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I think this result illustrates my suggestion that the only way for the opposition to defeat Boris is via an electoral past whereby the lower placed parties in a particular constituency defer to the highest placed opposition party and run only one candidate against the Conservatives. The Conservatives would have won this seat had the Greens and Plaid Cymru not stood aside.

I know there are large policy and ideological differences between the opposition parties but the name of the game in a Parliamentary democracy is to Win seats, and to gain influence by having more of them. The biggest difficulty will not be policy differences, but personality ones with some locally selected candidates being unprepared to stand aside for a rival opposition candidate.

The other major difficulty will be to persuade Lib Dem voters to vote for a Corbyn led candidate but they are desperate enough to stop Brexit to do so. This result also shows Labour voters prepared to support a better placed Lib Dem candidate even when there is a Labour candidate in the field. Labour will suffer many more humiliations like this unless it does defer to better placed candidates.

For Boris, this is actually not so bad a result, with the Brexit party well beaten and the Tory vote down less than the Labour vote despite having a wretched candidate. The combined Tory/Brexit party vote is actually up, which is a cautionary tale should they ever form an electoral pact. However at the moment it is difficult to see on what basis they could do so as the Brexit party has no general election track record and therefore would have to fail to contest the general election at all, basically committing political suicide.

As Brexit is basically all down to Farage's work over the years, they are highly unlikely to do so. So it is down to Corbyn's leadership abilities and willingness to put country over narrow party self interest. Show a little humility now, agreeing an electoral pact and conceding some constituencies they are highly unlikely to win anyway, and he could be the next PM. But will he?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 2nd, 2019 at 09:52:38 AM EST
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