By way of background, I am a British writer who has been a print journalist since 1969, I’ve been a lobby correspondent in the Commons since 1978 and was deputy editor of the independant newspaper ‘Tribune’ until last year, hopefully giving me a unique insight into this election.
As Boxing Clubs appear to be the photo call of choice, we thought we’d use a boxing analogy to keep you up to date with the latest Election news, so without further ado … Seconds out, Round 1 …
To say that all major parties got off to a poor start in this general election is like saying that Donald Trump rates himself pretty highly.
With only fools confident they know the outcome of this bizarre Brexit-induced contest, the various party leaders have vied with each other to show who is steering the leakiest ship towards the nearest iceberg.
Veteran former Tory Cabinet minister Ken Clarke signalled he was not the greatest fan of Boris Johnson, while many other former ministers quit having had enough of Tory turmoil and Boris bluster.
Boris was caught swigging whiskey in a Scottish distillery after promising to stay off the booze until the UK leaves the EU – hardly the first Brexit promise he has broken – and won an unwelcome endorsement from the US President.
Tory Jacob Rees Mogg was put into purdah after slurring Grenfell tower block victims – more proof that an Eton education does not guarantee political common sense.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson quit on the second day of the campaign – while Jewish MPs either retired or stood on anti-Labour tickets in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s signal failure to address antisemitism amongst some of his comrades.
Although Boris found billions of pounds more hanging from a magic money tree to fund election promises and end austerity, Labour’s costings are almost three times higher. It all boils down to who the voters trust to deliver.
The first detailed opinion polls showed that under Corbyn, Labour is down 30-32 points on the 2017 contest in the party’s traditional Northern heartlands as former supporters defect to the Brexiteers, while in London Labour is down 16 points because of its confusing see-sawing on a second Remain referendum.
Newish Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson kept photographers waiting at her party’s launch to get her hair teased, not the best behaviour for someone who keeps claiming that she will be the next prime minister. Don’t hold your breath.
And Nigel Farage, having been a seven-times loser, refused to stand for Parliament and agreed to pull out Brexit Party candidates in seats currently held be the Tories, a kamikaze move which could sink the Brexit ship. But his party will contest marginal Labour seats targeted by Conservatives, which could, by splitting the vote, deny Boris an overall majority.
The Greens and the Welsh Nationalists reached a pact with the Lib Dems not to stand against each other where one of them had a real chance of ousting either a Tory or Labour MP. While the Scots Nationalist really just want another referendum on independence.
And the Democratic Unionist Party want to scupper the Boris Brexit deal in the Irish Sea.
Confused? You will be.
Some pollsters are predicting a record low turnout on December 12 because of that confusion, others the opposite.
And there’s still another month to go.
- This 12 year old was distilled at the Lochnagar distillery, once visited by Queen Victoria when she was staying at nearby Balmoral
- This fragrant Highland malt has a delightful balance of fruit and spice
- This whisky is recommended with goats cheese or parma ham