It’s finally here. The general election that few people, other than the zealots on either side, are enthused about. One where many people see the choice being that between two lacklustre candidates, neither of whom are Prime Ministerial material, a choice between ‘Magic Grandad’ Jeremy Corbyn and the blond buffoon and serial liar Boris Johnson. It’s like being offered the ‘choice’ of a slow, lingering death, or a lingering, slow death in an awful campaign that’s been dominated by lies, deceit and efforts to mislead. The truth is out there, but it’s hidden by a fog of misinformation and hidden manipulation on social media.
Who’s going to win? I’ll be honest – I haven’t got a clue.
What I do know, though talking to friends and colleagues over the past year is that this election is different. The old tribal loyalties have been split asunder. This applies to both parties. I’ve talked to life-long Tory voters who won’t touch the present party as well as Labour voters who’re in exactly the same position. These people feel that both parties have been taken over by the dogmatists and fundamentalists who’ve dragged them both ends of the political extremes. Which was these politically homeless people will vote could have a huge impact.
So could tactical voting.
Whilst the pollsters are predicting a small Tory majority, I do wonder if their models can cope with the present uncertainties as some people are so torn they still don’t know which way they’re going to vote, even though the polls have already opened. Another factor is loyalty to individual MPs, which I’ve also heard people talk of.
Others have certainly made their mind up and decided to vote not for – but against a party and anyone who has the best chance of keeping them out, thus voting tactically as a damage-limitation exercise, because if one thing is dominating this election it’s Brexit, with the NHS close behind.
This swirl of uncertainties means we going to be in for a very interesting election night. One thing I will predict is that there will be at least one ‘Portillo moment’ – when the then Tory Minister unexpectedly lost his seat in the 1997, leading to enormous bouts of schadenfreude from his opponents.
If you’re still undecided and are reading this, the only thing I would urge you to do is vote for the good of the country, not for the good of any political party. There’s far too much at stake for that. Johnson isn’t going to ‘get Brexit done’. It’s a lie. He’s just going to drag us into another cycle of uncertainty that will drag on for years, because we never ‘took back control’, we gave it away. Now we do have a chance to take back control – from the charlatans and liars who got us into this mess in the first place.
The day’s turned in to a wet and miserable one here in the Calder and Colne valleys. I wonder what effect that might have on turning out the vote, and which party may benefit from it?