After six long, long weeks the 2019 General Election will be coming to an end at 22.00 on Thursday. Given the reliability of exit polls we will have a reasonable idea very shortly after that about what the new Parliament will look like.
The people (such of them that choose to vote) will have spoken and we will have a elected a new Parliament although whether that will sit for 5 years or 5 months is not yet clear.
Some things are clear. The Lib Dem vote will be at least twice as great as in 2017. We are relentlessly moving away from the 2015 nadir and will have a more sizeable and influential block than we had in 2015 when just 8 Lib Dems were elected.
The Labour Party will not form the next Government and are likely to have less seats. Sitting on the fence over Brexit has satisfied no one. As the major opposition they should have been able to capitalise on the most incompetent Government in modern times. Their only advances however, have come not from their own brilliant oratory but from the mistakes made by Tories. I suspect that by Friday night, or very soon after, Labour will have a new Leader.
The Tories have been a disgrace here in Liverpool as nationally. The London based Tory candidate has not even responded to requests from hustings organisers and appears never to have left London. To date I have not even had a leaflet from them. Nationally Johnson has been shown up as a buffoon who has cheated and lied and also has refused to turn up for scrutiny in a number of important debates and scrutiny sessions. They have become the Brexit Party they claimed to despise.
The Greens will have spent a lot of money getting 3 or 4 % of the vote but will still only have one MP. They suffer even more than the Lib Dems in a grossly unfair voting system which leads to a grossly unrepresentative Parliament.
Whether or not there is a hung Parliament now rests on tactical voting in about 50 seats. Polls show that about 30% of the electorate may well end up for against a candidate or Party that they do not like than for a candidate or Party that they do like. Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru have stood down for each other in about 60 Constituencies. Yet in not one Constituency did Labour agree to do the same. However, it looks as if the average Labour voter has more sense than the Labour Party and will be making their own mind up on a local basis as to the best way to defeat the Tories.
In Liverpool the calculations are different. Hell will freeze over before a Tory gets elected to Parliament in this City. The Tories have not won a Parliamentary seat in the City since 1979 and have not won a council seat since 1994. All 5 of their candidates come from outside the City four from London and the South East. The Tory candidate for Garston and Halewood boasted that she had hired a home in Liverpool for the election. So she’s full of confidence then!!
The Labour Party has fundamentally shifted. In the last Parliament 4 if the MPs were remainers but at this election 4 of the candidates believe in a fantasy of a good Corbyn inspired deal with the EU (without saying they would support that deal!!) Only one of the 5 has been prepared to support the Liverpool Against Anti-Semitism pledge which talks heartachingly about the lonely road travelled within the Labour Party by Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman.
That leaves the Lib Dems. In Liverpool as elsewhere we will do much better than in 2017 and who knows how the peculiar Liverpool factors will come into play. With a Labour Party that has been beset by storms over sexism and racism and which has failed to acknowledge their role in anti-Semitism there are clear signs that our vote will be swelled by democratic socialists appalled by their Party locally and their Leader nationally.
Those people who voted Tory nationally in Liverpool have always been ‘One-Nation’ Tories like Ken Clark, Michael Heseltine and Dominic Grieve. How many of them will follow the lead of those three and not vote Tory this time and follow their lead further and vote for us.
Lib Dems are a constant in Liverpool. We are pro-environment and pro-Europe. We believe that we need to reform our education and health systems not just throw more money at systems that have failed to adapt to modern circumstances. We believe that politics should start in the streets and communities and end up in Westminster via the Town hall and not the other way around.
You know that on Saturday we will be out again in our communities taking up the issues that matter to you and not locking our HQ for the next five years knowing that we won’t have to face the people again!
The 5 Lib Dem candidates in Liverpool are:
- Kris Brown, Garston & Halewood
- Richard Kemp, Wavertree
- Rob McAlister-Bell, Riverside
- David Newman, Walton
- Paul Parr, West Derby
All the polls indicate that about 30% of the population have still to make up their mind as to how to vote. I hope that if you are one of those you will come out of the polling station having endorsed one of us. We stand for change; for the environment; for international ideals. Above all we stand not just for our Party but for the City of Liverpool to which all five of us are totally committed.
You can see more about this on our video: https://www.facebook.com/LiverLibDems/videos/697415504115006/