3 300x169 General Election 2017: The Death of the Labour Party  There should have been no general election until after Brexit and the surprise that there now will be is going to alter the outcome of the election for some of the parties. The biggest winners will be the Liberal Democrats; the losers UKIP to an extent but more so the Labour Party who stand to be destroyed as a result of the early poll.

Brexit was going to be a done deal before Westminster next went to the country and so UKIP had begun to position themselves accordingly. They had started to widen their appeal and present themselves as an alternative to Labour in the working-class north but this election will come along too early for them to have their plans fully enacted. A 2020 election would have suited them much better.

They now have to fight the general election as the party of Brexit, however the Conservatives have a more convincing claim to the title in the eyes of the electorate after being the ones to trigger Article 50 and so will be able to tap into the 52% of leave voters more readily than the Kippers.

Conversely, the Liberal Democrats had made a niche for themselves as the only major party advocating for a Brexit repeal. This worked in the Richmond Park by-election was destined to be of no use in a 2020 election post-Brexit.

An early election will enable them to appeal directly to the 48% of Remain voters as the only party representing their interests to that end. Of course, the Lib Dems will not tally a score that high on June 8th, but expect them to steal seats in Remain areas where they finished second to Labour in 2015 and so crucially still retain a base of support.

3 300x169 General Election 2017: The Death of the Labour Party  The UEA helpfully put together a list of UK constituencies and how they voted in the referendum[1] which means we can pinpoint the seats where the Lib Dems can expect to gain from Labour providing they are successful in making themselves the party of Remain[2]. These seats are unique and will not be won on any sort of uniform swing as the EU debate will distort all the normal rules we apply to battlegrounds in 2017.

The Conservatives are currently riding high in the polls which leads to a couple of interesting things to consider. The Tories traditionally do better in actual elections than they do in polls but these are mid-term polls, a time when governing parties are normally at their lowest in terms of voter appeal.

Also with mid-term polls the questioning usually follows the lines ‘how would you vote in a general election held tomorrow’ but of course the respondents knew full well that an election was years away. How will the polls change now that we are in election mode?

A result of 40% would be huge for the Conservatives and would be a fifth consecutive increase in support at a general election. Adding to this positivity for the Tories is the fact that no other party is as precarious as the Labour Party and so seats the Tories won from them in 2015 should stay safe in June.

Labour are dead in the water. They have one of the most unpopular party leaders ever seen, they do not have a constituency when it comes to Brexit, and their poll ratings reflect these two points.

5 General Election 2017: The Death of the Labour Party  It is no wonder that so many Labour MPs voted for an early dissolution of parliament considering the only way they could oust Corbyn was following a general election defeat. May’s announcement has brought that reality forward by three years.

When the dust has settled, the five years following the Brexit Election will be dramatic. The Conservatives will be unstoppable, they will have a huge majority, perhaps as high as a hundred seats, they will enact a boundary change to give them an advantage in the House of Commons meaning they will certainly win the 2022 election.

The Labour Party will have fallen apart, their current voter base split in two. The southern, middle-class, globalist half will have emigrated to a resurgent Liberal Democrats while the northern, working-class, nationalist half will make UKIP a major political force.

The 2020s will be a completely different political world in Britain.

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[1] https://medium.com/@chrishanretty/revised-estimates-of-leave-vote-share-in-westminster-constituencies-c4612f06319d

[2] Hornsey and Wood Green (9.5% swing); Manchester Withington (15% swing); Cambridge (0.5% swing); Bermondsey and Old Southwark (4.5% swing); Cardiff Central (6.5% swing). As mentioned, swing is largely redundant in these seats and only shown as an indicator of how easy each seat will be to fall. Seats are ordered by how strongly voters opted for Remain at the referendum.