Christmas Shoppers went for Boris’ Brexit Deal over Corbyn’s Vintage Bargain Bucket
Those of us who didn’t stay up all night to pore over every detail of the UK’s general election woke up on Friday morning looking bleary eyed at a big win for Boris and a crushing defeat for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
Corbyn’s 203 seats is the worst result for Labour since 1935, which was actually an excellent result as Clement Atlee won an extra 102 seats.
Everyone was saying this was going to be a close one, so what happened?
Setting aside his support for Irish republicans at the height of the Troubles, his hard-left place on the political spectrum, the alleged anti-Semitism, the desertion of many centrist Labour MPs, his inability to deal with the media or even his bad-tempered and grouchy manner, he lost this election people didn’t know what he was going to do on Brexit.
Corbyn promised to renegotiate the Brexit deal in three months and then put it to a referendum within six months. Nobody could really figure out what form of Brexit he wanted to achieve, many thought another renegotiation of the deal was improbable and nobody wanted the whole saga to drag on for another year.
On the other hand, Boris promised to ‘’Get Brexit Done’’.
There is no doubting which message is simpler, and Boris certainly fed into frustrations about progress not being made, among Brexiteers and Remainers alike. But the message worked well not just because it outlined the Conservative policy.
Elections are about making a trade with the public. What are people going to get if they give you their vote?
This doesn’t mean its about promising the sun, moon and stars. Voters need to believe you can deliver on your promises. You also have to offer something the voters actually want.
When they looked at the Conservatives, the choice was clear. A vote bought them an end to the Brexit misery.
But what did Labour offer? There were promises galore; renationalising rail services and energy companies, free broadband for all, taxing billionaires, increasing maternity pay, training for managers to support staff going through the menopause, slashed rail fares, scrapping Trident, an immediate 5% pay rise for public sector workers, a living wage of £10 per hour. And it went on and on and on.
Labour ended up promising people everything and more with an enormous manifesto that brought people back to the 1980s and left people in doubt about just how wildly left-wing the party had become.
However, these weren’t things that the majority of people in the UK either wanted or believed Corbyn could deliver.
They looked at Boris’ short promise to get Brexit done, which was both something they actually wanted and knew he could deliver, and went for it.
Add in the fact that it was a message which performed particularly well in Labour seats that voted to leave and Corbyn’s Christmas goose was cooked.