Belfast Telegraph

General Election: Don’t be so sure of a landslide, Mrs May... a lot can happen between now and June 8

By Chris Moncrieff

A Conservative landslide on June 8? It is a possibility. Some say it is a probability. And others even believe it is a racing certainty.

But I would caution anyone tempted to risk their life savings — or even part of them — on what they regard as “a racing certainty” to think long and hard before they lay bets.

The simple fact is politics is in such a topsy-turvy, unpredictable state at the moment — not just in this country — that there can be no such thing as a safe bet.

For instance, whoever thought Jeremy Corbyn would win the Labour Party leadership, and then cement his position at a later challenge for the post? Even his foolish sponsors were shocked this happened.

And who really believed the referendum last June would produce a Brexit victory by a reasonably substantial majority? Or that Donald Trump would ever reach the White House?

Indeed, Corbyn has opened Labour’s campaign in ebullient style, saying he loves every minute of it. But he is not helped at all by the likes of Tony Blair, who appears to take every opportunity he can to denigrate Labour’s leader. Those at the top of Labour’s tree should tell him to shut up if he cannot be supportive.

The Prime Minister herself faces the inevitable criticism of having performed a U-turn in calling a snap election, after having said time and again there would be no election until 2020.

But she reached the conclusion that some of the Remainers — many of them in the House of Lords — were seriously hampering her negotiations with the EU over Brexit. She believes that a considerably bigger majority in the Commons will put a stop to spoiler tactics by those who seem unable to accept they lost the referendum.

Meanwhile Tim Farron, who leads an army of eight other Liberal Democrat MPs, claims the Tories are getting their “betrayals” in early.

What he means is, the Conservatives have already declined to issue magnanimous promises about taxation levels and pensions, for example, very early in the campaign, in the hope that by the time polling day arrives, they will be forgotten about. Farron is probably right in that assumption.

So, it is up to the opposition parties to keep banging on about these issues throughout the campaign to frustrate the Tories’ hope that people will not remember them.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph