Few British voters outside the Conservative Party trust Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a one-time liberal who opportunistically embraced the reactionary cause of Brexit to advance his own political career and who shamefully besmirched Parliament to get his preferred version of Brexit through.
And still he is projected to win the election in December with support for the Conservatives trending toward 45 percent. Labour, the second largest party, is at 25-30 percent in the polls.
The reason is Jeremy Corbyn. He has pulled Labour so far to the left that middle-income voters no longer trust it.
Corbyn Could Learn Something About Coalition Politics from Spain
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out forming a coalition after the election in December, daring smaller parties to back him or risk another Conservative government.
“We’re not doing deals with anybody,” Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.
Asked specifically about the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) demand for an independence referendum, Corbyn said:
The SNP will have a choice: do they want to put Boris Johnson back in with all the austerity economics that they claim to be against or are they going to say, well, a Labour government is going to deliver for Scotland.
This is the same mistake Spanish Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez made after the election in April and the reason we had another election here in Spain last week. Read more
Dutch Parties Haven’t Lost Popularity in Pollution Crisis
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte appears to be weathering what he describes as the worst political crisis of his nine years in power.
Rutte’s four-party government has seen protests by builders and farmers against far-reaching plans to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution.
Now motorists are angry too. To cut emissions, the coalition has agreed to lower the daytime speed limit on Dutch highways from 130 to 100 kilometers per hour. The measure is hugely unpopular in Rutte’s car-friendly liberal party.
Yet it remains faraway the largest in the polls and hasn’t lost support since the pollution crisis began. Read more
Stakes Are High in British Election, But Outcome Is Up in the Air
In a month, Britain will have its third election in four years. Once more the reason is Brexit, or rather the lack of Brexit.
I’ve argued before that Britain’s departure from the EU is accelerating a breakdown of the two-party system. The upcoming election is like a kaleidoscope. Every time you shake it, a new pattern appears.
Yet the stakes are simple enough. For the Conservatives, all that matters is winning a majority. The other parties merely have to stop this from happening to claim victory.
Already we can say the new Parliament will be more partisan and less experienced. Sixty lawmakers with 750 years of combined legislative experience are not seeking reelection. Many blame the coarse political discourse of recent years. Read more
Lurching to the Left Is Risky for Germany’s SPD. So Is the Alternative
Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) are increasingly forced into coalitions with the far left. Such pacts haven’t hurt their counterparts in Portugal and Spain, but Germany is a more conservative country with a consensual style of politics and arguably less need for redistributive policies.
The risk is that a left-wing strategy will alienate centrist voters. But the alternative — continuing to rule in grand coalitions with the right — is wearying leftists. Read more
Johnson Accepts Brexit Deal Britain Rejected Two Years Ago
After two years of drama, British prime minister Boris Johnson has accepted the Brexit deal the EU offered all along.
Rather than keeping the whole of the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU to avoid an economic border between the island of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Johnson has agreed to keep only Northern Ireland in such a customs arrangement.
This is unacceptable to Johnson’s right-wing allies in Northern Ireland, meaning he will need support from opposition parties to get the deal through Parliament. (Johnson’s Conservatives do not have a majority.) Labour now officially argues for a second referendum. The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party are opposed to Brexit altogether. No wonder European leaders, meeting in Brussels on Thursday, are skeptical Johnson can get this done. Read more