Labour only 5% behind on the latest YouGov poll. Yes polls have their problems etc, and this only one poll etc, but seriously, think back how they looked 2 months ago. Labour is where it wants to be 2 weeks ahead of June 8th.
To be honest, the popularity of much of Labour’s manifesto (certainly many of its core proposals), set against the regular bursts of madness from clearly not so ‘strong and stable‘ May (bold UKIPIsation of discourse since Tory party conference, fox hunting, dementia tax, so many u-turns, once apparently ‘remainer’ but now willing to gamble even the harshest possible Brexit, proud to be ‘bloody difficult’ with Juncker), does look appealing. They even costed it pretty accurately and have the backing of many economists, whereas the Tories’ numbers look shoddy, and their economics painful for the many, good only for the few. Corbyn increasingly looks like a nice enough, authentic enough, principled man. And many Labour MPs and candidates are decent people with good ideas and a concern for others.
Notice how the Tories had been banking everything on May’s image, hiding somewhat everyone else (you would, I guess, wouldn’t you). Well the problem now is she’s becoming toxic: u-turns, too nasty (remember how she told off the police as Home Secretary, how mean she is proud to be with immigrants, how ruthless she proudly wants to be in delivering Brexit), and even unreliable at delivering an election-winning manifesto. She’s unpredictable, and she is avoiding difficult questions (hence also avoiding political debates, or meeting the non-Tory public). Moreover, even if they’re better at hiding it, the Tories are divided: many (a third) did vote remain, and moreover many Conservatives are not the type who will gladly be lads with UKIP. They are not all Mayists. Many of them are concerned, and rightly so.
Could the Tories lose even with 43%?
This election is far from over (even it could still end up in agony like May 2015). Think about it: the constituency boundaries in FPTP are awkward and tiny. Brexit preferences might make certain seats more marginal than traditionally expected (urban centres in the West and Mildands, much of pro-Remain London, places with big universities). Younger voters (typically more pro-Labour and against hard Brexit) could turn up in higher numbers. Some of the people who voted Brexit to shake things up could vote Corbyn to the same effect. There are tactical progressive alliances in several important seats. And remember the SNP should get 50+ MPs.
How totally safe are those 330 Tory seats? Maybe 150 or 200 are, but what about the rest? The Lib Dems might pinch some. Labour could pinch some too. The way the seats were gerrymandered back when the current setup was designed means that actually many Labour seats are safe and it’s Tory marginals that swing strongly one way or the other. 43% Tory and 38% Labour could mean 300 Labour MPs (Labour got 355 seats with ‘only’ 35.2% in 2005): it all depends where those voters are. Even 270+ Labour, to which the SNP could surely add 50, might design a better Brexit. It does not have to be May’s Mean Manifesto.
Make it happen!
So Labour peeps: bring the manifesto to every doorstep (isn’t the party ‘bigger and richer than ever’?). Redirect resentment against ‘free-riders’ (scroungers, immigrants) towards the real free-riders (fat cats at the top, those same ones who like blaming scroungers and immigrants). Promise an exciting, tolerant, forward-looking (and perhaps some steps away, though not poles apart, from the EU) Britain which moves increasingly ecologically, with sound economic policies (not austerity but investment), public ownership where many mainland Europeans have shown if can work, etc. Greens: get out and put your arguments across as well, and then vote tactically. Lid Dems and SNP and Plaid: do this too.
In 2015, 11.3m voted Tory, 9.3m Labour. In the referendum, Leave got 17.4m and Remain 16.1m. Surely many who took a gamble with Brexit to shake up the establishment can be convinced to also surprise the establishment with enough swing a Labour ‘upset’. They took you for granted. You showed how you can surprise traditional voting traditions: show the Tories, the essence of the establishment, that there needs to be more democratic and caring leadership (and yes, principled too).
Defining Britishness for generations
The Labour vision for 2022 can be paid for by taxing higher those at the top of a system that sent us down that path in 2008 when we bailed them out. Why do the rest have to pay even any of it, especially when it means so many food banks, waiting queues, zero-hour contracts and an even more elitist education? Higher progressive taxes barely makes the UK less competitive than EU counterparts. Invest in your society, your infrastructure (transport, NHS, greener and healthier economy).
There’s too much evidence on the cost to all of inequality, the unneccesariness (and cost) of austerity, the emergency of global warming, and so much else that a more progressive government would be more compassionate and forward-looking at navigating. I actually think a majority of Brits are socialists at heart (see for instance the levels of support for the NHS). You are caring, tolerant, multicultural, open and critical. But you also want fairness. Not everyone has enjoyed the fruits of the last few decades, and this needs better sharing for everyone’s sake. So wherever you are, please swap your votes if needed: https://www.swapmyvote.uk/, and #UniteagainstTheTories: https://www.tactical2017.com/.