Beware the words of Francis Pym in 1983, 'landslides, on the whole, do not produce successful governments'.

18 Apr 2017 at 11:59

I can’t quite work out whether May is a political genius or as mad as a box of frogs for calling a snap general election. But she certainly has courage. Despite her 20 point lead in the opinion polls over Labour this election is risky. Not that Corbyn is going to get anywhere near winning. He will be running for cover rather than office. But as most news coverage till now has been fixated on Brexit, the failings of the NHS and education are now going to come to the fore. I wonder whether some extra cash will be found before Parliament is dissolved. Actually, I don’t wonder at all. I smell the scent of fudge wafting from Number 11.

The real winners will be the Lib Dems. They have turned this election into an opportunity to sink a hard Brexit. They have been doing very well in by elections and Farron is a formidable campaigner. If I was a Tory in a seat where the Lib Dems have come second I would be worried. If I was in a seat which was taken from them at the last election I would be terrified. This could be the beginning of a Lib Dem revival. They could take the soft Labour vote and the One Nation Tory wobblers. They won’t win power, but the prospect of a Tory Lib Dem coalition is not entirely a fantasy.

May has sensibly set out her stall in an almost Trumpian attack on the Westminster bubble. Parliament is divided, the nation is not. Let the people speak. Farron’s USP is simple. This is your chance to have another say on Brexit. We are the party of reasonableness and tolerance. We will heal a divided nation. Both positions have their attractions.

And what about Labour? Those with marginal seats will be traumatised. They will experience a Zombie election. They will not mention Corbyn and will turn down any visits from him. He will be a nightmare in any debate. Or will he? People have such low expectations of him all he needs to do is not fall over and he will have gone up in people’s estimation. And his basic sense of decency might just shine through. On the other hand he is surrounded by some dangerous fuck wits. The downside of Labour being humiliated and trounced is that they will re group and might just pick an electable leader. But that will be a problem for another day. And UKIP? It’s wipe out time.

I wonder what Osborne will do. This is a serious problem for him. His rivals will accuse him of forsaking his constituents. It will gain traction. He could lose. But if he doesn’t stand all hopes of the leadership evaporates. But May is most likely to remain in Number 10 with a fresh mandate. So what is the point of him staying on and risking another humiliation? I would be surprised if he stands again.

And let us not forget Bozo. Whatever one thinks think of this ghastly narcissistic little tit, he is a brilliant campaigner. But if May wins, his leadership dreams will also come to an end. A May mandate would also allow her to get rid of the dead wood in her cabinet. A fresh start. Strong leadership. A sense of purpose. And a strengthened negotiating position with Brussels. Perhaps she is not so mad after all. But the words of Francis Pym during the 1983 election will hang like a toxic cloud over this one. ‘Landslides don’t, on the whole, produce successful governments.’ He was right. And sacked

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