Seconds out…Round three by Ian Hernon

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are like Marmite sandwiches – you either love them or hate them.

Both enrage different sections of both the wider electorate and their own party members, and both face questions about their character and fitness for power. (The Lib Dem’s Jo Swinson is more like the blander Vegemite.)

Which is one reason why, despite the Tories leading by up to 14 points in the polls, no-one can be sure of a knock-out result.

While the main parties are desperately trying to stick to the tried-and-tested script – the Tories on Brexit and tax cuts, Labour on public services and the Lib Dems on Remain – the events of the last few years have shredded traditional party viewpoints.

Brexit has divided all parties – creating a new North-South Divide – and ingrained party loyalties are therefore fracturing.

As a result we have seen a succession of established politicians switching sides.

Former Labour MPs Ian Austin, John Woodcock and Tom Harris urged voters to back Boris. Former Tory Cabinet minister David Gauke is standing as an Independent after losing the Conservative whip, but suggested that many voters should consider going for the Lib Dems. Multiple defections over Brexit have sent both Labour and Tories to the Lib Dems. And former Tory minister Nick Boles, the PM’s one-time ally at the Greater London Council, rubbished Boris’s character.   

This is not the sort of spectacle which delivers an outright winner such as Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair. The prospect of another hung Parliament is too horrible to bear, but it remains at least a possibility. 

Meanwhile, this Monty Python-esque election continues.

The Lib Dems fielded the excellent actor Eddie Marsden whose films include Gangster No 1 and Filth. He said that until now he had always supported Labour but “now I’m supporting the Lib Dems and it feels good… It is like a political enema.” What? Not exactly the most persuasive election slogan.

Boris, who had described himself as like the Incredible Hulk pointed to an image of the superhero while in a classroom and was told by a schoolboy that he had “boobies.” The PM corrected him and said that they were muscles. 

Votey McVoteface, a group of anti-Tory activists, launched a campaign to get people living in houseboats in marginal constituencies to register to vote.

And Jeremy Corbyn claimed that the antisemitism scandal which has dogged his leadership had been sorted.

Twenty-four public figures, including actors Joanna Lumley and Simon Callow, novelists John Le Carré, Fay Weldon and William Boyd, and former head of the Commission for Racial Equality Trevor Phiillps vehemently disagreed.

BOUT RESULT: Tories 8/10

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