Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trump and the Republicans today, Corbyn and Labour tomorrow?

Sam Dale has a good article on Labour Uncut,

"Sure, let's laugh at the Republican implosion, but Labour's next"

which draws some strong parallels between the probably impending electoral disaster for the Republicans thanks to Donald Trump and the chances of something similar happening to Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.

And he might well be right.

Trouble is, you can never take the electorate, here or on the other side of the pond, for granted.

People thought that Trump had no chance of staying ahead in the republican race once it was down to two or three contenders, that the GOP would always nominate a moderate "grown up" candidate as it usually does.  But he got the nomination. And having proved most people wrong by doing that, he stayed in the race, and not far behind, after errors which would have forced most candidates to withdraw.

I still don't think Trump is likely to win, even against a candidate as unpopular as Hillary Clinton. But neither do I think Clinton is certain to win. If you look at the ratings, her approval ratings are not that much better than his and unless she gets a double digit lead by polling day, this may be yet another election or vote in which "don't take for granted that the polls are right" applies.

And similarly, I don't believe the Conservatives can take for granted that Jeremy Corbyn will cost Labour the next election.

I do think that an increased Conservative majority is the most likely outcome of the next election and that Corbyn may increase the size of that majority but there are no certainties in this game and people who think they have an election in the bag can blow it, especially if they get over-confident.

The Brexit negotiations may go badly, even if it all works out well in the long term there could be a difficult few years, we may suffer another world recession, and the threat against which Harold MacMillan warned - "Events, dear boy, events!" could also materialise. So complacency on the Conservative side would be a really bad idea.

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