GE2019 Results: Rotten, Uncooked, Scottish, or LibLab?

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 18th November 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

I have no idea which of these is most likely to happen in GE2019. But I’m pretty sure one of them will.

For the purposes of this scenario slicing: I’m assuming The Brexit Party Ltd wins no seats. It might, but I don’t think it will win *enough* to make any difference to the balance of power.

If on Friday 13th December we wake up to:
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Writing About Brexit: The Brexit Party Ltd

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 11th November 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

How many The Brexit Party Ltd candidates are actually standing?

We still don’t know. (And likely won’t, till candidate declarations are made.)

Nigel Farage’s announcement was that The Brexit Party Ltd wouldn’t stand candidates in the 317 seats the Conservatives won at the last election, because he doesn’t want a hung Parliament and – he says – if the Brexit Party Ltd stood six hundred candidates, there would be a hung Parliament.

The Conservatives won 318 seats in 2017: John Bercow was a Conservative MP, and counted as one for purposes of counting how many seats the party won: but only 317 Tory MPs counted for voting purposes.

In 2019, because Lindsay Hoyle was a Labour MP, the Labour Party will have one MP less than the number of seats they officially win.

Whether Farage is actually aware of this or if he is planning to stand The Brexit Party Ltd in Bercow’s former constituency Buckingham, we don’t know.

Farage has made about £30,000 already by charging 3000 people £100 each to be “assessed” as parliamentary candidates for The Brexit Party. Whether any of them will actually be selected to stand is unknown, but probably not in any constituency where The Brexit Party Ltd might get a large-ish share of the vote and Farage saves his deposit.

Every PPC has to pay a deposit of £500 to be able to stand: party PPCs have it paid for by their party. For that they get up to two free mailings of electoral material to any or all of the addresses on the register in their constituency, and their name plus party on the ballot: they also get to attend the count with their electoral agent and appoint up to ten electoral observers. If they get at least 5% of the vote in their constituency, they get their £500 back.

Unlike in the EU elections, where people were “voting for Brexit”, at a Westminster election people are voting for named candidates, and it is surprising what a difference that makes.

Nigel Farage doesn’t think any of his candidates will win. If he did, he would be standing himself. In effect, then, every candidate standing is a potential net loss to him of £500. Of course, some of them may achieve over 5%, but if he is standing 332 candidates or 333 or 283, scattershot across “constituencies that didn’t elect a Tory last time” he is bound to lose their deposits often enough to eat a thousands-pounds hole in his – excuse me, in The Brexit Party Ltd funding.

Farage’s objective in standing The Brexit Party Ltd candidates would be three-fold:

First of all, as a means of fundraising. You can’t raise money for a political party unless you make a point of standing candidates. This may even be the second -place reason: Farage is greedy, sure, but not only for money.

Secondly, for personal self-aggrandisement: Farage wants to be the party leader, wants to appear on the BBC, wants to be name-dropped by Donald Trump (but not, probably, by Robert Mueller): he may have given up on becoming an MP, and apparently even the Tories aren’t stupid enough to make him a peer in the House of Lords, but he can carry on milking this gig for a few years yet – unless the UK actually does leave the EU.

Thirdly, to split the vote in non-Tory constituencies to give the Tories a better chance of winning – just as Jo Swinson is hoping to peel off Tory Remainer votes, Nigel Farage is hoping to peel off Labour and LibDem and SNP Leave votes.

I think if Farage were seriously trying to do that, he would need to make a more detailed and nuanced assessment of the polls than simply “not standing where a Tory won in 2017” but I don’t think he is seriously tryng to win seats for the Tories or even for The Brexit Party Ltd.

Mainly, I think Farage wants the fame, wants the money, and wants a grateful Conservative Party acknowledging he helped them win the crucial 2019 election. If it’s not just the Tories he wants grateful to him, we may never know: The Brexit Party Ltd’s funding is murky as hell.

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General Election Begins: Grenfell Tower and GMB

Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-MoggOfficially, the general election campaign for 12th December started at a minute past midnight this morning.

We have no MPs – only Prospective Parliamentary Candidates, aka PPCs. Even full lists of the candidates for each constituency won’t be public til Saturday next.

So far:

Jacob Rees Mogg yesterday made a crass and disgusting remark to the effect that the people who died in Grenfell Tower were obviously not as smart as people like himself, or they would have ignored what the emergency services told them and left the building. Tory defences of Mogg’s remark have amounted to “Well, JRM is much smarter than the kind of people who live in Grenfell Tower.”
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New Speaker, Tory Lies

Lindsay Hoyle is dragged to the Speaker's ChairSir Lindsay Hoyle is the new Speaker of the House.

Technically speaking this was more of a coffin than a Ko-Fi day – I picked up a cold at work, and have been having a miserable weekend. I hope you all had a great time, whatever you were doing.
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General Election 2019 – 12 December

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 31st October 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

On General Election 2019, 12th December – Register to vote: encourage everyone you know who has a right to vote to get registered.

Tactical voting in my view is a matter of personal conscience. If you decide to vote tactically in order to ensure the worst are kicked out or the least-bad get in, that’s as much a right as the right to vote, in a FPTP system: it can be gamed and it’s your right to try to game it in the direction you want – or to refuse to do so and to cast your vote for the candidate/party you actually want to win. I have no criticism or judgement to make either way – I think both are valid choices and you should do what feels right to you.

That said: If you’re going to simply vote for the candidate/party you want to win, you don’t need advice from anyone else in figuring out who that is.
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Writing About Brexit: When Boris Johnson Became Prime Minister

On 24th July this year, Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.

Due to a job that ate up a lot of my hours, I had not been blogging here: but in August, as things turned both weird and strange and complicated in UK politics around Brexit, I began clarifying things for myself by writing longer and longer posts on Facebook, initially just for my friends and then later as public posts as friends asked if they could share or link to them.
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Writing About Brexit: the Boris Border disappears

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 1st October 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.Oh, apparently the “we won’t have a border, we’ll have customs clearing stations EITHER SIDE of the border” has been and gone.

Boris Johnson says this plan was a non-plan.
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