Amazing how adding up people’s single choice for a local candidate has

Amazing how adding up people’s single choice for a local candidate has, again, delivered a complex, highly nuanced, reflection of the mood of the nation.
Brexit will be scrutinised in detail in Parliament, austerity will be constrained, investment will rise and social justice will be improved. Social care has a chance of being funded, and the NHS privatisation train has had brakes applied. Grammer schools won’t appear, and education funding will rise faster.
The second independence referendum in Scotland won’t happen, probably not in my lifetime, and Northern Ireland will restore their power-sharing assembly.
None of that was possible yesterday, today it all is.

41 thoughts on “Amazing how adding up people’s single choice for a local candidate has

  1. I confess that I haven’t been interested in the general election figuring that it was going to be more of the same-old same-old campaigning antics. I had decided that I would wait until the dust had settled before looking in on what’s next and then seeing how I felt about the whole situation. Now I have read your post William – I am VERY interested. A fascinating result. The world is definitely changing and evolving.

  2. I am not sure about your Scottish analysis. SNP still have the majority of Scottish MPs still control Holyrood. Westminster instability still plays into their court and a bad Brexit deal would help them too.

    Anything past the next few months is too close to call. Certainly, there will be no indyref2 until the Brexit deal is announced.

    1. Their problem is that 2/3rds of voters didn’t support them. Massively down from last time. The SNP need to consider taking it off the table if they are to hold onto power in Holyrood. It’s not who is there now that matters, but the sense of how likely they are to win next time. All the Holyrood representatives whose seats are now threatened will be soul searching this morning.

  3. I talked about a revolution happening over a year ago and In essence is happening. The young seem to have become ‘involved’ in politics, the old have rejected austerity.
    Anything is now possible for change… I expect another election this year.

  4. The good news is that now Jeremy Corbyn has built a movement and stopped his own MPs stabbing him in the back, he’ll be able to concentrate on doing Opposition properly
    Unless he’s busy being PM

  5. I like your optimism but, whilst I think you are right about what will stop, I am less sure about the positive developments coming about. We live in hope.
    However, what is clear is that the wind has changed direction. This is the death throes of neo-liberalism and it’s policy of austerity. We are no longer sleep-walking to a one-party state in England. There is a groundswell for a more equal society. The young will set the direction for the future of our country, which is how it should be, I have much more faith in them than the over-priveledged baby boomers.

    1. The thing with a wind change is that for some things that are already moving, the change in direction can be hard to spot for a while. Gradually, things change, often buried deep in the civil service and operational decisions.

      So too with some of what I say above, the mindset around social care, and privatising the NHS will not be changed overnight by headline policy – at least not yet – but the shift will start operationally from today.

  6. Scottish independence will be back on the table as soon as we see the trainwreck that Brexit brings. When you give the Scotland the possibility of rejoining the single market, and the prospect of renewed inward investment and relocation of businesses from England to Scotland, you will see a resurgence in demand for independence.

    1. Assuming that Brexit goes ahead as originally billed, The DUP price for support may well be the single market and frictionless borders. A Norway style model.

      The easiest way to negotiate from where we are now is simply to point at Norway, or Iceland, or somewhere similar and say – “We’ll have one of those please” The EU would be delighted.

      Of course. The Maybot may not be that smart. The evidence is that she’s not a good judge of the future actions of the people she seeks to manipulate.

  7. Worth noting that FPTP has given the Tories 41 seats more than their share of vote would justify, Labour is about right, SNP have 15 more than they deserve, LibDems have 35 less than they would get in a straight divvy-up. While this result will have to lead to more thoughtful and restrained government, which is a very good thing, the balance of power is still skewed.

    1. On a national share, that’s true but that’s not how we are constituted. A key part of how democracy works is the link between representative and represented.

      The European Parliament; voted on by PR; is party proportional but perceived as broken and undemocratic. Breaking that representative-represented link is something not to be done lightly.

      In the end, PR will destroy democratic credibility.

    1. Hard to say, It’s a time when collaboration is key, and that, of course, needs both open minds and a willingness to change on all sides.

      If a collaborative spirit prevails, and it might, then we’ll have a period of conversation, discussion and look out for agreements on policy by policy working arrangements. If it doesn’t you’ll hear acrimony and recrimination. (we’ll probably hear that today and for a few days anyway from some, but they’ll be the noisy ones and it’s the quiet ones you have to watch.) If the acrimony is still around next week, then we’ll have an election in October.

      If they patch things to a workable more collaborative point (which I think is most likely, the Tories can do it with a few concessions and care) then I think the price might be a redefinition of Brexit and Austerity. That’s much harder and will take months to bottom out. I’m not sure May can do that, the price of collaboration may be her resignation.

  8. It doesn’t have to, personally I favour a hybrid system, with a combination of geographic and interest-based candidates. My views are not represented by any of the candidates standing in my constituency, the LibDem is closest, but with Tory share of the vote at 60% this time and 57% last, my vote doesn’t count for much.

    Too many people are disenfranchised by the current system. Many constituencies have a representative voted for by as little as a quarter of the electorate. And we wonder why even a supposedly high-turnout election like this one has over 30% disengaged with the process.

  9. Can anybody inform me what the positon of the Unionists is with respect to Brexit and the single market ?

    1. They are naturally eurosceptic but want to maintain the open border with the Republic and stay in the single market because otherwise their economy is screwed, I believe.

  10. It’s fascinating that, as you say, William Buist, all we did individually was vote for one candidate in one place, yet all kinds of underlying moods, trends and swings were almost immediately apparent across the nation.

    At first you think, no, surely not, how on earth can they tell all this from (a) just an exit poll, (b) the trickle of reslts as they start to come in. Especially as I voted because I support my local candidate, her national leader and national party. But these trends, moods and swings are real. They were proved true as the results came in. And it made me wonder.

    Does this mean there is no such thing as free will? Are we really, as a population, controlled by these larger trends? Do they undermine the notion of democracy? I suppose it’s no different from Facebook getting fat from selling our buying habits, But it’s disconcerting nonetheless. And it reinforces my earlier thought that “Corbyn? Unelectable!” was simply a meme that was passed from hand to hand until enough of us (a) beleved it, and (b) believed we had acquired that view thrugh rational consideration. Sorry, Jeremy. The nation owes you an apology.

    1. I understand that the canvassing technique when people expressed doubts about Corbyn was to ask them to state one thing they didn’t like about him. A lot of people were unable to come up with anything, they’d just accepted the “Corbyn? Unelectable!” message as a truth without actually basing it on their own opinion.

  11. I am heartened by news that the EU are proposing to delay Brexit talks until things have calmed down… perhaps the delay will result in a re-evaluation of the situation… perhaps Brexit isn’t inevitable. I’m hopeful.
    After all, Article 50 isn’t irreversible says the man who composed it!

    1. Problem is that they can delay the start of the talks as long as they like, but the end date is set in treaties, no one can move it.

      It was unbelievably irresponsible of May to call an election AFTER triggering Article 50.

  12. It’s very much like the way catchphrases from TV shows are spread around. They are attractive because repeating them allows the speaker to be sort of witty for a few moments and feel better about themselves.

  13. Do not be so sure about a second indiyref not happening, Scots are likely to suffer from Brexit in ways too many to mention here and when it happens independence will be back on the agenda hopefully within a few years. Maybe not in my lifetime but certainly in yours

    1. If Brexit happens…. – but the DUP will push for something much more like membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.

      The whole thing is a bloody mess.

  14. Well, of course membership of the single market is what Scotland wants at the very least tho many like many just want the whole Brexit not to have happened

  15. I’m with you Kevin. Hard to be optimistic when DUP are well to the right of Tories:
    Very pro so-called hard Brexit despite illogically wanting a soft border with Ireland.
    Anti abortion
    Climate-change deniers
    Possible links with unionist paramilitaries
    Even have creationists within their ranks including one who apparantly wants it taught in schools

    Any May still talk of governing for all the people. This surely will end in tears.

    1. I fear you are right John Evans. I am normally an optimistic realist but with this situation I have to say I am very pessimistic for UK in next 10 years πŸ™

  16. ;Although: DUP wants an open border with Ireland; Scottish Tories (on whom May’s gov is equally dependent) seem to want free(ish) movement of labour; Liam Fox is probably out; and Hammond is a soft Brexit man. So, provided she leaves Gove and Duncan-Smith out in the cold, there could be a change of tone on Brexit. Boris will sway with the wind direction anyway – if she changes tack. Labour can hardly object. Who knows, William may be right; there may be grounds for some limited optimism.

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