Kensington

2015 Result:
Conservative: 18199 (52.3%)
Labour: 10838 (31.1%)
Lib Dem: 1962 (5.6%)
Green: 1765 (5.1%)
UKIP: 1557 (4.5%)
Others: 507 (1.5%)
MAJORITY: 7361 (21.1%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Kensington and Chelsea council area.

Main population centres: Kensington, Earl`s Court, Brompton, Holland Park, Notting Hill.

Profile: A residential seat west of central London. Kensington is one of the most solidly Conservative parts of the country, the housing is largely expensive garden squares and Georgian terraces. Kensington High Street is an upmarket shopping hub, Kensington Palace is the residence of several members of the Royal Family and Kensington Palace Gardens the site of many embassies and a few private residences for the super-rich. South Kensington is the museum district, home to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert and is somewhat more cosmopolitan, housing the halls of residence for Imperial College. As well as Kensington itself the seat covers Earls Court, Brompton, Holland Park and Notting Hill. Earls Court is far more run down and cheaper than it`s richer neighbour and while it it undergoing rapid gentrification and contains its own areas of the super-rich, there are still cheap areas of run down hotels and bedsits. Notting Hill today is an affluent and trendy area associated politically with David Cameron and the younger Conservative set surrounding him, and more widely with the Notting Hill carnival, led by the area`s Afro-Carribean community. It is a highly cosmopolitan area, and having fallen on hard times in the twentieth century and become associated with dingy flats and houses of multiple occupancy it has undergone rapid gentrification. These days while the old Victorian private houses are sought after, there is much social housing and there remains a large ethnic population and areas of social deprivation in North Kensington and Ladbroke Grove. Whereas the Kensington wards are safely Conservative, northern wards like Notting Barns and Colville reliably return Labour councillors.

Politics: Kensington and Chelsea has had a high turnover of high profile MPs. When originally created in 1997 it selected the Chelsea MP Sir Nicholas Scott, who was forced to stand down prior to the election over accusations of alcoholism after being found in a gutter in Bournemouth. The seat was instead fought and won by the former MP and famed diarist Alan Clark, making a return to Parliament having grown bored of retirement. He died two years later and the subsequent by-election returned Michael Portillo who spent a year as Shadow Chancellor before unsuccessfully contesting the Conservative leadership and then stepping down from politics. In 2005 the seat was won by another former minister defeated in 1997, this time the former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Like Michael Portillo he briefly served in the shadow cabinet, stood for the leadership of the party, lost, and returned to the backbenches before being forced into retirement after being caught in a newspaper sting.


Current MP
VICTORIA BORWICK (Conservative) Born 1956, London. Kensington and Chelsea councillor. Contested London Assembly list 1999, London Assembly member since 2008. First elected as MP for Kensington in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 17595 (50%)
Lab: 8979 (26%)
LDem: 6872 (20%)
UKIP: 754 (2%)
Oth: 950 (3%)
MAJ: 8616 (25%)
2005*
Con: 18144 (58%)
Lab: 5521 (18%)
LDem: 5726 (18%)
GRN: 1342 (4%)
Oth: 603 (2%)
MAJ: 12418 (40%)
2001
Con: 15270 (54%)
Lab: 6499 (23%)
LDem: 4416 (16%)
GRN: 1158 (4%)
Oth: 695 (2%)
MAJ: 8771 (31%)
1997
Con: 19887 (54%)
Lab: 10368 (28%)
LDem: 5668 (15%)
Oth: 1165 (3%)
MAJ: 9519 (26%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Kensington & Chelsea

Demographics
2015 Candidates
VICTORIA BORWICK (Conservative) Born 1956, London. Kensington and Chelsea councillor. Contested London Assembly list 1999, London Assembly member since 2008.
ROB ABOUHARB (Labour) Born Cardiff. University lecturer.
ROBIN MCGHEE (Liberal Democrat) Born Lambeth. Educated at Oxford University.
JACK BOVILL (UKIP)
ROBINA ROSE (Green)
TOBY ABSE (Alliance Green Socialism)
TONY AUGUSTE (CISTA)
ROLAND COURTENAY (New Independent Centralist)
ANDREW KNIGHT (Animal Welfare)
Links
Comments - 864 Responses on “Kensington”
  1. Alex F,

    I’m not a Remainer, but I would say “no”, much for the same reasons that I don’t favour open borders with the EU, and those in turn are pretty much the standard reasons e.g. avoiding rapid cultural change, national security, and being able to avoid things like the appalling EU failure on the mass migration from the Med.

    All of which is compatible with being ok with a lot of immigration, because immigration is not the same as open borders. Like I said, there is a lot of nuance that tends to be ignored these days.

  2. Alex F – whilst I realise he was being satirical, I have met elected politicians who have said just that: they prefer to be “served my latte by an Eastern European girl than by Barry from Beswick.”

    No wonder they (it is a political class of sorts in the 3 main Parties and they still don’t get the sheer hatred which a bulk of the public feel for them. Not just on expenses although that did shine a light on the sense of entitlement and a them v us mindset)

  3. Why would anybody care about the nationality of the person who serves them coffee? My relationships with baristas are purely transactional – as far as I am concerned, they are only there to provide me with overpriced caffeinated froth; and as far as they are concerned, I am only there to pay for the privilege, from the proceeds of which they take a wage.

  4. That’s a very good question – and worrying that some politicians openly hate and mock UK Nationals.

  5. I’m not dure they do

  6. I think some come across as being ashamed to be British, and/or talk in a way that apparently wants Britain to fail.

    People like Molly Scott Cato… way beyond what a passionate/committed remainer would say.

  7. Personally I can’t bear to hear the “ashamed to be British” line. A country is not synonymous with its political leadership. You can love the former without loving the latter – indeed if you didn’t care for your country, why would you worry about its destruction?

  8. Perhaps, it isn’t a phrase I use often or easily… but some people do sound like a broken record at times. Alastair Campbell, Gary Lineker…

    At least pretend to sound like you want a good outcome…

    Of course people who oppose me might make the same argument, fair enough I suppose.

    I’m no fan of our political leadership either… but realistically there’s little chance of any change, and virtually zero of said change being something I’d enthusiastically support…

  9. I sympathise with u there. I voted to remain but I would like to see a good brexit. While I don’t think it is likely at the moment with the current direction of travel I do have confidence that if Kier Starmer was negotiating I think there would be a better deal. There would be more good will to seek a good deal i think.

  10. Oh I’ve little confidence in this government in respect of getting a good deal. More llkely is a bad deal dressed up as game set and match to Britain.

    My inclination would be no deal anyhow, mainly because I think Europe has gone wrong with its ‘togetherness/integration’ agenda and it could do with being forced to be more competitive.

    Starmer seems much more Prime Ministerial to me than Theresa May… perhaps Tories ought to consider themselves fortunate that Corbyn is leader, flanked by McDonnell and Abbott.

    A Labour front bench with the likes of Starmer, Kendall, Benn, Cooper, Reeves etc would be far more capable of delivering an election win I think. And we wouldn’t be subjected to the ugliness of some elements of Momentum…

    Considering how little May has got right recently, Tory polling is remarkably resilient.

  11. Not sure i agree with that particular Kendall who was a local MP of mine for 5 years. Great MP not sure I’d want her on tge front bench. Saying that she’d do better than Yvette Cooper who talks a good talk but Ive seen little substance from in way of actual ideas though her child care proposals were good. Rachel Reeves is another people talk quite highly of a good MP from what ive heard but I cant say Ive ever heard her talk and thought thats what the country needs.

  12. “I sympathise with u there. I voted to remain but I would like to see a good brexit. While I don’t think it is likely at the moment with the current direction of travel I do have confidence that if Kier Starmer was negotiating I think there would be a better deal. There would be more good will to seek a good deal i think.”

    That is a very delusional comment, borne of a misguided view of how the EU thinks. The other week I posted here some thoughts following a meeting I had with some trade officials in the European Commission.

    As far as the EU is concerned there is no such thing as a “good Brexit” and if there were such a think, they will at all costs prevent the UK from having it. From their side they hate Brexit and will do all they can to get the UK to cancel it. All the stuff about the irresolvable Irish border issues and unacceptable divorce bills stem from this effort. If this effort fails then the EU will seek the hardest possible Brexit pour encourager les autres. At least for a few years after which a lot of damage will have been done.

    I find it fascinating that many people still don’t appreciate the reality of the above despite the fact that the EU has made it plain time and time and time again, including the statement by Tusk around the time A50 was triggered.

    There is a constant focus on personality – would someone else do a better job than May or Boris or Davis or Fox. But that is to totally misunderstand the situation. For the EU this is about survival strategy and principle, and the personality of who is doing the negotiation is totally irrelevant. The UK chief negotiator could be Mother Theresa or Donald Duck, the outcome will be exactly the same.

    I do fear many Remainers currently believing as you do that a Labour government will result in a measurably different Brexit are going to end up very angry in time.

  13. Especially considering the current Labour leader believes in Brexit as much as Daniel Hannan does.

  14. HH
    “I do fear many Remainers currently believing as you do that a Labour government will result in a measurably different Brexit are going to end up very angry in time”

    I think a great many Remainers (myself included) think (or rather hope) that Labour will at some point (either after winning an election or prior if evidence suggests its a vote winner) try to reverse or semi reverse Brexit by either having a second referendum, some sort of procrastinating fudge until the whole thing has died down or if their hand is forced EEA membership.

    I totally understand why Labour haven’t got there yet but they’ve been steadily inching in that direction, if the public attitude continues to move against Brexit I think Labs position will change with it.

  15. “A Labour front bench with the likes of Starmer, Kendall, Benn, Cooper, Reeves”

    I’ve made my opinion on some of Lab supposed big hitters clear before but I’ll make them again cos I remain genuinely baffled at the appeal of some of these peeps. I’m a great admirer of Starmer and unlike Matt I do actually quite like Cooper, as for Benn I can take him or leave him but what’s the appeal of Reeves and Kendall? Sorry but their both utterly dismal, there are Tories I would rather vote for than those two.

    Their part of that new generation of Blairite MP’s who have all of the spin and professionalism (so much so they come across as insincere and slimy) but none of the intelligence or rhetorical agility, I made this comment about Ummuna a week or so ago and it applies equally to Reeves and Kendall, drop them in a tricky debate and once their pre determined soundbytes have been deployed and their politicians veneer is broken they descend into total farce.

    Seriously I’d actually implore people to look at old interviews or QT appearances from the likes of Kendall, Reeves, Ummuna, Reynolds, Leslie, Powell etc How these peeps even became MP’s let alone front benchers is a mystery to me, their self purging from the upper echelons of Labour has been the best thing about the Corbyn project.

  16. “I think a great many Remainers (myself included) think (or rather hope) that Labour will at some point (either after winning an election or prior if evidence suggests its a vote winner) try to reverse or semi reverse Brexit by either having a second referendum, some sort of procrastinating fudge until the whole thing has died down or if their hand is forced EEA membership.”

    I think there will probably be an extension to A50, though it will be at the government’s instigation rather than Labour’s. Though Tory Brexiters will probably force us to have formally left before a general election will give the public a chance to elect Labour.

    “Seriously I’d actually implore people to look at old interviews or QT appearances from the likes of Kendall, Reeves, Ummuna, Reynolds, Leslie, Powell etc How these peeps even became MP’s let alone front benchers is a mystery to me, their self purging from the upper echelons of Labour has been the best thing about the Corbyn project.”

    I’ve posted extensively about Umunna in the past and mentioned many times how often he has flip flopped between left and right. For the selection in Streatham he successfully positioned himself as the soft left alternative to the Blairite Steve Reed. After 2010 he ingratiated himself with Ed Miliband partly through criticism of Labour’s Blairite past. He only really switched to being a pretend right-winger after 2015 when it mistakenly appeared like criticising E.Miliband as a left winger who scared off the middle class was the best way to win the leadership. Even more so after Corbyn won.

    So I’d put Umunna in a different and worse category to Kendall, Reeves, Leslie and Reynolds, who for all their faults are principled Blairites. Umunna’s downfall is that he is a naked opportunist who has (fortunately) been very bad lately at guessing which side of the fence he should sit on. He’ll never again be a senior figure in Labour IMO.

  17. See pg 15.
    I note that no one has answered my Q:
    no Borders – nothing. So anyone from anywhere…Brazil; Australia; Lesotho; Fiji; Somalia, Morocco; Nigeria; Mexico can come here unhindered and settle here. Are you in favour? If not, why not?

    It’s a Q that Remainers cannot address adequately

  18. Tbf to chuka ummuna he was from the soft left previously working for the soft left think tank compass and his move to the centre took place before the 2015 GE having rejected te idea Labour was a left wing party.

  19. Alex F

    I’m a Remainer and also believe we should have a tougher immigration policy. However I personally doubt Brexit will make much difference on that unless people are deterred by poor economic performance. I think sooner or later the EU will have to reform freedom of movement and we would have had a big involvement on that.

  20. Thanks for responding to my Q.

    If the EU could have been flexible on FoM REMAIN would have easily won, I believe.

    Britain is special place and FoM was always bound to affect her adversely much more than other countries. Our strong economy; culture – music; films; theatre; football – & the fact that most countries in EU* teach English as a 2nd language always made an inbalance of immigration to GB a very distinct probability.

    * According to a survey published in 2006, 13% of EU citizens speak English as their native language. Another 38% of EU citizens state that they have sufficient skills in English to have a conversation, so the total reach of English in the EU is 51%

  21. I totally agree with your points. The language advantage we have benefitted from is a much neglected aspect of the EU debate. I’ve been doing business in Europe for 20 years. The extent of English speaking in other European countries is enormous compared with 20 years ago, neatly matching the diminished language skills of younger Brits compared with previous generations.

  22. I agree Alex.

    There was certainly a tipping point in terms of concessions that could have secured a 50.01% vote for Remain, had the concessions been realistic and binding…

    I’d be interested to know what negative effect people like Arron Banks had on the leave share of the vote, not that it means much in the grand scheme of things.

    My main argument against FoM was infrastructure planning, especially with our economy being less worse than others and generally more welcoming of people from overseas than some others.

    There’s the financial aspect, the origination of laws… all kinds of things that made me a leaver.

    If those boxes were ticked and the EU institutions made much smaller and less costly… might have swayed me and people like me. But it had to be believable.

    The criticisms that Douglas Carswell made of Cameron when he defected to UKIP about not changing things all rang true.

  23. My main argument against FoM was infrastructure planning, especially with our economy being less worse than others and generally more welcoming of people from overseas than some others.
    There’s the financial aspect, the origination of laws… all kinds of things that made me a leaver.

    Whilst I can understand opposition to FOM and a desire British sovereignty, as reasons for voting Leave – when it comes to the financial aspect I can’t see anything but negatives for the UK

    Once we fall off the cliff edge – and with the likes of May, Davis, Johnson and Fox, whose staggering overall incompetence verges on the criminal, taking care of proceedings we almost certainly will – the money we used to pay to be in the EU will seem like money well spent

  24. Having said that I agree that ton a certain extent the EU has only themselves to blame for their complete lack of flexibility wen Cameron sought to get some powers back – something he did have a mandate for – and its worth remembering there will be few winners as a result of Brexit, both here and abroad

  25. Luke – no he doesn’t. I know the Labour leader well enough to tell you he has genuinely changed his mind. That doesn’t mean to say he disrespects the referendum – far from it – but all this stuff some Brexiteers have been putting about that he voted Leave in the referendum is, as H.Hemmelig would put it, horseshit. He also made it very clear recently that if there were another referendum now he would still vote Remain.

  26. Is he more than “seven out of ten” sure he would vote remain now though?

    “The extent of English speaking in other European countries is enormous compared with 20 years ago, neatly matching the diminished language skills of younger Brits compared with previous generations”.

    I can well believe that, Hemmelig. From my experience it would be very difficult to have a career in academia in any European country without being fluent in English. So many international conferences etc take place in English, and the majority of the groundbreaking research in any field is published in English no matter what country it’s from.

    That has huge upsides for us, but is not without its downsides. It does make the UK a magnet for migrants, but it also makes it harder for us to learn another language because of the difficulty in getting real-world experience speaking it. In so many situations as soon as the person you’re talking to realises you are an English speaker they switch to addressing you in English.

  27. Whatever one might say about Corbyn, it is quite obvious to anyone when he is speaking about something he believes in – the voice gets louder, he talks quicker etc, than when he is going through the motions.

    On a scale of 1-10 I’m at about 2 when considering whether his 7/10 level of enthusiasm for the EU is genuine. He was v critical of the EU during the leadership campaign and at one rally was like an embarrassed school boy having to get up before morning assembly and speak.

    For those on the left of the party I’m surprised more weren’t Brexit supporters, the only carrot that Remain offered was that on occasion the EU restricted what a radical Tory might try and do… rather than further a left agenda.

    But Tony Benn was right all those years ago, from the outside it seems Corbyn might have seen a conversion as a price worth paying in order to win the leadership…

    As a leave voter I’m quite glad he largely sat the campaign out. Otherwise we might have lost.

  28. “For those on the left of the party I’m surprised more weren’t Brexit supporters, the only carrot that Remain offered was that on occasion the EU restricted what a radical Tory might try and do… rather than further a left agenda.”

    I think it’s because in terms of current political discourse, those “on the left of the party” have had a tendency on the whole to be more metropolitan middle class types rather than the previous stereotype of factory/mine worker types. A paradox has been noted that the election of Corbyn as leader, while taking the party a long way to the left, has actually made the party more middle class.

  29. I may have voted to leave if the argument had been made for a left wing Brexit as it is those who did argue it were Galloway and TUSC. I can’t say i was convinced

  30. “He was v critical of the EU during the leadership campaign…”

    It’s worth remembering that the 2015 leadership campaign ran with the EU’s treatment of Greece very fresh in the memory – a turn of events that deeply upset a lot of leftists, who in their dreamier moments had imagined Syriza to be a left-wing vanguard which would precipitate multiple socialist triumphs across Europe. So I think the European left as a whole was much more Eurosceptic at that time, due to unique circumstances.

    Overall, I think Corbyn isn’t too bothered one way or another, and sees Brexit in its entirety as a distraction from the real problems facing Britain. But he’ll grudgingly sing Ode to Joy if it helps damage the Tories a bit more.

  31. ‘A paradox has been noted that the election of Corbyn as leader, while taking the party a long way to the left, has actually made the party more middle class.’

    As good as Labour did in June, their biggest swings from the Tories were still in cities and rather strangely, they seemed to do quite well in some of seats they lost to the Tories in 2005

  32. Cities and big towns. Winning in Plymouth, Cardiff, Bristol and Brighton but Peterborough, Bedford, Crewe, Keighley, etc. The irony is the move to left seems to have win back seats the modernisers argued Labour could only win by appealing to aspirational middle England.

  33. You’re missing the point. Labour DID appeal to aspirational middle England in 2017. With the admittedly significant exceptions of public ownership and tuition fees*, their much-vaunted manifesto was largely the sort of thing Blair might have put together – though I admit the differing economic climates of 1997 and 2017 make such a comparison somewhat inexact.

