As we enter the final furlong of the 2019 general election race, where do things stand?
In terms of mood music, Boris appears to be in pole position. The slogan ‘Get Brexit done’ has resonated with voters. Furthermore, it promises to rip up and destroy generations of voting behaviour particularly in Brexit supporting communities Up North. There also seems to be a skip in his step almost approaching confidence. The weekend press could not have been more supportive. The last few days of the campaign will be spent focusing on winning over Labour’s heartlands. If successful, Thursday’s result could be as transformative as Thatcher’s in 1979.
Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, looks a little dejected and forlorn. As The Spectator put it rather well, we are witnessing the death throes of Corbynism and all that it stands for. How fitting, therefore, that the Sunday Times exposed the full extent of anti-Semitism in the modern Labour Party. In a fascinating interview with Andrew Marr, a rather low-key John McDonnell reflected on the damage the issue had done to Labour’s campaign. It is never a good sign to have leadership speculation about life after Corbyn three days before the election! Labour is now focusing on retaining its current seats rather than making gains.
Jo Swinson, a weak leader with a personality and voice which grate, has had a terrible campaign. Her party has been squeezed and she has been found wanting. The much-vaunted new political dawn will not happen. Will she even be able to hold her own seat?
Nigel Farage, in many ways the father of Brexit, has run a terrible campaign. He needs to spend the days after the election in his favourite country pub downing pints and reflecting on what went so horribly wrong.
Nicola Sturgeon, on the other hand, has had a very good campaign. She is a politician of real calibre and force. There is, however, one very large and ominous black cloud on the horizon for both her and her party - the forthcoming trial of her predecessor Alex Salmond.
Thankfully we have heard very little from the DUP ...
So, we are almost there. The tea leaves suggest that Boris will win with an overall majority, but will it come to pass? Encouragingly, the late and great psychic Doris Stokes has just predicted that Margaret Thatcher will win the 1979 general election.
To misquote Willie Whitelaw: “It’s deja vu all over again.”