Britain Goes to the Polls

 

Polling stations have opened and voting is on. (Many have already voted by post.) Here’s a basic guide to how a general election in the UK — and this one in particular — works:

The last-minute polls have converged on a Tory lead — but are wildly at odds about “how big.” Survation has Conservatives taking 41.3 percent and Labour 40.4 percent. ICM has Conservatives taking 46 percent and Labour 34 percent. All of the other major polls show the Tories ahead, but they vary in the spread from five to ten percent. The polls close at 10:00 pm, after which broadcasters are permitted to publish the BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll, which is usually quite close to the final results. But it won’t be entirely clear what’s happened until about 7:00 a.m. tomorrow.

When May called the election, the Tories held 330 seats and Labour held 229. “She will be satisfied with a majority of more than 50, pleased at 70 and delighted with 80 to 100,” writes the Guardian. My prediction is that if it’s lower than 50, the Tories will get rid of her promptly.

The scale of Labour’s defeat — barring a historic upset not predicted by any poll — will determine the future of the Labour Party. If Labour does credibly well, it will be a huge setback to anti-Corbyn forces in the party, which is effectively now in a state of civil war. Miliband took 30.4 percent of the vote in 2015, so that’s the magic number: If Labour does better than that, they’re apt to be stuck with Corbyn (and out of power) for the long haul.

You’re probably already well aware of everything wrong with Corbyn, but if you’re not, Jamie Kirchick sums it up here:

The list of dubious relationships, crackpot proclamations, and leftist sympathies for some of the vilest governments and political movements on Earth is endless. In a 2003 book, Corbyn insisted the Soviet Union was “no real threat” and that North Korea is “not a rogue state.” Western sanctions on the totalitarian Kim dynasty, which starves and tortures its own people to death by the millions, comprises a plot to “force some kind of integration between North and South Korea,” an outcome that, according to Corbyn, would bring about a real horror: “the spread of free market capitalism into North Korea.” Corbyn has contributed many articles over the years to the communist newspaper Morning Star, which recently hailed the “liberation” of Aleppo by Assad and his Russian patrons. (While stating he disagreed with the headline, Corbyn nonetheless avowed he would continue to read and “no doubt will probably write again” for the paper.) After Hugo Chávez died in 2013, Corbyn eulogized the Venezuelan strongman for “showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared.” (Thanks to Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has so much wealth today that its citizens riot over toilet paper.)

Labour is of course not running on this platform. They’re running on “comfortable middle-class people who can afford to decorate their homes with orchids should have more free stuff.”

Although in some places, they’re running straight-up on “We hate Jews.”

A giant left-wing political banner in one of Britain’s biggest cities has been condemned as antisemitic for portraying Theresa May wearing Star of David earrings.

“Condemned as antisemitic?” I’d say, “is as antisemitic as it gets, really.” But you be the judge:

(I’d say on a scale of one to ten, I rate that a solid antisemitism 8. To score higher, you have to depict a Jew eating a gentile baby.)

If you’re curious about the (remote) possibility of a hung parliament — what that means, exactly, and what it would entail — here’s a guide from the New Statesman: 

That’s it, the election is over, and the winner is not Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn, but nobody. Parliament is “hung”: that is to say, no party is able to command a working majority in the House of Commons. A “working majority” means having more seats than the other parties added together, plus one. Think of that as the magic number.

What that magic number is varies slightly. The absolute most it could be is 325, as the Speaker of the House has a seat but does not vote. But as Sinn Féin do not take their seats in Parliament, any seat they win in Northern Ireland reduces the magic number still further. …

A blogger named Paul Wood pointed out, and I agree: “What Claire Berlinski said of Marine Le Pen and France applies more aptly to Jeremy Corbyn and England.”

Only if she’s humiliatingly defeated will France be able to return to the two-round election system around which its constitution is designed. By making it to the second round, the Front confronts French voters with a choice not between two candidates with different, but respectable and defensible, views of France’s future, but with a choice between sanity and the abyss. Like passengers on a long-haul flight, colicky infants on either side, they find themselves trapped with a flight attendant cheerfully offering them the chicken or the plate of raw monkey eyeballs dipped in Ebola. No one can properly debate the future of France, because everyone’s too busy shrieking, “Monkey eyeballs? Ebola? No monkey eyeballs!”