    (*And even those policies chiefly benefit constituencies, such as students and rail passengers, that are disproportionately middle-class.)

  34. “The irony is the move to left seems to have win back seats the modernisers argued Labour could only win by appealing to aspirational middle England”

    I was constantly arguing on here that such arguments were at best massively simplistic if not plain wrong. The mythical middle class centrist swing voter that supposedly decides all elections simply doesn’t exist or rather doesn’t exist in larger numbers than any of the dozens of other demographics.

    What irritates me most is that the entire Labour establishment not to mention the political punditry all genuinely believed this theory in its entirety when its apparent the Tories themselves never did. The Cons have always been smarter with their triangulation, Cameron’s modernisation strategy was never about going after the mythical centrist voter cos on economic terms his gov was arguably further to the right than Thatcher, rather it was a (in hindsight pretty successful) attempt to hide this fact by becoming more socially Liberal thus gaining ground with minority voters, middle class Liberals and affluent urban professionals not the mythical “Mondeo Man”

    Once you dispel the notion that winning an election is all about who can be the most centrist its obvious that any ideology can win in the right circumstances and if presented in the right way.

  35. The point is that Jeremy Corbyn basically stood on a platform of socialism for the middle classes. It was an ingenious bit of marketing to get middle- and above-middle-income people to vote for extra handouts while simultaneously flattering their consciences that they were primarily helping people at the bottom of society, rather than themselves.

    In fact, looking back on it now, I really don’t remember Labour saying much at all about the likes of food banks, zero-hours, universal credit etc during the election campaign. They really had learnt the lessons of 2015, when Ed Miliband talked about those things incessantly and lost.

  36. There’s quite a good dispatches documentary on Cameron. Apparently his strategy was to appeal to his wifes demographic who some suggested voted for Blair in 2005 if she voted at all

  37. The joke that is often made is that what we currently have is socialism for the wealthy where banks are bailed out and tax cuts for the rich, etc.

    Corbyn talked about low hour contracts which is important at least from where I’m standing because premire inn for example employ students on low hour contracts rather than zero hours and its effective as students bank their time in term time and work full time in the holidays.

    TM did the talking on food banks had alot to say about the complexity of nurses going to food banks

  38. Rivers: I disagree with what you say about David Cameron. Of course he understood about appealing to the centre – that’s explicitly what his modernisation project was about. On top of the hug-a-hoodie stuff, he was committed to match Blair’s spending promises until the crash happened (probably that period between 2005 and 2007 is the time that the government and opposition platforms were closest to each other in British history). Thereafter, he judged that keeping to this promise probably wouldn’t have been seen as very credible – and so he moved to the right, but even then he was only following public opinion, as Brown plumbed unprecedented depths of unpopularity – still chasing the centre. That you happen to disagree with his politics doesn’t change any of this.

  39. Polltroll
    Re Cameron I’m not even referring to the spending side of things, lots of Tory policy was formulated in the 05-07 period before the crash that was overtly economically right wing but was either window dressed as something nicer or just plain overlooked by the punditry. The NHS re-organisation was actually planned before the crash as was the Tory policy on academies and free schools both of which were just backdoor forms of privatisation, the Cons were committed to Royal Mail privatisation at this point and even Cameron’s whole “big society” pitch which in hindsight was essentially just a load of blab to re-organise and in most cases outsource or cut public services.

    None of that was necessarily popular with the public and it certainly wasn’t centrist, what it was was easily forgotten amongst all the “hug a hoody” socially liberal stuff.

  40. “In fact, looking back on it now, I really don’t remember Labour saying much at all about the likes of food banks, zero-hours, universal credit etc during the election campaign”

    They certainly didn’t harp as much as Milliband did but it was there and indeed some of Labs biggest (and I my experience on the doorstep most electorally successful) pitches were to the sole or primary benefit of the working class. Labs living wage pledge, banning of zero hours contracts, abolition of the bedroom tax and work capability assessments just off the top of my head were all big vote winners that didn’t mean squat for the middle classes..

