New Tactical Voting Recommendation - Vote Conservative. Everyone, everywhere.
For most Brexiteers I think the ideal Parliament would have a number of Brexit Party MPs – that number might vary, depending where on the Brexit spectrum you sit, but having “a number” might just keep a Conservative Government on track to deliver a Brexit that we can be recognised as being “Brexit”. People may think of a “dream ticket” of 315 Conservatives propped up by 40 or so Brexit Party MPs.
Purely from a Brexiteer Tory point of view, it would have been ideal if there was some kind of formal pact such that the Tories formally supported the Brexit Party in areas which are never going to be Conservative targets, and the Brexit Party supported the Conservatives in areas which could be Conservative targets to make that dream ticket a reality. That didn’t happen. None of this happened and it isn’t going to happen.
All Brexiteers need to recognise that the realistic number of Brexit Party MPs is going to be zero. The best chances of any victories are in Hartlepool (Richard Tice) and Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle (Michelle Dewberry). According to the bookmakers and the Yougov MRP, both are in third behind Labour and the Tories. It would take a gigantic effort for either to get close.
It’s tough to take. In many ways we have the Brexit Party to thank for removing Theresa May, which started a chain of events which led to Dominic Grieve, David Gauke, Anne Milton and Phillip Hammond leaving the party. There will probably be no place for any of these people in the next Parliament – along with Anna Soubry and Sarah Wallaston. The speaker in Parliament will also be an impartial referee, as he should always have been. Even with the very slimmest of majorities, and no Brexit Party MPs, the Government and Parliament will already be more pro-Brexit. The Brexit Party have already achieved a great deal in their short existence.
They shouldn’t go anywhere, either – if what is ultimately delivered by the Conservative Government isn’t Brexit then they still need to be held to account until it is. Every democratic opportunity, from a local council by-election, to the next General Election the Conservative Party need to know they cannot slip up.
However, the reality of the situation cannot be ignored. The Brexit Party will not have a significant number of MPs in Parliament. By far the most likely scenario is that they will gain zero. As I say, there is genuine regret from most Brexiteers of any traditional political persuasion that this is the case. We need to be adults and accept that the Brexit Party result in the election is no longer a material variable.
That isn’t the case for the Conservative Party. The election has not, by any stretch of the imagination, been won. We still have the fight of our lives ahead of us and need to chase every vote. There is still a distinct possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn Government, propped up by the SNP and/or the Lib Dems.
The election is a binary option of a Conservative Brexit or no Brexit whatsoever. The Corbyn deal keeps us in the Customs Union and aligned with the Single Market. We will have all the rules we had before, we won’t be able to sign independent trade deals and we won’t have any real influence over either the rules or our external trade. By any measure this will be worse than remain. So when the referendum comes that will be no real Brexit choice and remain will undoubtedly win a rigged vote between “remain” and “remain minus”.
Parliament will have the excuse it needs to say that “the decision has now been made for a generation.” That will be it. You think it’s difficult to leave now – they will make it impossible if we leave it another decade.
It’s no use hoping all the reputable pollsters and the bookmakers are wrong. My heart sinks when I hear people say “let’s just see what happens on December 13th”. It will be too late by then. It’s not worth a gargantuan effort to gain one seat, at the cost of a dozen Conservative targets that just need a gentle push over the line.
This, as they say, is it. This is our one opportunity to demonstrate that the referendum result of 2016 not only still stands, but is refreshed and underlined. We need to say “yes, we voted leave and we meant it now do it”.
All tactical voting recommendations are now null and void. People should just vote Conservative everywhere. No need to obscure the message any further than that.
Heed the Dominic Cummings’ Bat-signal – speak to your family, your friends and everyone who has a vote. There is only one message. Only one tactic for everyone, everywhere who wants Brexit to happen.
Whether you are a Conservative or not, even if you can’t stand the sight of Conservatives any other time, Vote Conservative this time. You don’t have to tell anyone what you’ve done. If you know, deep down in your bones, that it’s the only way to achieve Brexit, then it’s the only thing you can do.
Just Vote Conservative.