LEADING THE WAY OUT OF THE EU

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Wednesday 30 October 2019

It’s on! The government finally secured a snap election last night, even getting it on December 12 (save the date – don’t vote by post) instead of the of the 9th, the date originally and inexplicably proposed by the Lib Dems and the SNP.

The coming to the table of the two minor opposition parties leveraged Labour’s backing. 438 MPs voted for the one-line bill last night, the alternative route taken by the government after it failed to secure the two-thirds majority required under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act on Monday – instead a bill was put forward to temporarily amend the FTPA and deliver a Christmas election.

Only 24 hours earlier, Jeremy Corbyn had assured rattled Labour MPs he wasn’t going for an election before the New Year. In the end he couldn’t resist and backed the bill, bringing the majority up to a few votes shy of the 66% threshold. Absolutely classic Labour, distracted, self-involved, idiotic. Time is the not the only precious resource the hard-left loves to waste of course.

Only 127 Labour MPs voted in favour, 11 against, among them David Lammy and Peter Kyle, the latter of whom has spearheaded the internal campaign for a second referendum.

Naturally, there’s an almighty row in the Labour ranks over Corbyn’s fraught decision to back an election that only he and his disciples believe is winnable. The Telegraph reports John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson all opposed the decision amid concerns the party will lose seats “up and down the country”. Nick Brown, the chief whip has warned of a “rebellion” on the backbenches.

As our newsletter, dispatched shortly after the vote last night, pointed out, this will be  a narrowly defined election. One single issue, Brexit of course, the pivotal seats all Labour’s.

The Tories might lose a handful of seats in the South to the Lib Dems and to the SNP in Scotland, but they and the Brexit Party can run riot in the working class towns of the North, Wales and the West Midlands, long abandoned by the traditional party of choice. It is in those areas where this election will be won and lost.  

“In some of the key seats, people say: ‘I normally vote with Labour, but with Boris it’s different,’” a Tory MP told Politico yesterday. We can’t argue with that assessment. Add Farage to the mix and subtract Corbyn, arguably the weakest opposition leader in history, and you have a formula for a flipping of the axis of British politics. About time.

The Brexit Party is considering a concentrated push in the North East and Wales, the Telegraph also reports.

“I know for a fact that the Labour establishment in Wales and the north east, especially Durham, are really worried,” said a spokesperson.

So let’s get a pact underway, win this election and finally get independence.