  41. ‘Apparently his strategy was to appeal to his wife’s demographic who some suggested voted for Blair in 2005 if she voted at all’

    I thought it was one pf the worst-kept secrets that Samantha Cameron voted Labour for the first and almost certainly the last time in in 1997, but reverted to type once her husband became an MP in 2001

    “The irony is the move to left seems to have win back seats the modernisers argued Labour could only win by appealing to aspirational middle England”

    I think Corbyn and Momentum are reading too much into this

    Theresa May was the reason the Tories lost their majority – nit Jeremy Corbyn

    She showed herself to be just as out of touch as the upper class Cameron (her pledge to brink back fox hunting), economical with the truth (there will be no early election, this is not a U-turn), contemptible to the electorate (refusing to take part in the debates) and just simply not up to the job of being PM

    I still think a Corbyn government would go down like Holland’s did in France and after a honeymoon lasting no longer than six months it would be lurching from one crisis to another – which is effectively what we have at the moment, just more unpopular because the tabloid press will be against him

  42. Tim
    Putting aside how a Corbyn gov would actually perform in power (that’s a different argument altogether) I think it very unwise and frankly very dangerous for the Tories to just assume the last election was all May’s fault and once they go back to a semi decent leader Corbyn will be buried in the dirt where he belongs.

    In hindsight its apparent that Labour tapped into something at the last election, even in the first few weeks before the Tories manifesto launch and before most of May’s major gaffes Labs poll numbers were creeping up while the Tories remained static. Lab have the beginnings of a winning coalition (spearheaded by the young) and just assuming that replacing May with Rudd or whoever else and suddenly all those low income young renters who flocked to Corbyn this time will start voting for the Tories is very naïve me thinks.

    What’s more dangerous from the Tories perspective and something I keep emphasising was that Corbyn himself was undoubtedly a liability for Labour (though less than most peeps thought he’d be) its equally plausible that Lab ditch Corbyn and replace him with a more electable leftie in which case the Tories are in real trouble and ultimately that’s what worries the Tories not JC himself but his program and what should be apparent to all is that the Lab manifesto was not the electoral poison most everybody claimed it would be, it was actually quite popular. That was ultimately the story of the last election, Socialism is electable. Tom Watson probably put it best in his own garbled way on election night when he said that “you can propose the nationalisation of utilities and the sky wont fall in” that one line was massive, it meant the post Thatcher consensus has been broken.

  43. They don’t of course need to (“suddenly all those low income young renters who flocked to Corbyn will start voting Tory”).

    If politics at the moment tells us anything it’s that the two main Parties have pretty fixed blocs of support hardly dissilimlar to the GE. It’s not the Tories who need to gain, it’s Labour. Quite apart from the fact that your description doesn’t work everywhere. Yes it’s certainly very true in London or Bristol, but not in Stoke, Walsall, Mansfield or Scotland.

    Although it was amusing to see the Momentum v Progress spat on the BBC Daily Politics yesterday.

    Obviously Owen Jones took your line and refused to accept the proposition that Labour need to gain some current Tory voters in order to gain a majority in 2022.

    But it’s good to see you’ve fallen into the same thinking that Barnaby has (that the GE result shows the far Left is suddenly a winning proposition for Govt). It may be but all past evidence doesn’t say so. You can argue that Portillo line is complacent, but it is at least true, unlike Owen Jones’ line.

    Unless of course you think there’s a vast swathe of Green and LD support to squeeze in WWCs towns in the North of England.

  44. ‘I think it very unwise and frankly very dangerous for the Tories to just assume the last election was all May’s fault’

    It’s not all May’s fault.

    Labour did tap into something. Corbyn ran a good campaign and managed to get support from a significant amount of people who had never before voted.

