I believe that terrorism cannot be allowed to dictate our lives. So even as the victims of cowardly losers at London Bridge, like Westminster and Manchester are remembered, life and the general election campaign must go on.
That being said, this election will not be close.
The tales of Corbyn’s surge, while no doubt a great fillip to his supporters do not reflect reports on the ground reality, or the fundamentals. May did the right thing calling the election, and securing a larger majority to fight for Brexit. There are good reasons why Jeremy Corbyn will not be Prime Minister on the morning of Friday 8 June. Demographics, historical voter turnout and polling irregularities are just some of the causes of what will be a substantial Labour defeat.
The narrowing polls are a cause of much excitement for Corbyn supporters. Labour was showed to be on just 1 point behind the Tories by a Survation poll Saturday 03 June. No doubt this all sounds alarming for many Conservatives, who have been looking forward to a historic landslide victory. When conducting even basic political analysis, one must keep in mind the fundamentals, including the broader political and macroeconomic trends. Ed Milliband was considered a weak and ineffective leader who failed to repair the damage from Brown’s economic profligacy. He thus crashed and burned. The fundamentals are still in Theresa May’s favour. Unemployment is at record lows. The economy is growing. All of this, coupled with public perceptions of Corbyn’s weaknesses as a leader yield Tory leads of up to 13 percent.
The fact is, the Conservative vote has historically been underestimated by pollsters. Even taking into account adjustments after the 2015 polling fiasco, it is still more likely that the Labour vote is being significantly inflated and the Conservative one being underestimated. A good question to ask is by how much. The other major question has to do with voter turnout. Historically, elderly people have come out to vote in significant numbers to vote Conservative. This will likely continue, even if the ‘dementia tax’ issue will bite the Tories. On the other hand youth have traditionally been apathetic in their voting behaviour. This is hardly the recipe for a shock Corbyn win. It is unlikely, going on historical record that this pattern of youth apathy will change.
There are other factors at work. Voters still feel that May is a stronger leader than Corbyn, which will make it difficult for those who voted for Brexit to send Corbyn to 10 Downing St. They will want a strong leader and a strong hand during Brexit negotiations. Jeremy Corbyn offers neither. He is also naïve on security, as he demonstrated during a question on Trident in which he hesitated to confirm he would launch the missiles in the event of a nuclear attack on Britain. This undermines the whole idea of a nuclear deterrent. In many respects, this will be a security election, which is traditionally solid ground for the Conservatives. Unsurprisingly, UKIP-Tory switchers will play a key role in this election.They could wreak havoc on Labour in the Midlands.
Corbyn is not without his strengths, which I think are overlooked. He looks and sounds utterly sincere in what he believes. Even if these beliefs repulse traditional Tory voters, the perception of sincerity may be an advantage in gaining youth support. However as has been mentioned previously, that is a very fickle part of the voter demographic.
I think this election has shades of the 1987 election. There was a ‘wobbly Wednesday’ moment back then when Labour looked like it was catching the Tories. Margaret Thatcher won that election against Kinnock with a landslide majority of 102. The Tories remain favourites today, but the combination of inconstant messaging on policy- the dementia tax issue- combined with rising youth enthusiasm for Labour have given the appearance of momentum that will ultimately prove false. Labour will win nowhere near 40 percent of the vote. History and political fundamentals are still against them.
My prediction for this election is a convincing Tory win, but not the thumping 1983 style landslide that looked a possibility in the initial weeks of the campaign. I think the Conservatives will get in the range of 370 seats and a little over 40 percent of the vote.