Actually, I don’t know if it’s more apt, but it’s certainly just as apt.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 46 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Corbyn is dangerously loony. His shadow Chancellor is just dangerous – a capable, committed Marxist of the Stalinist persuasion. The normalisation of those who deeply, passionately and publicly believe in the violent overthrow of democracy is as frightening as the more established normalisation of the alliance between the soft left and those who deeply, passionately and publicly believe in the violent overthrow of Christendom.

    • #1
  2. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    It might be worth pointing out that your times are local times, ie British Summer Time.

    • #2
  3. She Member
    She
    @She

    genferei (View Comment):
    Corbyn is dangerously loony.

    Indeed.  And incompetent.  And a poor judge of character.

    Those who think Theresa May is “wobbly” on the terrorism threat ought to bear in mind that, until yesterday, this was Jeremy Corbyn’s choice to lead the fight (this is not the first interview like this she’s done recently):

    As of today, she’s on leave, having been diagnosed with “a long term health condition.”

    Foot in mouth disease, perhaps?

    Seriously, I’m sorry for the poor lady if she’s actually ill, but if that’s the case, why has she been allowed to make a fool of herself like this for so long?

    That’s easy.  She’s probably been on an NHS waiting list for months, trying to get in to see her doctor.

    • #3
  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    genferei (View Comment):
    It might be worth pointing out that your times are local times, ie British Summer Time.

    Hereby pointed out.

    • #4
  5. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Claire, thanks for the post. You mentioned a civil war within the Labour Party. As someone who is unfamiliar with British politics, I would like to know if this civil war is more about power or ideology. That is, if Corbyn loses the leadership, would the policies of the Labour Party become more moderate, more leftist, or stay about the same as they are now?

    • #5
  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    aardo vozz (View Comment):
    Claire, thanks for the post. You mentioned a civil war within the Labour Party. As someone who is unfamiliar with British politics, I would like to know if this civil war is more about power or ideology. That is, if Corbyn loses the leadership, would the policies of the Labour Party become more moderate, more leftist, or stay about the same as they are now?

    They’re about ideology, entirely, and if Corbyn loses badly enough, the Labour Party will become more moderate (or more sane, you could say). The Corbynistas basically staged an internal Bolshevik coup.

    • #6
  7. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Funny Claire doesn’t mention how it is the “steady” May has absolutely blown this campaign and if it were anybody other than Corbyn on the other side deserves to lose. Whether it’s the dementia tax or the limp-wristed response to terrorism or the stream of idiotic tautologies, May is a total and complete disaster. The establishment truly are in total and complete shambles world wide.

    • #7
  8. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):

    They’re about ideology, entirely, and if Corbyn loses badly enough, the Labour Party will become more moderate (or more sane, you could say). The Corbynistas basically staged an internal Bolshevik coup.

    Nonsense. Corbyn represents the grass roots of the Labour Party quite well. There was no coup. The rules were changed to have the grass roots rather than Labour MPs pick the Labour leader and Corbyn won.

    • #8
  9. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    She (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):
    Corbyn is dangerously loony.

    Indeed. And incompetent. And a poor judge of character.

    Those who think Theresa May is “wobbly” on the terrorism threat ought to bear in mind that, until yesterday, this was Jeremy Corbyn’s choice to lead the fight (this is not the first interview like this she’s done recently):

    As of today, she’s on leave, having been diagnosed with “a long term health condition.”

    Foot in mouth disease, perhaps?

    Seriously, I’m sorry for the poor lady if she’s actually ill, but if that’s the case, why has she been allowed to make a fool of herself like this for so long?

    That’s easy. She’s probably been on an NHS waiting list for months, trying to get in to see her doctor.

    Related image

    • #9
  10. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Hang On (View Comment):
    … The establishment truly are in total and complete shambles world wide.

    Interesting that the left both here and in Britain have a schism caused by a socialist loon. I don’t know about Britain, but the American loon Sanders has moved the Democrat Party so far to the left that they’re also looking pretty loony. And interesting that, as you say, the Establishment in both countries is in disarray. I don’t believe Trump could have happened at any other moment in history.

    • #10
  11. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):

    aardo vozz (View Comment):
    Claire, thanks for the post. You mentioned a civil war within the Labour Party. As someone who is unfamiliar with British politics, I would like to know if this civil war is more about power or ideology. That is, if Corbyn loses the leadership, would the policies of the Labour Party become more moderate, more leftist, or stay about the same as they are now?

