Joachim Fritz-Vannahme
31. October 2019

Munchhausen in #Westminster

So the British are allowed to vote on #12_December. Yet not in favour of the negotiated Brexit deal or no Brexit at all as one would expect with such a vital question, but rather in favour of Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party or the national parties of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Fate – a banality


Thus, in time for Christmas, fate appears as banality before the British. “The most important since the end of the second world war” is what the Financial Times calls this ballot. It is indeed about the country’s trade policy, its security policy, its political relationship with EU-Europe – and of course about the United Kingdom, which threatens to break apart over the Brexit.

Each point in itself is significant, yet when they all come together they make up for, and here the word is right, a fateful choice.


Will the electoral campaign, will the politicians of all parties be up to such a challenge? Measured by their miserable image during the three and a half years since the Brexit referendum in the summer of 2016, they would all suddenly have to go beyond themselves. Or even perform the trick of the legendary Baron Munchausen and pull themselves together with the horse/party out of the swamp they have ridden themselves and the British people into. This is, of course, the end of all certainties.


This is the end of all certainties


For the outcome of this election is hardly predictable, the London political scientist Christ Hanretty warns. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that, unlike in the last elections in 2017, Labour and Tories, the two major parties, according to the polls, would hardly hold far more than 80 per cent of the votes but rather just about 60 per cent. According to the scientist, the remaining votes would be distributed among the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish national parties in December.


On the other hand, Hanretty sees the voters less faced with a usual election according to personal party preference than with the decision Leave or Remain. However, depending on the constituency, both proponents and opponents are to be found in both formations, especially in the large parties.


As Tories and Labour do not offer a clear profile this time, the voters will vote tactically, Hanretty thinks that the Liberal Democrats would also fish in Labour’s waters to catch as many Remain supporters as possible. And the Brexit party will cast its hinges in the Tory Lake in search of the hard Brexiters.


A new cabinet for Christmas


Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have preferred to leave the EU on 31 October, on Halloween. Now the Englishman with Turkish roots will have to wait until the third Sunday in Advent before he can present his new cabinet. If Hanretty is right, the majorities in the House of Commons could come as a complete surprise. And who can imagine a coalition with #Boris_Johnson?

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