Google the words ‘unfit to be Prime Minister’ and you get an even split between Corbyn and Johnson. What the results have in common is that all the claims are made by people close to them, who know them well.
In a first past the post election with two main parties we are told that they are the only choices we have. This is utterly untrue. In fact a hung parliament, which is still the most likely outcome, may well produce a coalition government where the price of co-operation is for either the Conservative or Labour Party leader to step down.
This is not a two horse race. They have both been described as unfit for the job so we shouldn’t vote for either of them.
We believe if the general election took place just three weeks later on 30 June instead of 9 June, Labour would win.
We’ve taken all of the polling data since the election was called. When you add the trend data for the two major parties you can clearly see Labour has built it’s support quickly while support for Theresa May’s Tories is sliding. Using only the data, shown with the straight linear trend lines on the chart above, Labour would overtake the Conservatives on the 30 June.
Using all of the polls irons out the fluctuations and the trend is clear. It looks like the Conservatives will hold onto their lead and still win next Thursday. The trend data predicts 44% for the Tories and 39% for Labour on election day. If that’s right it would be a major blow for Theresa May and a significantly worse result for the Conservatives than 2015 with a possibility of a hung parliament.
Both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have said that they won’t attend the live ITV Leaders Debate in Media City tonight. The prime minister has calculated that the Tory lead is so large she can absorb any damage. The Labour Leader, if the current polls are right, has little to gain.
Surely that’s not the point. In a democracy our leaders have a responsibility to put themselves up before the voters. They have a moral obligation to have their policies and character tested in public and before the huge audiences that only television can bring. Anything else is contempt for voters and contempt for democracy itself.
The remaining party leaders will be taking part in a televised debate this evening on ITV at 8pm. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, UKIP’s Paul Nuttall, the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood and Green co-leader Caroline Lucas will all be there for the two-hour show being broadcast from the dock10 studios in Salford.
ITV said the invitation to take part remains open until the programme starts at 8pm, but if they do not show up they will not being empty chaired as ITV said the stage will have “the right number of podiums for leaders who attend on the night”.
This is the Brexit election. It was called because of Brexit. It will define Brexit and all of the parties have Brexit at the core of their manifestos.
The Conservatives are asking us to back a hard Brexit. Lowering immigration at the core and would come at the expense of a trade deal if necessary. In Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech in January, when she warned that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal”.
Labour wants a soft Brexit. Keir Starmer MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, set out Labour’s approach to Brexit: “We will scrap the Government’s Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that…will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union”.
A vote The Liberal Democrats leaves the option to Remain. Leader Tim Farron said ” the Liberal Democrats are committed to keeping Britain in the single market. We believe the British people should have the final say on the Brexit deal, including the option to remain in the EU”.
That’s right, we can remain in the EU if enough people vote for the LibDems but the polls say that’s not happening. Perhaps people don’t understand or believe that we have the democratic option to reverse a decision that was more about the political ambitions of a bunch of old Etonians than it was about the future the 65 million.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has a famously testy relationship with the BBC. Events earlier today won’t have improved things when the Corbyn’s car ran over the foot of BBC Cameraman Giles Wooltorton.
Corbyn was arriving to discuss the Labour manifesto when his driver applied the break. Laura Kuenssberg, who has a reputation for backing the Labour leader into a corner, rushed to the aide of her colleague. She was no doubt planning to ask Corbyn if he accepted that Theresa May was a ‘shoe-in’ on June 8.
Critics of the leader of the opposition were quick to put the boot in on-line. Labour will no doubt be issuing a statement later to heal the wounds. Cameraman Giles was taken to hospital where he is said to be strong and stable.
The front pages and the broadcast bulletins have been awash with news of the leaked Labour election manifesto. It wasn’t leaked to just one news organisation it went to all of them. It was also leaked in a way designed to make the morning bulletins and the national press. You need media skills for that.
The blame has been levelled at disgruntled Labour party staff who have remained unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn. It had to come from near the centre because not many people had access to the draft. There was a Clause V meeting scheduled for 10am today to discuss the launch of the document in a week’s time. It’s a meeting attended by the party’s most senior figures, including the deputy leader, Tom Watson and all of the shadow cabinet. They are joined by the Labour NEC and selected MPs, trade unionists and some councillors. It’s said that all those attending would receive a draft at the meeting, so many or most won’t even have seen it.
Yesterday Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell revealed a platform policy to scrap university tuition fees. The Shadow Education Secretary also hinted at the initiative. Interesting timing in retrospect.
The leak has gained more media coverage than a conventional launch. Labour’s election chair Andrew Gwynne (pictured) just happened to be in the BBC Radio 4 Today studio for an 8am interview. During the interview the Manchester based politician pleaded that the 10am Clause V meeting was “the sole reason why I’m down in London”. I’d have booked a later train.
The Labour Party will scrap tuition fees said John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, today.
“We want to introduce a national education service, free at the point of need throughout life and that means ending the cuts in the schools at primary and secondary level. It means free childcare. It means free school training when you need it throughout life.
“And yes it means scrapping tuition fees once and for all so we don’t burden our kids with debt for the future.”
The Shaw Education Secretary also hinted at the plan. When asked this morning whether Labour planned to abolish the fees Angela Rayner said: “watch this space.”
Keir Starmer MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, set out Labour’s approach to Brexit, today.
At the heart of Labour’s plans are remaining inside the Single Market and the Customs Union or building a bespoke trading arrangement and tearing up Theresa May’s plan for a hard Brexit.
“We will scrap the Government’s Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that…will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union as we know that is vital to protecting jobs and the economy”
Starmer also outlined a new approach to dealing with EU nationals in the UK, guaranteeing their right to stay: “on day one of a Labour Government we will immediately guarantee that all EU nationals currently living in the UK will see no change in their legal status as a result of Brexit, and we will seek reciprocal measures for UK citizens in the EU”
Labour also plans to replace the Tories’ Great Repeal Bill with an EU Rights and Protections Bill, which will make sure that all EU-derived laws are fully protected.
No more opinion polls are allowed now the election is under way but every single poll in the last 24 hours has the Labour and Conservative parties tied. Several put the two parties dead level.
Britain will have another hung parliament but it is impossible to predict this whether David Cameron or Ed Miliband will be prime minister. The rules state that Cameron stays in Downing Street until we know who can form a government. That could be weeks away.
YouGov, who produced the biggest of the final polls interviewing over 10,000 voters, predicts Labour and the Conservatives will both have 34 per cent of the vote. UKIP is on 12 per cent, the Lib Dems have 10 per cent and the SNP has 5 per cent. The SNP share will translate into 50 or so seats whilst UKIP, who will get almost two and a half times as many votes, will get fewer than five seats.
The outcome is just too close to call. If you have a vote, make sure that you cast it before 10pm tonight.