    They’re about ideology, entirely, and if Corbyn loses badly enough, the Labour Party will become more moderate (or more sane, you could say). The Corbynistas basically staged an internal Bolshevik coup.

    Thanks. This leads me to another question: Given that the polls are predicting a Conservative victory, how likely would it be that voters who support Labour but do not like Corbyn would vote against Labour in the election to widen the Conservative victory margin and increase the chances of Corbin losing the leadership?

    • #11
  12. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Funny Claire doesn’t mention how it is the “steady” May has absolutely blown this campaign and if it were anybody other than Corbyn on the other side deserves to lose. Whether it’s the dementia tax or the limp-wristed response to terrorism or the stream of idiotic tautologies, May is a total and complete disaster. The establishment truly are in total and complete shambles world wide.

    I agree completely; I actually had a paragraph to that effect but took it out: What’s the point. She’s the only choice Britain has right now. Tragic.

    • #12
  13. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    aardo vozz (View Comment):
    Thanks. This leads me to another question: Given that the polls are predicting a Conservative victory, how likely would it be that voters who support Labour but do not like Corbyn would vote against Labour in the election to widen the Conservative victory margin and increase the chances of Corbin losing the leadership?

    I know for sure that some are — as in, “I know more than one such person, personally,” but I couldn’t tell you how representative they are or what percentage of typical Labour supporters will vote that way.

    • #13
  14. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Funny Claire doesn’t mention how it is the “steady” May has absolutely blown this campaign and if it were anybody other than Corbyn on the other side deserves to lose. Whether it’s the dementia tax or the limp-wristed response to terrorism or the stream of idiotic tautologies, May is a total and complete disaster. The establishment truly are in total and complete shambles world wide.

    I agree completely; I actually had a paragraph to that effect but took it out: What’s the point. She’s the only choice Britain has right now. Tragic.

    I confess I missed all of this? What is all of this about?

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I always admired the British for their shadow ministries. It seemed like the kind of thing that would serve us well — someone tasked with understanding the issues that was prepared to put forward the alternatives on shows such as that.

    Shadow. Home. Secretary.

    Whew!

    • #15
  16. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    genferei (View Comment):

    Corbyn is dangerously loony. His shadow Chancellor is just dangerous – a capable, committed Marxist of the Stalinist persuasion. The normalisation of those who deeply, passionately and publicly believe in the violent overthrow of democracy is as frightening as the more established normalisation of the alliance between the soft left and those who deeply, passionately and publicly believe in the violent overthrow of Christendom.

    You may think he’s loony. I may think he’s loony. But he is perfectly in sync with millions of Britains. Corbyn is very much a grass roots Labour reaction against Blair (especially Iraq) and Brown. And remember the deep roots Labour used to have in working class Scotland, Wales and the North. Not so much any more. Scotland has SNP now. Labour has become the party of David Brooke’s BoBos, bourgeois bohemians, as Democrats have here in the States.

    • #16
  17. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    I found the FT video to be helpful.

    • #17
  18. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    It happens every UK election. E-day comes along and I suddenly remember that I have dual-citizenship and therefore could have registered to vote if only I’d thought of it sooner.

    Every … single … time.

    I’m an idiot, is what I’m saying.

    • #18
  19. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Percival (View Comment):
    I always admired the British for their shadow ministries. It seemed like the kind of thing that would serve us well — someone tasked with understanding the issues that was prepared to put forward the alternatives on shows such as that.

    Shadow. Home. Secretary.

    Whew!

    There is a pretty good argument to be made that Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US Constitution could be used to justify a “Question Period” for the United States.  There’s no constitutional reason the State of the Union has to be a report or a speech.  It could easily be a parliamentary-style Q&A session.

    The obstacle is that it’s up to the President to decide how the “information about the state of the union” is to be delivered. It’s unlikely that a Prez would voluntarily submit himself to a Question Period.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    The obstacle is that it’s up to the President to decide how the “information about the state of the union” is to be delivered. It’s unlikely that a Prez would voluntarily submit himself to a Question Period.

    Washington and Adams gave addresses. Jefferson through Wilson just sent it over for the clerk to read out loud.

    • #20
  21. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Interesting that the left both here and in Britain have a schism caused by a socialist loon.

    And the right.  This is the new divide.

    • #21
  22. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Look forward to watching the results roll in later tonight.

