Brexit tea leaves

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Matthew Turner
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:57 am

John Upham wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:17 pm
This might be controversial but...

Had all the English parties been openly Pro-Brexit (and, for the record, I'm not) then I wonder what would have been the outcome of the General Election ?

I think I am asking what would have been the outcome had Brexit not been merged in with the General Election ?
Labour did better than expected at the previous general election for two reasons.
1. Theresa May was a poor leader and Jeremy Corbyn outshone her
2. John McDonnell wrote an excellent manifesto and the idea that it was fully costed assuaged ‘moderates’ fears

Things have reversed this election
1. Jeremy Corbyn looks old and Boris Johnson appears to have much more energy
2. Labour has made far too many spending pledges to retain financial credibility

That has nothing to do with Brexit, so I suspect had Brexit not been an issue the result would have been broadly similar.

The surprise for me was the poor showing of the Liberal Democrats. In my view they made two big mistakes
1. They elected the wrong leader
2. Their Brexit policy failed to resonate and they should have stuck with a second vote rather than revocation

(In fairness, I am only making the second point with the benefit of hindsight)

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9085
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:33 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:57 am
That has nothing to do with Brexit, so I suspect had Brexit not been an issue the result would have been broadly similar.
I live in West Bromwich West, which has been Labour for just about as long as suffrage has been extended far enough to give the working class the vote. The only exception was when Betty Boothroyd was Speaker. I can't imagine any "normal" scenario where Labour wouldn't win the seat in West Bromwich West. The huge spending pledges would have been a vote winner around here.

However, the constituency is a huge Leave area. The Conservatives are obviously a Leave party. Labour had the problem of trying to keep happy Remain Labour seats in London, and Leave Labour seats in Midlands and the North. They chose a 2nd referendum route, which kept London just about happy, but inspired no confidence in the Midlands and the North that they would get Brexit. On the other hand, Boris was unequivocal about his intent to Leave by 31st January.

There are more seats like West Bromwich West. West Bromwich East for one, but also places like Wakefield, Blyth Valley and Bolsover. I'm sure there are more.

If the Conservatives were right-wing Leave and Labour were left-wing Leave, then I think the result would have been closer, because Labour would have retained those four seats and many others. However, I think the Lib Dems would have done better as the main remain party, particularly in London at the expense of Labour.

I realise Labour are trying to spin the result as being all about Brexit rather than a defeat of the Corbynist ideology, but I do think there might be some truth in that.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3903
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:56 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:33 pm
I live in West Bromwich West, which has been Labour for just about as long as suffrage has been extended far enough to give the working class the vote. The only exception was when Betty Boothroyd was Speaker. I can't imagine any "normal" scenario where Labour wouldn't win the seat in West Bromwich West.
Anyway you now have a Conservative MP called Shaun Bailey.

In the capital we have an election for Mayor of London in May 2020. The Conservative candidate is called Shaun Bailey.

After a brief period of confusion, I ascertained that they were two different people.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9085
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:36 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:56 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:33 pm
I live in West Bromwich West, which has been Labour for just about as long as suffrage has been extended far enough to give the working class the vote. The only exception was when Betty Boothroyd was Speaker. I can't imagine any "normal" scenario where Labour wouldn't win the seat in West Bromwich West.
Anyway you now have a Conservative MP called Shaun Bailey.

In the capital we have an election for Mayor of London in May 2020. The Conservative candidate is called Shaun Bailey.

After a brief period of confusion, I ascertained that they were two different people.
I went through the same confusion as you until I did a bit of Googling. His name on the ballot paper appeared as Shaun Stephen Bailey. This was presumably to avoid confusing the great unwashed of West Bromwich West, although I am sure that all of the electorate in the constituency had already done this research themselves and were entirely satisfied that they were two different people.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:09 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:33 pm
Matthew Turner wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:57 am
That has nothing to do with Brexit, so I suspect had Brexit not been an issue the result would have been broadly similar.
I live in West Bromwich West, which has been Labour for just about as long as suffrage has been extended far enough to give the working class the vote. The only exception was when Betty Boothroyd was Speaker. I can't imagine any "normal" scenario where Labour wouldn't win the seat in West Bromwich West. The huge spending pledges would have been a vote winner around here.

However, the constituency is a huge Leave area. The Conservatives are obviously a Leave party. Labour had the problem of trying to keep happy Remain Labour seats in London, and Leave Labour seats in Midlands and the North. They chose a 2nd referendum route, which kept London just about happy, but inspired no confidence in the Midlands and the North that they would get Brexit. On the other hand, Boris was unequivocal about his intent to Leave by 31st January.

There are more seats like West Bromwich West. West Bromwich East for one, but also places like Wakefield, Blyth Valley and Bolsover. I'm sure there are more.

If the Conservatives were right-wing Leave and Labour were left-wing Leave, then I think the result would have been closer, because Labour would have retained those four seats and many others. However, I think the Lib Dems would have done better as the main remain party, particularly in London at the expense of Labour.

I realise Labour are trying to spin the result as being all about Brexit rather than a defeat of the Corbynist ideology, but I do think there might be some truth in that.
Not sure I disagree with any of this. Had all the parties being leave supporting I think the Tories would have done less well in the North, a bit less well in the Midlands and better in London. That would reduce the Tory majority, but I don’t think it would anywhere near eliminate it.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:24 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:33 pm
The huge spending pledges would have been a vote winner around here.
More spending might well be popular in general, but it was very unclear what Labour’s priorities were. Are people really interested in nationalizing the postal service and bt? I am not sure they are. The conservative message was much simpler increased spending on health and education.

As a prediction, West Bromwich might well go back to Labour at the next election, but I think Bolsover could stay in Tory hands long than people expect.

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 3229
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:35 pm

Well that's because with the latter a lot of it is actually demographic change - which has in fact been going on for a while in quite a few of these seats that went Tory this time, its as if their actual voting patterns have finally caught up.

Whereas some other gains (the W Midlands seats amongst them) have more of the flavour of a pro-Brexit "protest vote".
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7484
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:19 pm

One thing that hasn't been commented on so much, is how the Conservative vote share 'only' went up by 1.2%. The party with the biggest percentage vote increase (though obviously not total vote increase) was the Liberal Democrats (a 4.2% increase). But they have always suffered from the FPTP handicap in what is clearly still a 2-party system (despite feelings that this system was breaking down).

It was the catastrophic collapse in the Labour vote (down by nearly 8%) that swung so many seats to the Tories. The question will be whether those votes stay with the Conservatives or not. Hence the reference by Boris Johnson to borrowed votes, his gratitude, and whirlwind tours after the election of the seats that made such a difference.

Imagine if those Labour votes had gone to a centre-ground party like the Lib Dems. Not sure what the electoral calculus would have been then. But (in England and Wales at least) the public pretty early on realised (or decided) that it was a straight choice between Labour and Tories (Corbyn and Johnson), and sidelined other parties.

And the Brexit Party made a difference (both ways) in a number of seats. Not as much as expected, but enough to make a significant impact. Where will those votes go next time?

Does anyone know of a way to work out how many seats are marginal (given some sensible definition of what a 'marginal' is) following this election? The classic example is Kensington, which went from a 20-vote win for Labour in 2017 to a 150-vote win for the Conservatives in 2019. The reports say that it was a 'bitter' campaign, and the Labour incumbent celebrated (prematurely) as her vote total was read out, but the Lib Dem candidate (a former Tory) took so many votes, that the Tory candidate got in instead. That was one of the more obvious examples of a vote where proper tactical voting and pacts might have made a difference.

User avatar
Jon Tait
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:31 am
Contact:

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Jon Tait » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:48 am

Matthew Turner wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:57 am
Things have reversed this election
1. Jeremy Corbyn looks old and Boris Johnson appears to have much more energy
2. Labour has made far too many spending pledges to retain financial credibility

That has nothing to do with Brexit, so I suspect had Brexit not been an issue the result would have been broadly similar.
None of that really resonates with me.

Up here in North Notts Brexit land it was all about Brexit. Labour policies...? Yes, very nice, but it's far more important that we leave the EU. Why? Because we voted for it. Although you could say that Brexit was still possible under Labour, the prospect of another referendum was an absolute red line because people generally thought Brexit would lose this time.

Yes, Corbyn is extremely unpopular too, but that's much harder to pin down to anything specific. People mostly just give you some regurgitated line from the newspapers, which often means they dislike Corbyn for entirely opposite reasons. The media did a great job on him.

Actually the Labour popular vote wasn't so very bad: not far below 2001, and ahead of 2005 - both Blair victories. But whether people here will return to Labour in another election, I have no idea. Perhaps only if Brexit and Johnson prove to be a total catastrophe – and even then people are massively invested in Brexit, which makes them unlikely to admit that they made any mistake.
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

User avatar
Jon Tait
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:31 am
Contact:

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Jon Tait » Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:59 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:33 pm
I realise Labour are trying to spin the result as being all about Brexit rather than a defeat of the Corbynist ideology, but I do think there might be some truth in that.
"Corbynist ideology" doesn't really exist. Corbyn's election just enabled a return to democratic socialism, which is what brought so many people back into the Labour party. That won't change just because Corbyn and McDonnell are going. In any case Labour policies were pretty popular. But it wasn't enough at this election to outweigh the twin issues of Brexit and Corbyn's own negative figures, which couldn't be argued away, no matter how flimsy the basis for them.
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

