After 39 years as a Tory voter, I feel it’s time to accept the facts that only Boris Johnson is going to deliver a form of Brexit! Given a powerful majority, he can always change or improve his EU deal during his first 5 years.
Like many of you, I lost faith in my party in 2005, when David Cameron took over the leadership. He lacked any real skills and charisma. I saw him as – at best – a NHS manager, or local authority head. He was nothing more than a box-ticking yes man.
I lost interest in the party for 5 years until the general election in 2010, then I duly voted for my local Conservative MP, but couldn’t find the enthusiasm to campaign!
Then came Theresa May, I despaired, in fact I left the party a few days after she was imposed as leader. I was politically homeless for the first time in my adult life. Then along came the Brexit Party – at last I thought – something I could get excited about, and I did. I’m very grateful to Nigel Farage, he’s always stood for Thatcherism, our greatest era. But there is something not quite right. Nigel lacks a radical political agenda – he’s not a reformer – in reality, he lacks vision beyond Brexit. Worse, he doesn’t have substantial political backing or support around him. If I were to be honest, Nigel is a one-trick pony!
The Brexit Party can’t deliver Brexit as a government. They will not win an election under the current FPTP voting system in my lifetime. But Nigel and his party have influenced politics immeasurably. I and many eurosceptics cannot deny what the man has contributed to getting Brexit on the agenda and subsequently winning the EU referendum. Brexit would and could never have happened without him and his donors. A huge thank you for that Mr Farage and Mr Banks, you are both heroes in many peoples eyes.
Then, finally in July, along came Boris and everything changed!
It was Harold Wilson in 1964 who proclaimed; “a week is a long time in politics” – he was correct then, but not now. Since the advent of 24hr rolling news, a day is enough time for things to change, and since 2016, politics can change several times in a day!
Within his first 100 days, Boris succeeded in unceremoniously booting out the 21 rebels so loathed by the Eurosceptic grassroots of the party. Reopened EU negotiations that we were told ‘could not be reopened’
and got a better deal. I don’t think it’s a good deal, in fact it’s not the WTO clean Brexit so many of us longed for. But it achieved something I never expected. Boris’s ‘new deal’ fully exposed this rotten parliament to public scrutiny for the first time. We knew they were trying to stop Brexit, but the media were deceiving their viewers and readers into thinking that parliament were simply trying to stop a ‘hard, no deal Brexit!’
Well, that all changed during the extraordinary month in October/November, when it became apparent the rebble alliance were not at all happy with leaving the EU, even with a reheated version of Theresa May’s ‘BRINO’ (Brexit in name only) deal.
Next came Boris’s coup de grâce – he brilliantly divided the rebble alliance and on the 3rd attempt, forced through a general election to be held on 12th December 2019. It is worth noting since he became Prime minister, he has taken the Conservative party from polling 12% in June to 42% in early November!
SPLITTING THE VOTE
From early November, the General Election campaign began. Boris’s polling soared at the expense, largely, of the Brexit party. It became apparent that, although they offered up some great candidates, the Brexit party phenomenon occurred, not because they were offering a substantial alternative to the Tory Party, but simply because the Conservative Party under Theresa May became a toxic brand.
With Boris now firmly established and on the campaign trail, a huge chunk of Brexit party supporters and several of their candidates have drifted back to the Tory fold.
Farage is under intense pressure to avoid splitting the Brexit vote. His party’s support has halved in just a few weeks, however, it is still substantial enough to stop the resurgent Tories winning dozens of key marginal seats that Boris needs to deliver a majority government. In the worst case scenario, it could allow Corbyn’s militant Labour Party to seize power by default. Some are concerned we’ll get another hung parliament! In both cases, it would spell the end of Brexit.
By standing down 317 Brexit party candidates this week, Farage has almost certainly avoided the horrendous prospect of a Labour win on the 12th of December. Ideally, Boris should reciprocate and withdraw his candidates in Labour marginals where the Conservative Party stand no chance of winning. But Boris can’t do that. He remembers too
well Farage’s threat during the formative months of the Brexit party to ‘destroy the Tories!’
BORIS IS AIMING HIGH
Ideally, he would prefer a 3 digit majority and not a single one of Farage’s troops in the new parliament, though he seems prepared to accept a smaller workable majority of say, 40-60 seats and still not a single Brexit party MP in sight. Either way, the Conservatives would see it as a complete victory to have achieved a majority whilst denying Farage a single seat in Westminster.
My expectation is that Boris will get a 40-80 seat victory, enough to push through his policies beyond Brexit. I also hope there are a handful or more Brexit party MPs returned at the cost of some awful Labour and LibDem incumbents. It’s a great pity to me that Nigel isn’t standing, I would so much like to see him in the new parliament, holding the government’s feet to the fire, but in his absence, I would be happy to witness senior, high profile members of the Brexit party like; Richard Tice, Michelle Dewberry and others take their seats.
With all of the above in mind, I must conclude that a strong Tory government is the most likely outcome and a Brexit party victory impossible. You must vote according to your conscience and conviction. If you are living in a Labour held constituency with zero chance of the Tory candidate winning, then do vote for the Brexit Party candidate. If there isn’t one, then you must hold your nose and vote Tory like me. The alternative is no Brexit and possibly the total destruction of our economy and national security.