Thursday 20th April
I must have been psychic, only two days ago I posted about the dangers of Democracy, and the day after Mrs. May announced a General Election. Well, to be accurate she announced that she would ask the House of Commons to vote for one. Strange that when the Fixed Term Act was introduced about six years ago, everyone thought it would be hard for a Government to call an election. The truth is of course that any Party not voting for it when the opportunity arises, no matter how badly they are doing in the polls, will look as if they are running scared. So Labour and the LibDems and the SNP will all fall in line and vote for it, and a General Election we will have.
And what do we think of it? It may well go down as a non-election. From six weeks out it would seem almost impossible for Labour to win the 50 odd seats they would need to form the next Government. The Media has practically written them off. But I do find Mrs. May’s stated reasons a bit disingenuous. Of course she would like a larger majority, but in reality she has barely been threatened so far; in fact she has been walking on air ever since she became P.M. Brexit has been the only show in town, it is only the type of Brexit that has been up for discussion; nobody wants to re-run the Referendum, in any case I suspect there would be an even larger majority for it now. Which is exactly what Mrs. May hopes will deliver her a stunning victory. Her argument that Westminster is opposing her plans is ridiculous; the clue is in the term ‘the opposition’; and actually, nobody is denying her negotiating Brexit, but they are concerned at what sort of deal she will eventually agree, and rightly so. And Labour are looking weak, languishing in the polls; though of course the actual prospect of an election may make people think a bit deeper than a hypothetical question when the reality was not in prospect.
I expect Mrs. May to win and to increase her majority, but maybe not by that much really. The Tories did much better in 2015 that even they had hoped, partly by winning a whole tranche of Lib-Dem seats as the public punished them for joining the Coalition. I suspect that this time without Clegg they will do better and regain a few seats. And UKIP seem to be in decline too; Paul Nuttall is really a poor choice for them, Nigel was a far better speaker. Labour may not do quite so badly as the polls suggest; if you are a natural Labour supporter, who else are you going to vote for?
But somehow I cannot even begin to get excited about this election. Maybe we have had a few too many campaigns recently, Brexit and Trump included. We will see….