    But if a text book were to be made on how not to run a campaign. Theresa May ought to have a huge input – her campaign was quite frankly abysmal and showed her for what she is – the least talented PM in British post war history (and that’s including the likes of Eden, Douglas Hulme, Wilson, Brown et al)

    Up against her, anyone would look good

  45. Matt w – that’s true. Although that critique of OsBrown economics unilaterally bailing out the banks and the ROI first came from Carswell years before the Left and Corbyn even stood. Indeed back then, McDonnell couldn’t even muster enough signatures to stand as the Campaign group’s token far Left candidate.

    TimJ – I tend to agree re Labour, but unfortunately by arguing what you say later on you’re (falsely) claiming the centre ground/middle England/whatever you like to call it is somewhere popular.

    What there is some evidence of from the GE – as both Labour & Tories added millions of voters – is that Corbyn and May are far more popular than Brown/Miliband and DC respectively as PM. May’s a poor campaigner but her ratings from the public as PM don’t match your own view.

    If anything 2017 showed that views which are popular with the public on both sides had an outlet for the first time in 30 years. Hence there’s no longer much of a need for a Party to the right of Cons (UKIP), or a Party to the left of Labour (Greens, LDs). Unlike in the 2006-2015 period when LDs, UKIP rose at the expense of the centre ground.

  46. Its true that the British left werent able to mount an offence of bailout but I think there was a greater offence in the states where thr house refused to pasd the bailout at the first stage.

    I think TMs social conservatism while alienates the cameroon liberals has traction amongst working class voters but maybe a different person would do better like Rob Halfon.

    I don’t think merely replacing her with anyone and hoping the situation improves is the solution. The fact that for many people its been 7 years and the government havent met their deficit reduction plan as promised is still a problem the whole ‘they should have dealt with it by now’ and why are we still having to bare the brunt of austerity.

  47. ‘ May’s a poor campaigner but her ratings from the public as PM don’t match your own view.’

    Her ratings are average at best – and this is up against a leader of the opposition whose espousing policies that have been rejected time and time again by the electorate

    In reality Labour aren’t too far from where the Tories were in 2001 – massively popular with their base but gaining little traction with the country beyond – and yet they still got 40% of the vote

    May did enough in 2017 because UKIP tanked and about 90% of their voters in 2015 voted for May, whilst at the same time losing voters to Labour, partly because of her fixation of hard Brexit and her adoration if Donald Trump, but primarily because of her woeful campaign

    It perhaps is a surprise that May’s ratings aren’t lower given how poorly she has run her government since winning the 2017 election – serving at the pleasure of her cabinet ministers rather than the other way round – but just like the US, the UK is more or less evenly divided between conservatives and liberals, and even conservatives who see May’s many flaws (and there are many), are always going to prefer her to Jeremy Corbyn

  48. The incredible thing about May’s fixation on hard Brexit is that it isn’t even rubbing off on its target audience. I think on the right there was a bit of May-scepticism even before the general election. Now it’s as obvious to them as it is to anyone else that she’s a complete lame duck.

  49. I doubt May has much core support.

    Lots of it will be people who just don’t want a socialist government and aren’t enthused by the Lib Dems EU enthusiasm.

    Her core vote will be life long Tory loyalists and 2014 onwards UKIP voters. Few of the pre 2014 UKIP voters will enthusiastically back her.

    In a way it’s a shame because lots of people saw her as the right person for the job. However her lack of campaigning ability and/or warmth have been problematic. As well as her judgement…

  50. “…lots of people saw her as the right person for the job.”

    I think it’s more that many people saw her as the not-Andrea-Leadsom person for the job.

    “However her lack of campaigning ability and/or warmth have been problematic.”

    They were problems, sure, but the only reason they were such an issue is that the entire campaign was built upon them, under the misguided belief that these were her strong suits (and Jeremy Corbyn’s weak ones). She essentially ran a Macron-style “make me your god” campaign, but whereas Macron (whatever you think of his politics) is an utter charmer in the flesh, Theresa May is – well quite a boring person to be around, I’d imagine.

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