Brexiteers: Don't Panic...yet.
I know Tories are likely to be anxious about the Brexit Party splitting the Conservative Vote and allowing Corbyn in. I wouldn’t be too upset at the moment. The Labour Party’s vote is softer than the Conservatives’, with 34% likely to change their mind before polling compared to 24% for the Tories. Conservatives feel betrayed about Brexit – but so do Labour supporters. There are still millions of Labour voters who voted Brexit. The Conservatives are still committed to actually delivering Brexit – the Labour Party are not.
However, if you do want Brexit, the only way to achieve that is through a Conservative Government, but a Labour supporter in northern seats in particular might not, quite, be able to bring themselves to vote Conservative. This is where the Brexit Party come in. It’s no bad strategy for there to be some animosity between the two parties. Traditional Labour voters might not want to be voting for closet Tories. Tories feeling betrayed are less likely to vote for the Brexit Party since, polls show, the majority of them are satisfied, if not happy, with the deal.
Consider this. On the face of it standing in Dudley North makes no sense – the Conservatives only needed 23 more votes to take the seat, both them and Labour getting just over 18000. About 27000 vote to leave – they clearly weren’t all Tories. If there are only 18000 people who *will ever* vote Conservative in Dudley North then the Conservatives are going to have to reduce the Labour Party vote to win. A Labour to Conservative switcher is ideal – but a Labour to Brexit switcher will also help.
At these levels it may be no bad thing for the Brexit Party to be standing against Conservatives – especially in Conservative/Labour marginals. The polls could change, the Tory vote could soften of course, and if Brexit Party support is heading over 12-15% in those areas, the Tories may have a problem. As things stand though, the Politax model has the Brexit Party doing significantly better than UKIP in 2017, but with the Conservatives still winning the seat by about 1500 votes.