Friday 5 July 2024

"Yes, Labour has won a landslide, but it’s not quite Starmer-geddon."

Britain's 'leaders' mourn the death of the Uniparty

"Yes, [UK] Labour has won a landslide [in the British election overnight], but it’s not quite Starmer-geddon. According to the exit poll, his landslide, predicted to be the largest since 1832 in one eve-of-election poll, is in fact smaller than Tony Blair’s in 1997, although not by much (170 v 179). 
    "More encouraging, if the exit poll is to be believed, is that Labour only managed a vote share of 36%, significantly lower than in 2017 under Jeremy Corbyn (40%). 
    "By contrast, the Tories and Reform won a combined share of 43%. [Labour leader] Keir Starmer has won a landslide but not a mandate – his own majority is down by 16,000 – although I doubt he’ll be constrained by that.
    "The Left of the Labour Party will point to the fact that Starmer polled fewer votes than Corbyn – we don’t know that for sure yet, but it looks likely – and dispute that Labour only won this election by tacking to the centre, just as the Right of the Conservative Party will argue the Party didn’t lose by abandoning the centre ground (which is the prevailing orthodoxy among ‘One Nation’ Tories, believe it or not). And they’d both be right, in my view. In spite of Starmer’s victory, technocratic managerialism – or 'stakeholder capitalism,' as Klaus Schwab calls it – hasn’t exactly triumphed in this election. 
    "The Uniparty – that is, the Conservative Party under Sunak and the Labour Party under Starmer – got a bloody nose in the sense that the two main parties received an even lower share of the vote – 62% – than they did in 2010 (66%). That’s a lower share than in 1983 at the height of the SDP‘s popularity (70%) and worse than in either of the 1974 elections. Indeed, lower than in 1923, when the two main parties won 68.7%. You have to go all the way back to 1918, when the Liberal Party hadn’t yet collapsed, to find find Labour and the Conservatives collectively polling a lower vote share (59.2%).

"The superficial take on the result is that the U.K. is bucking the anti-technocratic trend sweeping the rest of the globe, particularly France where we may be witnessing the death throes of the Fifth Republic. But look beyond Labour’s landslide and the real story of the last six weeks is the rise of Reform and the lack of enthusiasm for the two centrist parties. 
    "Indeed, if we had PR in the U.K., as they do in the EU, we might now be looking at a Right-of-centre coalition with a populist leader at the helm and a move away from the Uniparty’s position on immigration and Net Zero, as well as its uncritical embrace of sectarian identity politics. We may have to wait another five years before that happens, but it seems unlikely, to put it mildly, that Starmer’s premiership will breathe new life into this calcified ideology. Much more likely is that a succession of policy failures, leading to a financial crisis, civil unrest and rolling black-outs, will be the death knell of technocratic managerialism. 
    "In 2029, the British electoral may finally vote for real change."
~ Toby Young from his post 'End of the Uniparty'

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