Friday, 24 February 2017
By Elections: Labour is Heading for Disaster, Ukip is Dead
If only politics were like football then Chauncey would be toast this morning. Instead, after narrowly winning in Stoke but losing a seat to the Tories in Copeland, he will cling on. Obviously (copyright Matt Chorley). It's pathetic but entirely predictable.
The headlines are about Ukip and its failure to break through. The anti Labour, anti EU vote was split between the hapless Paul Nuttall and a 25 year old Conservative candidate. Things might actually have been worse for Labour today. Had they lost both seats then surely even Chauncey would have had to go. But as it is he will stay, make excuses, claim credit for a win he should be taking for granted and hope no more of his MPs decide to jump overboard. Labour, the party of opposition, should be winning seats like these in safe areas by a country mile. Instead they lost one and clung on in Stoke. Its a disaster being spun as a partial triumph.
Ukip would probably have won in Stoke had Nigel Farage still been leader and maybe its candidate. As it is they are quickly turning into an irrelevance. They ought really to be dissolving themselves, after all the clue is in their name. We as a country have done what it says on their tin and so really what is the point of them? Ukip, if Paul Nuttall stays in charge, are doomed. He should go just because of the way he campaigned and told as many lies as the President of the United States. Douglas Carswell ought to be begging to be readmitted into the Tory fold.
Labour meanwhile will be quietly hoping that Theresa May doesn't decide to call an election this May. She has no need to. With this win her small but manageable majority is restored to what it was at the election. But she and her party must be tempted. There is an opportunity to call an election, win a massive majority, grind Labour into the dirt, maybe even turn back the SNP tide a little in Scotland thus negating the referendum threat and then get on with Brexit safe from another election for five years. They could then even repeal the hated Fixed Term Elections Act imposed on us all by the bloody Lib Dems.
In Copeland the Tories plastered Chauncey all over their campaign literature. Labour kept him out of it. That is what would happen nationally if we were to have a general election. Labour would be decimated. The man is a disaster and not even one waiting to happen. He's like a car crash that we can see starting to happen, that could be avoided, but the man holding the steering wheel is telling the party that the fact he keeps bumping into trees is immaterial. That concrete wall he is heading for won't be so bad.
So these by-elections ultimately won't change much. Labour is still heading for disaster, the Tories are coasting and gloating and Ukip is dead.