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Boris wins the crown – but huge problems lie ahead

Our political correspondent The Rebel examines the election result after a stunning victory for The Conservatives in an extraordinary campaign with the characters of party leaders under scrutiny as never before, the anti-Semitic controversy engulfing the Labour Party being brought up all the time on the doorstep, and its hard left leader putting his party way behind in polls.   

The Rebel is a leading figure close to senior politicians in Westminster as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power.

 

This election has been so exciting

The really important thing about last night was not the thumping majority for Boris (which it was) or the disaster for the bearded lefty (which it was) but what happens next.

For Labour moderates it is bleak.

The hard left have seized control of all the main levers of power in the Labour party (like the National Executive Committee {NEC}) and it is difficult to see where a challenge to the Corbynistas (even though Jezza won’t be there) from the centre left might come from.

Rebecca Long-Bailey – ‘my ambition is this big…’

Left winger Rebecca Long-Bailey (a protege of undertaker John McDonnell) is being touted and a female leader of Labour is practically certain, but others are almost invisible.

She has only been in Parliament since 2015 (for Salford and Eccles) so she is certainly a fresh face for Labour but it will mean more of the same for voters.

The numbers she might have to confront (if it is her) are staggering.

Hats off to Dominic

This was the worst result for Labour since 1935, with the biggest Tory majority since 1987.

Labour, in contrast, finds itself with little more than 200 seats, even fewer than the party won in its previous worst post-war result in 1983.

During his time as leader Jezza secured such low figures they were only beaten by Michael Foot who was another electoral disaster.

But there should also be a red flag for the future to Bojo

He and his adviser staring-eyes Dominic Cummings got their timing right with the election and they got their message right.

They were also ruthless about uniting their coalition.

Remember him?!

Without what may prove an irresponsible promise on the transition period and what was certainly a pretty grisly way to treat dissident MPs, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party might not have made way as it did and the story of the night could have been different.

But they shouldn’t rest on their laurels because major problems are on the horizon.

What happens now?

A traditional Conservative policy in the years to come might have been to use deregulation to meet them, with a smaller state and lower corporate tax as a way to stimulate growth.

However voters in the new seats the party has won, and the MPs who represent these places, will be pressing for higher social spending to deal with urgent social problems.

Also how does the party continue to keep moderates and urban liberals with it?

Don’t look into it Jeremy

This election victory was mainly won elsewhere but it wouldn’t have been decisive if some Tory remainers had not stuck with the party.

Without the bearded one they may prove hard to hold on to.

Most of these moderate voters will support more social spending, provided the economy grows.

But a UK Government led by Bojo might end up being pulled both ways on social issues, and could find it hard to strike the right tone.

 

 

Scotland could soon be dancing to a different tune

There is now also of course a huge challenge to preserve the Union, both with Scotland and Northern Ireland particularly, but also potentially with Wales. 

The setback for the Conservatives could become very grave.

And there is the issue of young people too – how does the Bojo UK Government ensure that its voter base doesn’t age and shrink?

Attempting to redistribute wealth from old to young is hard for Tories, as the dementia tax debacle at the last General Election demonstrates.

‘It’s all gone wrong for me and the Lib Dems’

But it’s not possible to put off doing something about it for ever.

The Lib Dems have, like Labour, not had a good night either.

Jo Swinson (who has only been leader for a few months!) lost her seat and the party is heading for yet another leadership election.

Things should not be looked into too hard

But what happens with Brexit too now?

Pushing through the withdrawal agreement is the easy bit.

The harder part is making an economic advantage out of something conventional economic analysis has said will be economically damaging.

So the future for everyone is, er, not bright…

 

Book posterOur Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 36-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!

 

 

 

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