    • #22
  23. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    I always admired the British for their shadow ministries. It seemed like the kind of thing that would serve us well — someone tasked with understanding the issues that was prepared to put forward the alternatives on shows such as that.

    Shadow. Home. Secretary.

    Whew!

    There is a pretty good argument to be made that Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US Constitution could be used to justify a “Question Period” for the United States. There’s no constitutional reason the State of the Union has to be a report or a speech. It could easily be a parliamentary-style Q&A session.

    The obstacle is that it’s up to the President to decide how the “information about the state of the union” is to be delivered. It’s unlikely that a Prez would voluntarily submit himself to a Question Period.

    The prime minister is head of government and a member of the legislature. The president is head of the executive branch and head of state. Co-equal branches.

    Ive seen enough to recognize it’s become very scripted. So much so that members often ask #22. And the prime minister recites some non answer about this question being referred to the assistant deputy assistant to the secretary of some department.

    Now if you read about Churchill and his predecessors, there was a good deal of verbal snare setting and entrapment. But then those were the days of wooden benches and iron politicians.

    • #23
  24. Nick Baldock Member
    Nick Baldock
    @NickBaldock

    Well, it’s 11.32pm here in the UK and the instant exit poll predicts that the Conservatives will lose their overall majority, making it difficult to govern.

    It can’t be overstated that Jeremy Corbyn’s brand of socialism is really quite popular, especially among millennials; and if he improves the Labo[u]r Party’s position, it ain’t going away any time soon. Repeat: it is NOT unelectable.

    (At this point, there remains an outside chance that he could be the next Prime Minister).

    • #24
  25. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Nick Baldock (View Comment):
    It can’t be overstated that Jeremy Corbyn’s brand of socialism is really quite popular

    I think he’s also appealing for the same reason Bernie Sanders was: he’s a true believer, he believes what he says, he’s authentic.  In an era of such massive distrust in politicians and institutions, people respond to sincerity, even if they don’t entirely agree with what he says.

    • #25
  26. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    UPDATE: 5:20 a.m. in Paris and the results look catastrophic for May.

    The Conservatives are set to be the largest party in the UK parliament, but may not have an overall majority, says the latest BBC forecast.

    The survey shows a swing to the Labour Party in Thursday’s general election.

    This would be a humiliation for Prime Minister Theresa May, who chose to call the election to try to strengthen her hand in talks with the EU on Brexit.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to resign, but she signalled that the Tories would seek to stay in power.

    “At this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability,” Mrs May said.

    “And if, as the indications have shown and if this is correct that the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure we have that period of stability – and that is exactly what we will do.”

    Mr Corbyn earlier said: “If there is a message from tonight’s results, it’s this: the prime minister called this election because she wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.”

    “I would have thought that’s enough to go, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country,” he added.

    The pound fell sharply in value after the exit poll was published. It is too early to say whether it is accurate.

    Final election results are expected by Friday lunchtime.

    This is pretty shocking.

    • #26
  27. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):
    UPDATE: 5:20 a.m. in Paris and the results look catastrophic for May.

    The Conservatives are set to be the largest party in the UK parliament, but may not have an overall majority, says the latest BBC forecast.

    The survey shows a swing to the Labour Party in Thursday’s general election.

    This would be a humiliation for Prime Minister Theresa May, who chose to call the election to try to strengthen her hand in talks with the EU on Brexit.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to resign, but she signalled that the Tories would seek to stay in power.

    “At this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability,” Mrs May said.

    “And if, as the indications have shown and if this is correct that the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure we have that period of stability – and that is exactly what we will do.”

    Mr Corbyn earlier said: “If there is a message from tonight’s results, it’s this: the prime minister called this election because she wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.”

    “I would have thought that’s enough to go, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country,” he added.

    The pound fell sharply in value after the exit poll was published. It is too early to say whether it is accurate.

    Final election results are expected by Friday lunchtime.

    This is pretty shocking.

    It appears her support was a mile wide and an inch deep.

    • #27
  28. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Pride goes before the fall?

    • #28
  29. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):
    This is pretty shocking.

    Of course, everyone is saying this. But I’m flummoxed as to why.

    The only thing that shocks me is that people are consistently shocked by the consistency of people’s behaviors.

    • #29
  30. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Do you think that the recent Manchester and London attacks affected the vote, and if so, did it prop up May or help Corbyn?

     

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.