Yesterday, Ed Morrissey broke down the recent developments in the upcoming British elections which could potentially deliver both a boon and a bust for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Tories. Now that the latest round of polling in the UK has come out, BoJo might have a bit more of a smile on his face. The Conservatives have opened up a comfortable, double-digit lead over Labour and Johnson is likely on track to at least hold on to his seat at Number 10, if not get all of his Brexit wishes. (Reuters)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has a 10-point lead over the opposition Labour Party, according to an opinion poll published by market research company Kantar on Wednesday, ahead of next month’s election.
Support for the Conservatives stood at 37% compared with Labour’s 27%. The pro-European Union Liberal Democrats were on 17% and the Brexit Party was on 9%.
Ten percent isn’t exactly a landslide, but given how evenly divided the country has been on the question of Brexit, it’s likely the best the Tories could hope for. But we’re not talking about a single national election here. In the end, it will all come down to how many seats in Parliament BoJo’s party holds on their own.
In some ways, this situation is reminiscent of how the Electoral College plays out in the United States. One candidate can do very well in a limited number of states and even lose the popular vote, but still ring up enough of a margin in the EC to be victorious. (See: Trump, Donald J. for a recent example.) Johnson’s party could carry all of the seats they currently hold by a comfortable margin, but then narrowly lose the marginal seats they need to flip and the ten percent math still works out.
The final determining factor will be those swing constituencies. The Conservative Party holds 317 seats currently, but they need to get to 326 to hold an outright majority of their own. And, as Ed pointed out yesterday, if the Brexit Party is on the ballot in all the others it could split the pro-Brexit vote, leaving them short of that goal. That puts BoJo back in the position of still needing to form a ruling coalition with another party that might have very different Brexit ambitions.
But at the same time, Labour is having problems of their own. Jeremy Corbyn reportedly put his foot in his mouth again this morning when commenting on the question of Scottish independence and their future place in the union. Labour’s prospects are looking dodgy enough as it is and they don’t need to be opening up any sort of civil war among their own ranks with only a few weeks to go until the vote.
It’s now looking more and more certain that the UK is heading for some sort of Brexit in the near future. Whether it’s the deal that BoJo worked out with the EU or the “hard Brexit” that some of his allies are pushing for won’t be known until after the election. But the fact remains that the Brits have lived to see interesting time.