“The only certainly in politics is everything can change”
This article appeared in the print edition of the Evening Telegraph: 04/11/2019 Available: https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/ewan-gurr-my-election-prediction-is-for-conservative-majority/ [Accessed: 2019, Nov 05]
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me an election win for Boris Johnson. It doesn’t work does it? Yet it is what I expect you will find at the foot of your stocking this Christmas. Last week, the House of Lords backed the Bill passed by the House of Commons for a General Election which means I will walk through my polling station for the ninth time in five years and, while political pundits have given up making projections, I am going to give it a shot as your humble columnist.
Brenda from Bristol probably spat out her Cornflakes when she heard news of a third General Election in four years but I think this is good news. Speaking to Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland last week, I stated my hope that this General Election is, for want of a better analogy, like a political laxative that can dislodge the current parliamentary constipation where legislation is presented only to be voted down. With almost 60 MPs planning not to stand again, there is potential for a clean sweep.
There is no doubt this is a Brexit election. Electoral pacts could have an impact but, as we know from the General Election in 2010, parties tend not to talk until after the votes are in. While Labour are keen to keep a foot in both camps, political tribalism and pride appears to have shattered the potential of a pre-election alliance of pro-remain and pro-leave parties. Even President Trump insisted upon a leave alliance on Nigel Farage’s radio show last Thursday but the Conservatives are holding out.
In Scotland, Conservative MPs are defending slim majorities. Standing down Brexit Party candidates gives them a solid chance of retaining their seats in rural north east farming or fishing constituencies like Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Moray and West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. Leave votes were high in this part of the country as well as antipathy towards the common agricultural and common fisheries policies and conversations with those in the north east tell me the SNP have a hard sell.
Despite SNP placing independence front and centre, which aids the clarion call for the union, I believe the SNP will return around 45 seats north of the border with the Conservatives retaining around 10 or more. I suspect the Liberal Democrats will return less than a handful and it will be a bad night for Labour across the country. I believe a Conservative majority at Westminster is well in sight and, while the time of year might deter some from voting, I still expect a turnout north of 60%.
The one anomaly is the Farage factor. Last Friday, The Brexit Party launched their campaign with a call for Boris Johnson to unite. The only certainly in politics is everything can change so, General Election party at my house and you are invited.