It is over 18 months since Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, in a deeply prescient piece, announced that the World could be only “two or three bad elections” away from the end of NATO, the EU and maybe the “liberal world order as we know it”. So, with the German Federal election safety negotiated, can we listen again to the REM track with the same sense of amused detachment? Sadly, no.
Don’t believe what you’ve heard, the 2017 Election result was completely decisive.
And the overwhelming winner was … the Nein Danke Party
- Labour amassed a 10% vote rise on the Austerity - No Thanks ticket.
- The Tories amassed a larger vote (and now an arrangement with the DUP) on the Anyone But Jezza platform.
- In Scotland, the Tories gained 12 seats via the No More Referenda gambit.
- In Northern Ireland, politics reached the end of a 45 year trajectory, with the No compromise parties now occupying 17 of the 18 seats.
• A big swing to M. Blanc and Mme Abstention
- A quarter of voters stayed at home (or went away – it’s a Bank Holiday today!)
- The French Left abstained in 1969, when George Pompidou (ironically, not the centrist candidate, geddit ?!) defeated a Liberal to replace De Gaulle.
- Ok the level of abstention was (a bit) lower than the 1969, but this confirms with my observation of two weeks ago, that the electorate is not happy with its choices.
• The Electorate has rejected Right-wing policies
No, I haven’t got that wrong. The Conservative and UKIP share of the vote fell by 5% since 2013. But the key to first past the post elections is the distribution of votes. May’s Hard Brexit stance has consolidated the right of centre votes. However, progressive voters, whose total exceeded the Right’s, are split 60/40 and so are undercutting each other. As the Bananarama almost had it: It’s not how you vote. It’s the way that you do it. And that’s what gets results.
arc4 Director, Derek Long, highlights what the French Presidential Election can tell us about the result of our own June 8th contest
Le Pen’s second place shows the limitations for the harder right
- Le Pen’s second place does not presage a UKIP surge
- This has all happened before when the left was divided and Le Pen Père got through in 2002. He lost by a mere 83% to 17% to the revamped Gaulliste, Chirac.
- The worrying news for Labour’s heartlands is that some of Le Pen’s support comes from Trumpian post-industrial voters in the former metal bashing regions.