The next UK general election

The latest poll analysis is the UK Conservative party losing between a third and two-fifths of its 2019 voter base. They are clearly in trouble but it won’t be anything like a wipe-out.

First up, Labour needs Scotland as without a good haul of Scottish seats they need a national swing of 12% just to scrape a majority, which is the swing they got in the 1945 Attlee landslide and is more than the 1997 Blair landslide. Current polling leads suggest a swing of 13% but even Labour themselves expect this lead to narrow, with the only time a general election having that sort of swing was 1931 which had the strange situation of the National Government that saw two Labour parties and three Liberal parties.

So Scotland is the wild-card. The recent by-election shows the SNP taking a serious hit as a result of recent scandals but Scotland-specific polls show them still being the largest party, and it is all down to whether the election is about the SNP themselves or independence. The SNP also took a big hit in 2017 but still ended up with 60% of Scottish seats, and my guess is they will get at least half next election.

Lets assume Labour get their overall majority in 2024. If their history is anything to go by they will be out of office by 2030 as they have only once lasted more than 6 years. Blair bucked the trend in 2001 because he took over a Labour party that was in good nick and the British economy was doing well at the time whereas Starmer inherits a train-wreck. Any Greens and LibDems who tactically vote to get Labour in won’t do the same next time round to keep them in, and then the bias towards the Conservatives that FPTP brings will kick in. There are also significant boundary changes coming up which are expected to dosfavour Labour.

Since the second world war, apart from once in 1970 whenever Labour have lost office they have lost at least three general elections in a row. So what little change they can bring will have no chance of being cemented.

As a stop-press this video just came out:

Even these guys talk about Conservatives “lending” votes to Labour.

Labour are in no position to make any real change. The late Robin Cook referred to the party being too fixated on the “once in a generation” addiction to power, and them playing the zero-sum game FPTP given them with the Conservatives dooms them.

Starmer’s opposition to Proportional Representation is why I will not vote for them. It is the only thing that would break such a cycle but they are too greedy to understand this.

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The coming crash

An Irish Times op-ed talks about a collapse of Ireland’s property market. A serious case of last to know.

Back in mid-2021 there had already been reports of huge property write-downs, but this was patently obvious from walks I took around Dublin long before then. The one year mark in March 2021 marked the point that a lot of businesses had decided to throw in the towel and have their retail units completely gutted. They clearly did not expect to come back anytime soon with a year and counting of unpaid bills.

All the Spencer Dock developments were already a bubble inflated on the promise of a Brexit relocation bonanza that never materialised, but the pin came when it was clear work-from-home was becoming normalised. Employees did not want to go back to Dublin’s horrible accomodation and commuting, and company bean-counters had dollar signs in their eyes just as they did with hot-desking.

In many ways all this was accelerated by the government by locking down far more than was nececcary. Even people who would only worked from home and/or shopped online because they had no choice got used to it, and after close to two years the old ways were not far off just memories.

So there is a glut at a time when major companies are vacating properties. Textbook market collapse conditions.

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Like, seriously WTF..

I have been back in Dublin barely a couple of hours. And what have I seen so far on this Sunday evening?

Someone p!ssing up against the window in Terminal 2. Or at least that is what they looked like they were about to do and was not going to stay around to find out.

Seeing a group of parents on Gardiner who are probably young enough to be my children who absolutely reek of cannabis. And I assume those two kids playing on a mobile one doorstep down the road belong to them..

..and the stench of urine around the city centre. Hobos, soup kitchenettes, ..

In short Dublin has seriously gone south in the less than six months since I last did a flying visit, and this correlates with what the local publicans tell me. I hope this was just bad luck.

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