Boris to Win 43 Seat Majority Says Meta-Poll

You’ve heard of meta-analyses, where academics who can’t be bothered to do their own research just nick everyone else’s hard work, crunch the numbers a bit, and come out with a super-accurate result? Well here is our META-POLL. After much reading of the papers, surfing the net, and even talking to people, we have concluded that the Tory party will win. (Bet you saw that coming eh?)

Why do we think that?

  1. Farage folded, as predicted here recently, avoided splitting the leave vote, and crowned the Tories as winners

  2. The Labour manifesto was written to appeal to hard-line left wingers – who would have voted for Jeremy anyway. Only the naïve or those too young to remember the 1970s could think that nationalisation is the answer. (See our earlier report on rail user numbers pre- and post – nationalisation). The “free” broadband idea went down well, but the practicalities are horrible. By the time it is built, at five times the original cost, technology will have made it obsolete. And the big beneficiaries will be the farmers and isolated rural communities – who will not be voting Labour under any circumstances. Meanwhile, their fence-sitting on Brexit feels a bit like “Follow Me….. I don’t know where we are going, but Follow Me!”

  3. The Liberal Democrats have shown themselves to be neither liberal nor democratic. Their reverse Article 50 campaign can only appeal to the most die-hard europhiles. Meanwhile, Jo Swinson has not done well. Her claims to be PM in waiting invite the retort that she’ll be waiting a very long time.

  4. The Tories have avoided a May-style manifesto-suicide-note. Divisive figures such as Rees-Mogg have been kept out of the limelight. Boris himself has picked his battles carefully, with more to lose than win.

So what happens now?

There are still considerable risks for Mr Johnson. Will the left-leaning students be too busy recovering from their end-of-term parties to vote?

Students preparing to oversleep and miss voting

Just how many people were too embarrassed to tell pollsters that they would vote Tory (but will anyway)? Will tactical voting have any impact? Will Mr Trump try to intervene? He is not great at keeping his thoughts to himself is he? That could hurt Boris. In this last week, we expect the Tories to try to refocus on Brexit as the major issue – and Labour to try to talk about virtually anything else!

What does it all mean for Asset Prices?

The market had a lost year in 2019, with too much uncertainty. A Tory win is about 70% baked into the market, so we expect a moderate bounce on 13 December. This will be most pronounced for the likes of BT and other nationalisation victims. Despite longer term trading arrangements still being in the air, we feel that 2020 will turn into a log bull run for equities and commercial property, as investors get back to the serious business of making money.

No-Deal Brexit Outcome from Today’s Peterborough By-Election

Mike Greene, soon to be MP for Peterborough

Even before the vote counting has started, it seems clear that by tomorrow the Brexit Party will have their first MP. Their candidate, Mike Greene, has run a slick campaign in a leave-town. The Tories seem to have lost more support than Labour, and may well be beaten into fourth place by the Lib-Dems.

What does this mean?

  1. The Blues will yet again be reminded of the danger of Farage’s Flying Circus. More power to Boris Johnson’s leadership challenge and his promise of “October Means October” (though, oddly, he is not using that phrase!) The Conservative Party must be seen to deliver Brexit on time and Boris is positioned perfectly for this predictable development. Who said he is a buffoon??

  2. You will remember when Parliament voted to prevent No-Deal on 3rd April. It was the only thing they seem to have agreed on all year. Yet it was passed by one vote. As the Metro breathlessly reported, it was the then Peterborough MP, newly released from prison with a curfew tag, that swung the numbers. Anger at jailbird MP who ‘stopped Brexit’ in Bill that was won by one vote

  1. It is fair to assume that the new Brexit-Party Peterborough MP is unlikely to vote against No Deal in any repeat of this motion. Suddenly the mathematics are reversed. Instead of passing by one vote, any new Yvette Cooper bill would fail by one vote. Parliament will not stop No-Deal a second time.

Funny how a by-election in a sleepy backwater could have such a large impact on our national destiny.

Boris – Soon to be Prime Minister

We see Boris as PM by 22 July. He needs Brexit on time, Deal or No Deal. The EU has little negotiating capacity and even less desire to rewrite the Withdrawal Agreement in such a short timeframe. Parliament cannot stop No deal. Boris cannot afford to blink and request a delay.

No-Deal Brexit is back on the cards

Who Next For the Tory Leadership?

Last week, we speculated how Brexit could be extended by 12 months to 31 October 2020 in our “The End of May BY The End of May” article. Prolonging the agony? More like extending the fun for us.

Whilst always hesitant to make forecasts – particularly about the future (Ed. What other kinds of forecasts are there?) – it still feels like change is in the air-conditioning.

Mrs May is due to meet the 1922 Committee Executive (aka The Men In Grey Suits) later this morning. According to the Daily Telegraph, they will tell her that the game is up and she must leave before the summer recess.

You know what this means???? Instead of a quiet summer forgetting about politics, we will have a Tory Leadership / PM election contest.

Andrea Leadsom – who didn’t lead any

As you know, the system is that the MPs elect a shortlist of two, with the grassroots Conservative members making the final choice. Last time, Andrea Leadsom made it on to the ticket, but them withdrew, resulting in no contest. The activists will not stand for that this time.

In normal times, the MPs would choose two characters broadly acceptable to a majority of themselves: truly a case of who has the fewest enemies. This is how we had such bland leaders as John Major and David Cameron. Nobody would call either of them dynamic inspiring leaders, but they were widely tolerated.

However, this is not a normal time. This is a national emergency akin to when Margaret Thatcher was elected as Tory Leader in 1975. Ted Heath had thoroughly blown it for the blues, and a radical change was required. It’s not quite the same as Winston Churchill riding to the rescue in 1940 – though the analogy may have occurred to Mr Churchill’s biographer, one Boris Johnson.

Thus this time, it won’t be a healing, centre-ist, least-objectionable leader. The last thing the grass-roots Tories want is “Continuation May”. The May approach hasn’t worked out well so far has it?

Priority number one for the MP’s and activists is winning the next election. Right now, they have no chance. An election tomorrow would result in a hung parliament – with Labour ahead but Brexit Party not far behind, and the Tories third. So the Tories can see that they need to return more to their free-trading, right-wing, libertarian roots. Oh, and they need to resolve Brexit in a manner that makes it seem like a) it has really happened, and b) it doesn’t look like the EU got one over on us!

Boris in rallying cry – now deliver it! (Pic from FT)

There will be a cast of candidates – and it really is a Grand National where anyone could win. However, of the runners and riders, we believe Boris will make the conquest. He is not tainted by the current Government incompetence, he is generally thought to have done a half-decent job winning the London Mayoral election and then actually running it. What the Conservatives need more than anything is a break from Mrs May, and a proven election-winner. As an alternative, Liz Truss has caught our eye because she believes in traditional Conservative small-government and free markets – values which make the conservatives seem more than “Labour-lite”.

The MPs are aware that their Constituency Chairs and members have had enough. Pressure will be applied to select a winner.

Boris, your time has come!