Liam Rhodes

One year on: My first prediction for the General Election and its implications

One year on: My first prediction for the General Election and its implications

l_rhodes May 31, 2018
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I made this post on my Facebook account on the 31 May 2017, one week prior to the General Election. Shortly afterwards, I wrote an article on my blog offering a somewhat alternative – and incorrect prediction.

The reason for my posting this is to remind the increasing proportion of Leave voters who seem now to believe, without any reasoning behind their decision other than emotive reasoning, that the election was not “thrown” by Theresa May.

We could argue that Theresa May called the election to distract public attention from the Tory election expenses scandal in 2015, given that the CPS was due to report its findings imminently, but that is a separate issue.

So, let’s take a step back and look at what happened during the run up to the hung parliament, and precisely what she did and did not do, and how she landed the country in the incredibly strong and stable government that we have now. The government which is so blindly focused on attempting to deliver something that was never designed to happen – Brexit – that it has lost sight of all of its other goals, propped up by their DUP overlords.

The implications of this are quite obvious: We know that Theresa May’s manifesto has been essentially thrown out of the window (hooray for sane education policy – let’s not bring back the past), but what we also know is that the Right have more control of the Conservative Party now than they ever have. That means that the Party’s Brexit deal will focus on getting what’s right for British business, not the population for which it voted.

31 May 2017:

We’ve reached the point now in which at least one poll points to a hung parliament, just a week before the election. The absolute destruction of Mrs May’s Conservative Party’s lead has been almost amazing to see. I will add as a caveat that we cannot rely on polling – ever – and certainly not a possibility of a rogue, but we are seeing an overall downward trend in support.

Let’s talk about why this is. It is an absolute failure of the person leading the Conservative campaign, and not much else. This person”supported” Remain, but when asked by her boss at the time to campaign for it – even when threatened with being fired – she apparently simply thanked the then PM, and ended the call. She also broadly banned anyone who would speak positively of the then Chancellor from being anywhere close to her then Department, which she also used to spark populism by telling immigrants to “go home” in vans sent out in central London.

Mrs May says that she’s on the side of those who are “barely getting by”. The problem with this is I see precious little that builds on what has been achieved by the former PM. Her manifesto is a crazed blend of centre-left economics with socially conservative policies, and I won’t vote for it, because it offers nothing tangible in the areas that we need to fix: the NHS – and specifically mental health.

We also have something coming round the corner that might damage those who are “barely getting by”, because their jobs will be directly affected.

What has happened now is that since the public have been exposed to her robotic repeating of the phrase “strong and stable” and are now seeing evidence to the contrary. Voters are beginning to doubt whether the real Mrs May is up to the job. One of the reasons for this is that, quite clearly, she is listening to her PR mastermind, Lynton Crosby, too much. Corbyn calling a public debate tonight is a stroke of PR genius of which he is simply incapable; Mrs May’s response to this will be interesting to watch, and I’ll see whether it has his or her fingerprints on it.

I said in my post in which I resigned my membership of the Party that May is a control freak, obsessed with personal power, and not much else. My suspicion is that she is, quite clearly, ruthless, an overall poor strategist since she is so obsessed with her goal, and so incredibly weak on her own vision. This is demonstrated as her seemingly incapability as to not bend under pressure during an election campaign – the one time in which you should never sway.

Three major factors have contributed to this: the u-turn on her care proposal, and the free school meals debate, and allowing the coverage of fox hunting to explode. She’s made herself look pathetic with Paxman. Similarly, there was a reason why journalists were being banned from asking her questions unless they were pre-approved, unlike any other election: she’s nervous and dreadful with her message, and is terrible at deviating from it.

Nobody likes to elect leaders who don’t stick to their guns and who don’t seem human. Does anyone remember Gordon Brown? There were many proposals in the Conservative manifesto in 2010 and 2015 that many voters didn’t like. Prime Minister Cameron didn’t buckle; she has.

The crying shame of this is that Jeremy Corbyn would be the most of two evils, yet, if she does not change course and start communicating from the heart as opposed to merely repeating these same errors, she’ll risk the defeat. Her greatest fear of losing an early general election may very well come true.

If her lead dissolves to hung Parliament territory – the neither strong nor stable Mrs May will have one person to blame: herself.

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