Brexit Party Ponders Contesting Few Seats

The Financial Times reports Brexit Party Considers Pulling Out of Hundreds of Seats to Boost Tories

Gee, Who Coulda Thunk?

Uh, Me.

Parade of Cynics

One reader commented today "It is easy to be enthusiastic if one allows the goalposts to move. Self-deception. October 31 will be gone without Brexit and this is the 3rd Tory PM who promises to 'Get Brexit Done' in four years."

Good grief.

It was a tremendous victory for Johnson to be able to campaign on a platform of "Get Brexit Done" rather than having delivered the Withdrawal Agreement on October 31.

Moreover, as I stated many times " One must factor in political reality: No Deal was not a straight-up option for Johnson."

Question of Trust

Let's review pertinent comments from my October 26 post Brexit Question of Trust: Who Can Trust Johnson, Macron?

Appearances vs Reality

Do not rule out the possibility that Farage gets this too, and has really worked out a deal with Johnson once an election is triggered.

For political purposes, and to make an election more likely, Farage and Johnson must appear as if they are on different sides.

Moreover, even if they are not working together now, if election odds change, Johnson will change too.

Hmm. Fancy that. Appearances were different that reality. Gee, who coulda thunk?

Uh, Me.

No Deal Still in Play

The Financial Times did not go far enough in its analysis. Yes, this aids Johnson, but it also aids the Brexit Party.

As I have commented numerous times, an election with the theme of "Get Brexit Done" increases the chances of No Deal compared to passage of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA).

January Brexit Extension Increases Chance of No Deal

On October 23, in January Brexit Extension Increases Chance of No Deal my headline image reads "Stop No Deal Advocates Seriously Playing With Fire"

Huge Labour Miscalculation

It would have been to the advantage of Labour to have the WA pass so Labour could campaign against it.

Instead, Labour made a huge miscalculation, one that I have commented on several times.

Euirointelligence came to the same conclusion much later.

Eurointelligence Take

Johnson pulled his withdrawal bill as he had threatened before. This means that the next election, whenever it happens, will be about Brexit. December is a terrible election time for Labour in any case. But a Brexit election is not good for Labour either because of the party's uncertain position. We think Labour committed a serious strategic error by supporting the Boles amendment to postpone the passage of the withdrawal bill. What they didn't see coming was the LibDem's U-turn on elections.

U-Turn Easy to Spot

The Lib-Dem U-turn was easy to predict. Or at least it should have been.

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I commented numerous times:

  1. The Lib-Dem "Remain" platform blows sky high the moment the WA passed.
  2. The Lib-Dems second agenda is to take seats from Labour
  3. Jo Swinson, the Lib-Dem leader cannot stand Corbyn.

U-Turn Trigger

What triggered the U-Turn?

This one is easy to see unless you have on blinders.

French President Emmanuel Macron stood up to the EU by demanding a way forward (elections or WA), instead of a flat out extension.

The last thing Swinson wanted was the WA to pass. She was forced to accept election and she was even willing to have the election at a time disadvantageous to Labour.

Amazingly, mainstream media, and even some of my readers look at Macron's extension as a Johnson defeat.

Rather, it was Johnson who phoned Macron to OK the extension once Swinson did the election U-Turn.

Second Miscalculation

Labour's second miscalculation was assuming Farage would contest every seat. I assumed all along the Brexit Party would cooperate.

Farage gains nothing by delivering a Corbyn win.

However, if the Brexit Party picks up a handful of seats, and if Johnson needs those votes and the votes of DUP then No Deal could be the result.

My base case is still a deal.

However, the deal is likely to be better with Farage on board than with Farage on the sidelines.

Tactical Voting

Curiously, the Guardian commented today Tactical Voting Could Deliver Remain Victory in Election

Ironically, with elections in December with students on break, the tactical voting is more likely to swing to Brexit-Party tactics than Liberal Democrat-Labour tactics.

Credibility

Eurointelligence made this pertinent comment: "Johnson is the only politician who can credibly claim to get Brexit done. Remainers do not have that same clarity with Corbyn."

Flashback Headlines

August 3, The Telegraph: Why a Tory-Brexit Party Alliance is Never Going to Happen.

September 11, BBC: Nigel Farage Election Pact Proposal Rejected by No 10

I love that first one: "Never Going to Happen".

Not Done Yet

Farage has not officially announced his strategy yet.

But to increase the odds of No Deal and to have a say in the trade negotiations if not, it makes sense for the Brexit Party to cooperate.

I expect Johnson to win anyway, but Labour could go down in a crushing defeat if Farage cooperates, as I suggested he would, long ago.

Finally, and again as I have commented, the whole political feud between Johnson and Farage may have been orchestrated from the beginning.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock