Another hung Parliament in Britain’s election? Unlikely.

With the Labour party making a late surge in the opinion polls and getting some good headlines, some pundits are wondering if Britain’s general election on Thursday will end in a repeat of 2017’s hung parliament.

Never say never, but this time feels quite different to 2017.

That election took place less than a year after the 2016 Brexit referendum.  Emotions were raw. A Conservative PM with unclear plans asked the electorate to support her.  Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn gathered in the angry and the uncertain. He got the benefit of the doubt.

A lot has changed since then.  The Conservative government has torn itself apart and reconstituted itself to come up with a Brexit policy.  The Labour party has just torn itself apart.

It shows in the electioneering.  The Conservatives have a vigour they lacked in 2017.  Their canvassing presence is notable in some Labour-held seats.

Another unexpected during this campaign is the apparent fading of the Liberal Democrats.  Many thought their unambiguous policy of revoking the 2016 referendum result would attract the most pro-EU supporters.  And they are also the traditional repository of protest votes when the two main parties are in bad odour.

But the revoke message does not seem to be playing too well.  It seems astonishing that the chief policy of the pro-EU camp is now a hung Parliament and something eventually emerging from the chaos.

So if Boris wins decisively, his ability to unite supporters around a clear policy (leave aside for the moment questions of deliverability) will be as important as his opponents’ divisions.  But take your time examining the numbers for non-voters and protest voters (the Greens for choice).  Boris surely will.  Because he will have to figure out which people have just lent him their votes and which have withheld them from Jeremy Corbyn, before he uses any mandate.


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