Monday 23 December 2013

Many More Than Seven Lean Years

The Conservatives have been behind Labour in every opinion poll throughout the whole of 2013, something that has not happened since 2002. They are finished.

Labour has led every poll, every single one, for a year. In fact, take out that week when there was a fake row over an EU veto that wasn't, and Labour has led every poll for well over three years now. Three. Labour is home and dry. It does not need to be any good. It only needs to be Not The Tories.

Most non-voters last time say that they are either inclined or, in many cases, determined to vote next time, and most of those say that they are either inclined or, in many cases, determined to vote Labour. So much for the fantasy that they crying out for a "real conservative party" defined as the fantasist's own prejudices erected into an organisation.

But of course, every Conservative victory since 1955 has been with a lower percentage of the vote than the one before. Their base has literally been dying out for 60 years. They have not won outright since as long ago as 1992.

That process, the drumbeat of post-War British politics, is now almost complete. It wouldn't have mattered how good this Government was. It has been destined for three generations to be a swansong. Labour can be as rubbish as it likes. It is bound to win.

But, as it happens, it deserves to win. There was higher economic growth on the day of the last General Election than on any day since. Britain is now the only G8 country on Red Cross Emergency Food Aid. Osborne's much-trumpeted Autumn Financial Statement served only to increase the Labour lead to a staggering 12 points; it has gone down since, but it is still there. People these days rather like the unions.

And the figures are incontrovertible: the Tory vote (then spread across several allied parties led by the Conservatives) has been dying out since 1955, they have not won a General Election in a generation, and they have led in the polls for all of one week since September 2010. At the next Election, people will have the vote who were born on the day of the 1997 Election. The Conservatives are the past now. They are over. They are gone.

The number of people who would simply always vote for the Labour Party candidate on the ballot paper is now almost large enough to win on its own. The Conservatives do not really have core voters like that at all anymore. On any given day, the broadly Tory vote could go anywhere. Whereas the Labour vote is one of the most loyal in the world.

As I said, this has all been building up steadily since the War. It is not much about Thatcher, although she might have worsened it from the Conservatives' point of view, but even that is ultimately impossible to prove. It is not at all about Blair, who if anything slowed it down very slightly by making the present aberration possible, but who quite possibly might as well never have been born. No, it was bound to happen, around about now. And it will happen. It is happening.

A 10 per cent UKIP vote in the South, and there is no doubt that that is coming unless UKIP itself messes it up, will mean carnage for the Conservatives. They cannot guarantee to hold even their Southern seats. They can broadly expect to. But they always have to admit the possibility that they might not.

In fact, things now seem to be even worse than that for them. Hence the sight of first-term MPs for those seats, people not yet 50 years old, announcing their "retirement" in 2015.


  1. Are you implying this nation shall somehow become a dominant party, or even single party state? If so, how strongly, for how long, and what could prevent or eventually subvert this? What would such a nation look like, what policies would it's Labour government institute. While I can see it becoming mildly more traditionalist-Labour, surely it, and indeed Labour would still tend overall towards the international, open, free and progressive, for it is in the very nature of Britain. I don't like socialism but even I'd be very happy as another Norway, rather than say, another Venezuela, as a full on rejection of market economics and civil liberties would imply.

  2. I am only saying that it is happening. It has been happening since 1955, and it is now almost complete.

  3. The Conservative Party is polling about 34-36% currently, in the midle of what was supposed to be the most unpopular government ever- a full 2 to 4% above what it obtained in 2005- certainly not dead on its feet, and given that Labour is on only 37 to 41%, when it ought, by the standards of previous successful oppositions, to be on over 50%, it doesn't inspire much confidence for the eventual win! Opposition poll leads, even constant ones, are always, always soft and dissolve- even 1997 proved that- 43% was actually far down on what they were polling in 1995.
    Also, out of intrest, could you name some nations where you think a leaning NeoCon/Old Right/Neoliberal party is destined to be long dominant? I think at least Germany (CDU-CSU), Canada (Federal Conservatives),and even Finland (National Coalition Party) fit this pattern, in the last 25 year maybe even , Sweden (Moderaterna)

  4. Hardly a dream. Everything I just said is a provable fact- especially Christian Democrat dominance in Germany and soft, innately irrelevant poll leads unlike your ridiculous assertions that Labour is now some sort of traditionalists party in line with you own personal views, and all the other parties are somehow polar opposites..
    In recent YouGov polls the Conservatives have been polling between 24 and 29% in Scotland. Some decline that would be, gaining 6 to 11% of the popular vote and 8 or 9 seats!!

  5. Christmas Day? At 13:04pm? Seriously?