Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Local Elections point to Conservative Landslide

May campaigning in Leeds on April 27 - Anthony Devil/Pool/Reuters
If anyone doubted the United Kingdom's polls for the general election, then those doubts should have evaporated with the local election results on May 4. The Conservatives won a landslide over Labour, building momentum for June 8. It just goes to show that there's little chance of the Labour Party being able to stop the onslaught they will suffer.

I've brought up British local elections before, but I think I need to repeat what they are since there's so little attention on them. Local elections are held every year in the UK, with some being more significant than others. Think of them as like midterms in the United States. British voters elect councils like American voters elect state legislatures. In 2017, there were 34 councils in England, all 32 councils in Scotland, and all 22 councils in Wales that had their terms up. There were also eight mayors who would be directly elected.

I think the local elections matter because of their proximity to the general election. It's now less than a month away. I cannot foresee Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister unless some catastrophe were to happen. Here's the results:

Councils

Conservative Party (Theresa May) - 28 (+11)
Labour Party (Jeremy Corbyn) - 9 (-7)
Party of Wales (Leanne Wood) - 1 (+/-)
Liberal Democrats (Tim Farron) - 0 (+/-)
Scottish Nationalists (Nicola Sturgeon) - 0 (-1)

Councilors

Conservatives - 1,899 (+563)
Labour - 1,152 (-382)
Liberal Democrats  - 441 (-42)
Scottish Nationalists - 431 (+6)
Party of Wales - 202 (+33)

In more bad news for Corbyn, the Labour Party's election manifesto has been leaked. It includes everything you'd expect from an old British socialist. It includes renationalizing sectors in the economy like rail and energy, large tax increases, and more government spending fueled by extra borrowing. Corbyn is nostalgic for the years of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, a time when Britain was declining until Margaret Thatcher arrived to save the nation through market reforms.

The members of his shadow cabinet aren't helping either. The man to be chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, is someone who has no problem taking part in a May Day event at Trafalgar Square in London with flags from different communist regimes, including that of Bashar al-Assad's. McDonnell and Corbyn have no problem showering praise on Karl Marx, the former saying people "could learn a lot" from him and the latter declaring the socialist founder a "great economic thinker."

Maybe the problem for Labour is the problem most socialists have: they don't know how to count. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, gave super rosy estimates on how much it would cost to hire 10,000 additional police officers. She had a another train wreck of an interview with not knowing what Labour's losses were in the local elections.

Theresa May can campaign easy right now.

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