody’s really discussed it the Labour Party has been least keen to talk about
it Labour candidates have actually been putting out the election literature
saying this is not a Brexit election that is very much their theme and they would
rather say look we’ve got a policy on that it can be resolved by a second
referendum and the Labour Party will take a neutral position during that
referendum they don’t want to have the argument about Brexit during the
election the Conservatives do but have stated their position very clearly they
want to sort of assume that Brexit’s been decided upon the only issue is
whether you’re going to go ahead on us and the Liberal Democrats of course that
is their central argument but it’s provided them with some problems so it’s
been about Brexit but the difficulties of
putting the arguments forward have made those parties that rely on Brexit turn
to other options and they’ve also made the party that doesn’t want to talk about
Brexit emphasize the austerity agenda the social justice program they’re
proposing and the great public expenditure plans that they have.
So who’s managed to get through all that Noise?
Johnson? Corbyn? Swinson? Sturgeon? Interestingly Sturgeon has made
probably the best impact in debates on television for example that’s what the
polls say but of course she’s appealing only to a limited part of the audience
where they’re national debates the opposition parties on a national level
the Labour Party the Liberal Democrats have had a mixed experience particularly
Jo Swinson has not performed as well as I think the Liberal Democrats might
have hoped given that they’ve made her the centerpiece of their campaign right
front sense of their front page of their manifesto online and that it will
have been disappointing to both of the opposition parties that they’ve not been
able to drag the debate on to their ground as much as they wanted indeed
that there hasn’t been that much debate at all on the numbers Boris Johnson and
the Conservatives seem to be the people who are making most ground mainly into
the territory of the Brexit party which was of course their chief target they
knew that if Teresa May have been able to extinguish the Tory plus approach
to Brexit at her election she would have succeeded
that’s what the difference that Boris Johnson has made. But people don’t trust
Boris Johnson hasn’t that been a problem out in the streets? well
first statement correct second statement no it hasn’t and that’s the
curious features of this election is that British politics is part of a
long-term pattern and British politics has gone through three phases the first
was one in which we used to broadly trust politicians or tolerate
them at least you look at the social attitudes survey or for example
membership of political parties or voting patterns you will see that most
people used to trust the major institutions of politics
one in 10 people was in a political party 85 percent of us voted – back
in the 50s now we struggle to get 2/3 of people out one in ten of us is
in a political party and politicians and political institutions are the least
trusted responses in major surveys politicians formed below estate
agents and journalists yes but that era of trusting politicians has
clearly gone and went partly a long way the sleaze episode the war in Iraq but
of course expenses we then got into a phase where people said I don’t trust
politicians anymore and I’m shocked and they were angry and a hundred and fifty
parties intend to retire in 2010 and party voting split very heavily in 2010
and the politicians went through an era of a facing indignation from the
electorate I actually think we’ve reached a phase now where politicians
are free of that and the public have said look we no longer worry about
whether you follow the rules So it’s ok to lie? It’s okay not to follow
the rules okay it’s okay not to do all the things politicians are expected to do
– like be interviewed by Andrew Neil who may trust the basis of his appeal
to Boris Johnson to come and be interviewed by him it’s no longer necessary to
follow the conventions about proroguing Parliament for those people that are
voting for the Conservative Party they have moved into a different position
where we know that in polls on trust Corbyn wins way over Boris Johnson
and on competence Johnson wins way over Corbyn the problem for Corbyn is trust for
the people that vote for Johnson doesn’t seem to matter the fact that he changes
his position the fact that he speaks his mind and uses what he called
colourful language to them is a sign of a different sort of integrity the
integrity of doing what you like doing what you feel not doing what the rules say
so we’ve moved into a position where for
some people the old kind of procedural trust is no longer important it’s the
integrity trust of saying you want on the big issues. Now the election is six
days away if you were a betting man where would you hedge your bets?
Well first of all I don’t give betting advice even if I do bet
and most elections most pundits recently would have found themselves facing
lawsuits from the people who bet based on their advice so I’ll go with what the
the bookies themselves are saying today which is that it’s a twenty to one on
for the Conservatives have the largest number of seats it’s 16 to one for the
Labour party to have the largest number of seats
that seems to be pretty much a no-brainer that the Conservatives are
ahead in the contest what we can’t tell is whether that would make them the
government or not and that of course was the unknown of the last two elections
whether the Conservatives will get a majority is the unknown question and
that will depend not about how many votes Boris Johnson gets but where he
gets them and where his opponents get them if his opponents get them in their
own territory on their home fixtures if it worked everything as it were the
Labour Party fighting the Tories in those Brexit northern and Midlands
working class seats and managing to hold onto most of those
the Liberal Democrats fighting them in those seats in the London South West
London And in some of the southwestern seats
where they can beat them on holding onto their Scottish ones and the SNP
extending themselves a bit in Scotland but by taking Tory seats then the opposition
can hope that Boris Johnson might be prevented
working majority

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