User avatar
Jon Tait
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:31 am
Contact:

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Jon Tait » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:01 am

Matthew Turner wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:24 pm
The conservative message was much simpler increased spending on health and education.
Which are like Big Brother increasing the chocolate ration :roll:
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7484
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:37 am

One things that commentators sometimes figure out is that it is very easy to end up in a filter, a bubble, an echo chamber, and only hear the views of those who agree with you. That happens to a large extent in online communities. It happens to a certain extent here. The best discussions occur when you have people from all sides of the argument engaging in respectful debate.

Some have said that the result of the election indicates that Remain might have lost a second referendum (as those who voted Remain first time round swung round to support Leave on the basis of 'get it over with', outweighing those who think that the best way to get it over with was to halt Brexit rather than end up with years and years of attempts to negotiate trade deals). I genuinely don't know any more what a second referendum might have produced, but it looks like we will never know now.

Jon mentions that "people are massively invested in Brexit, which makes them unlikely to admit that they made any mistake". He also says that "the prospect of another referendum was an absolute red line because people generally thought Brexit would lose this time". Do those invested in Brexit think it is right to take the country out of the EU if the majority now support staying in? If there was a future (non-binding) referendum (in 5-10 years time) to see if views had changed (maybe driven by a desire to respond to pressures on the Union from Scotland and Northern Ireland), and that indicated a desire for closer ties with the EU, what then?

User avatar
Jon Tait
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:31 am
Contact:

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by Jon Tait » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:35 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:37 am
Jon mentions that "people are massively invested in Brexit, which makes them unlikely to admit that they made any mistake". He also says that "the prospect of another referendum was an absolute red line because people generally thought Brexit would lose this time". Do those invested in Brexit think it is right to take the country out of the EU if the majority now support staying in?
I was talking about my own experience in North Notts there. Other people's experience elsewhere – or possibly here too – may vary.

As to your question: I don't think they care. They won the Brexit vote and didn't want another which they might lose. "We won, you lost, suck it up." One match, one winner, no replay. EVER. Or perhaps, given the demographic breakdowns, only when a lot of them have died.
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

John McKenna
Posts: 4146
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by John McKenna » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:13 pm

Very good and interesting to hear Jon Tait's and others' views of the General Election from their different perspectives and parts of the land.

I expressed my view of the state of the so-called "United Kingdom" earlier. But, about 'Brexit' itself I'd just like to say that if it is done clinically and cleanly there will be no going back into the EU in the foreseeable future, if ever.

Those who run the EU will inevitably try harder to pull it closer together and the loss of the UK, though large, will be sloughed off and the focus will turn to the EU's borders in the East and South. The Western border is safe enough with or without the UK as long as NATO continues to exist.

A new relationship between the UK and the EU will emerge as well as a new relationship between the UK and the rest of the world.

The most difficult question to answer is what relationship the constituent nations of the UK will have in the years to come. The Scots and N. Irish do not like what the Conservative & Unionist Party have foisted on them with the Brexit debacle - a thing that would not have happened, at all, if not for the contradictions in the Tory party.

Also, those who think that a democratic vote in a referendum is not a split second decision - no matter what went before or goes on after - at the ballot box that should not be overturned or rescinded, by other means, before the consequences of the result can be implemented, completely fail to understand the principles and nature of such a vote.

If one good thing results from all that has gone on since the vote to leave won the day it is that the decision to leave now looks like being implemented in some way, shape or form.

Be in no doubt though that Brexit is the bastard progeny of the Conservative & Unionist Party and it is fitting, even if not proper, that they should raise it - for better or worse - rather than it being fostered by new-lamps-for-old Labour or a rainbow coalition of assorted liberals.

There's still the hope that it will continue to turn into the monster that will eventually devour its parent for once and for all. Amen.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

NickFaulks
Posts: 5686
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Brexit tea leaves

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:39 pm

Jon Tait wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:35 am
"We won, you lost, suck it up."
Well, yes, that is how democracy works. Had Remain won, do you think they would have offered best of three? Do you believe the PM should offer a rerun of the General Election as soon as Labour have sorted themselves out?

Similarly, I do believe the Scots have a right to independence if they want it, but they were given an opportunity and bottled it. You can't keep having referenda until you get lucky once. My own view is that Brexit is a sufficiently big development to warrant another, which they would probably bottle again. After that the decision must stand for a long time.

Post Reply