Watching John McDonnell getting his excuses in early

Blimey, I’m watching this on BBC1 and wanting Andrew Neil to be kinder to John McDonnell.

Fair play to McDonnell, he is making a reasonable analysis of what he must find to be a devastating exit poll result.

In recent years exit polls conducted by Sir John Curtice and his team have been remarkably accurate. Given the strange days we live in, this one may be less so – but with a projected majority of 86 the Tories can afford to lose quite a few.

We are on course for the best result for the Conservatives since 1987. The working class have gone Tory.

Updated: 12th December 2019 — 10:28 pm


  1. Would such a result allow for a Brexit that doesn’t include “and we’ll never ever ever again ask to leave more completely”?

  2. bobby b,

    It is just dawning on me how tense I was. My horizon of speculation had contracted to 10pm, when the exit poll came out. As a result, I can’t answer you. The BBC is saying that with a large majority to play with, Brexit is likely to be softer. But who knows.

  3. I think it’s a little bit of Brexit and a lot of rejection of the hard left stuff. Britain is basically Blairite.

  4. The BBC is full of **i*. The establishment always do this when they lose: “Oh, this gives [person they don’t like] the chance to move to the centre.”

    Not gonna happen. Boris appointed the most libertarian cabinet ever for a reason: he’s a libertarian. This is going to be great.

  5. I don’t know your system. When do you expect actual results?

  6. “I don’t know your system. When do you expect actual results?”

    They count them overnight and announce each result as it comes in. Tomorrow, basically. It should be known around 5 to 7 o’clock local time.

  7. But it’s unlikely the exit polls are *that* wrong, and results we have so far corroborate them.

  8. And that’s Workington gone.

  9. Well whatever happens now, at least Corbyn and McDonnell can’t renact the USSR.

    It would be nice to see Labour and the Libs collapse…

    Now Bojo, please go and be the Anti-Theresa we are all hoping for.

    After all, as the EU said none of its agreed till it all is!

  10. “The BBC is saying that with a large majority to play with, Brexit is likely to be softer. But who knows.”

    Why? Where’s the milage in that? He has a large working class constituency to serve and a majority with which to do it. I assumed that his refusal ro countenance a no-deal Brexit was a ploy to keep the party’s more remainerish supporters from defecting.

  11. First-Past-The-Post constituencies filter the votes quite noticeably. Based on preliminary vote numbers, it looks like the real change in this election versus 2017 was the defection of Labour voters. Undoubtedly the debate will last for months on whether that defection was related to Brexit or to the personalities and policies of the Labour Party.

    Total votes cast is currently reported at 32.0 million, down by 0.2 million from 2017. Big change was in Labour votes, down by 2.58 million from 2017 (from 12.88 to 10.30 million). Parties gaining votes versus 2017 were:
    +1.32 million Lib-Dem
    +0.34 million Green
    +0.33 million Tory
    +0.26 million SNP
    +0.19 million Non-voters

    UKIP/Brexit Party total vote was virtually unchanged from 2017 at about 0.6 million — only about one tenth of the votes for the Brexit Party in the European elections

    Overall, it looks like the Tory tribe held together, but about 1 out of 5 Labour voters in 2017 decided against voting for Labour again in 2019. The majority of those deserting Labour voters went for Lib-Dem, Green, SNP, or stayed home. Only about 1 out of 30 Labour voters in 2017 switched to the Conservative Party.

    The implication is that this election was primarily a Labour Party self-inflicted injury, rather than increased support for the Conservative Party or Brexit.

  12. Gavin Longmuir (13th December 2019 at 9:37 pm), the overall figures may be masking non-trivial geographical swings. The BBC (!) is effortlessly finding (unsurprising) and today at least is looking for (more surprising) lifelong old-style Labour supporters who voted Tory for the first time ever. Today is the day of new and unshy Tories. So while some Labour-voters could not bear to vote Tory, and abstained I suspect they enabled their neighbours to take the further step, masked in the overall statistics by some remainer Tories in southern seats who have left them (some of them are not being that shy either).

    Doubtless some post-election statistics will tell us more presently. At first glance, there are resemblances to Trump’s voter coalition.

  13. Agreed, Niall — there undoubtedly is much granularity behind total figures. Perhaps most of the 2.58 million former Labour voters voted Tory, but were offset by almost an equal number of former Conservative voters deserting the Tories to vote for Parties other than Labour?

    But at the end of the day, wise politicians in both Parties would note that Labour overall lost voters, while Tories overall did not gain many voters. Labour clearly has a big problem it needs to face up to; and Tories would be unwise to rest on their laurels.

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