Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Labour indecision could cost them dearly

Labour have been all over the place on Brexit. From calling for the immediate implementation of Brexit, to opposing calls for a confirmatory referendum, to negotiating a new deal that makes the UK a rule taker rather than rule maker, to calling for a referendum on their own deal with no clear view of whether or not they would be campaigning to leave or stay, Labour's attempt to be all things to all people is coming unstuck at the seams. It is part of the reason for Labour losing about a quarter of their vote since 2017, at least according the the polls.

Comrade Corbyn is off to Scotland today to whip up support for Labour. But North of the border, Labour's position is even worse than in England. Labour's hold on their 7 seats there is at best problematic. A credible outcome in Scotland is that Labour are left with no seats at all. Labour's hint that they could, in government, allow another Scottish referendum on independence is alienating  voters who in the past voted Labour but are unionist inclined. Other voters who are inclined towards Scottish independence but also voted Labour in the past can't be blamed when they ask what point is there to voting Labour when they can get their option of an independence referendum by voting SNP.

To win a general election, Labour have to win big in Scotland. Without the majority of seats north of the border returning Labour MPs, their best hope is simply to be the largest party in the Commons. Even that is a big ask given the poor performance of Labour both in elections this year, and in opinion polls.

A month from today we will know the outcome of the election. We shall see if there is a Labour recovery. I do take opinion polls with a modest pinch of salt but they do indicate the direction of travel of voters. And at the moment, Labour are not moving in the direction they need to win. Their indecision is costing them dearly.

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