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General Election 2019 – Comments

Exit Poll

The initial report on the outcome of the General Election, in the form of the Exit Poll, indicated a possible outstanding result for the Conservative Party and a devastating result for the Labour Party. This was presented by the media as a fait accompli minutes after the poll had closed at 10:00 pm and just assumed to be accurate.

As it happens, the Exit Poll turned out to be surprisingly very accurate as seen in the following table:

Party Exit Poll Actual Result
Conservative 368 365
Labour 191 203
SNP 55 48
LD 13 11
Others 23 23

The election result gives the Conservative Party a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons which makes it possible for them to drive through any legislation that they need, or want, to implement.

In many respects the election was primarily about Leaving or Remaining in the EU. Both Liberal Democrats and Labour were seeking another (2nd) referendum to let the public decide. In the end they got what they wanted – but perhaps not the result they were seeking.

It is apparent that many Labour voters in the Midlands and North have transferred their vote from the Labour Party to the Conservatives. Whether this is a temporary situation remains to be seen.

The Brexit process has been stymied since the referendum and since the 2017 election, the Government couldn’t command sufficient support (from their own party!!) to drive the process forward. Now, with a large majority, Brexit can proceed unhindered.


Labour Party

The Labour party is likely to undergo a major overhaul of the current leadership and their future policies following the collapse in their support in this election.

One reason for their demise may be that they totally ignored the opinion of Labour voters who voted to Leave the EU in the referendum held in 2016, concentrating instead on their MP base in London and party members.

The majority of Labour MPs appeared to be strongly in favour of remaining in the EU, which seemed to be at odds with how their voters in the Midlands and North had voted in the referendum.

Perhaps the Labour Party slogan should have been representing the “few” rather than the “many”.

The party had attempted to steer conversation during the election campaign away from Brexit to other (important) matters such as the NHS and other public concerns, but in the end the election was undoubtedly a “Brexit” or “Remain” election.

Other feedback mentions that Labour voters disliked Jeremy Corbyn as leader with voters indicating they would only vote for Labour if it were not being led by Jeremy Corbyn.


Liberal Democrats

In 2017 the Liberal Democrats had 12 elected MPs, this grew to a claimed 21 MPs over the course of the 2017-2019 Parliament due to MPs changing from the party they were elected for, to the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats started their 2019 election campaign with a message to remain in the EU, stating that they would revoke Article 50 as soon as they were elected. In addition they attempted to run a “Remain Alliance” with other parties, promoting a policy of tactical voting in a number of constituencies.

Jo Swinson stated that her party, which took just under 8% of the votes in the 2017 election, would win a majority in this election and that she would be the next Prime Minster.

The message appeared to change towards the end of their campaign to become one more focused on holding a second referendum to decide on the “Brexit” issue.

The new MPs they acquired during the 2017-2019 Parliament were not returned as MPs and they finished overall with 11 MPs, 1 less than in 2017.

Jo Swinson lost her seat in Dunbartonshire East by 149 votes and immediately resigned as Party Leader.


SNP

The main policy adopted by the SNP in this election was to stand on the basis of holding another referendum on Scottish Independence.

SNP gained 13 new MPs to a total of 48 MPs at the expense of both Conservative (-7) and Labour (-6) MPs. The Liberal Democrats gained a seat from the SNP and lost a seat to the SNP.

In Scotland there was a 68.1% turnout from an electorate of 4,053,140 voters, with 45% of voters supporting the SNP.


Disaffected MPs

It is interesting to see what happened to those MPs who rebelled against the party they were elected for. They were treated accordingly by voters who did not react kindly to their deceit and they did not return as MPs. This also shows why they were reluctant to call by-elections

Dominic Grieve, standing as an Independent, came second in Beaconsfield beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 15,712 votes.

David Gauke, standing as an Independent, came second in Hertfordshore South West beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 14,408 votes.

Anna Soubry, standing for the Independent Group for Change, came third in Broxtowe beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 26,602 votes and Labour who had 21,271 votes.

Chuka Umunna, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Cities of London & Westminster beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 3,953 votes.

Luciana Berger, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Finchley & Golders Green beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 6,562 votes.

Antoinette Sandbach, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came third in Eddisbury beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 30,095 votes and Labour who had 11,652 votes.

Sam Gyimah, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came third in Kensington beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 16,768 votes and Labour who had 16,618 votes.

Frank Field, standing for the Birkenhead Social Justice Party, came second in Birkenhead beaten by the Labour candidate who had a majority of 17,705 votes.

Gavin Shuker, standing as an Independent, came third in Luton South beaten by the Labour candidate who had 21,787 votes and Conservative candidate who had 13,031 votes.

Chris Leslie, standing for the Independent Group for Change, came fourth in Nottingham East beaten by the Labour candidate with 25,753 votes, the Conservative candidate with 8,342 votes and the Liberal Democrats with 1,954 votes

Mike Gapes, standing for the Independent Group for Change, came third in Ilford South beaten by the Labour candidate who had 35,085 votes and Conservative candidate who had 10,984 votes.

Angela Smith, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came third in Altrincham & Sale West beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 26,311 votes and Labour who had 20,172 votes.

Sarah Wollaston, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Totnes beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 12,724

Phillip Lee, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Wokingham beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 7,383 votes.

Anne Milton, standing as an Independent, came fourth in Guildford after the Conservative candidate with 26,317 votes, Liberal Democrats with 22,890 votes and Labour with 4,515 votes.


Interesting Links

BBC News – 2019 Election Results


Lord Ashcroft Polls

How Britain voted and why: 2019 general election post-vote poll

poll data tables


Class of 2019: Meet the new MPs


Paul Mason

After Corbynism – Where next for Labour


A Datapraxis Analysis of the UK General Election (2019)

Tory Lanslide, Progressives Split

PM statement in Downing Street: 13 December 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first statement upon returning to Downing Street on 13 December 2019.

This morning I went to Buckingham Palace. I am forming a new government and on Monday MPs will arrive at Westminster to form a new parliament. I am proud to say that members of our new one nation government – a people’s government – will set out from constituencies that have never returned a Conservative MP for 100 years and yes they will have an overwhelming mandate, from this election, to get Brexit done and we will honour that mandate by Jan 31.

So in this moment of national resolution I want to speak directly to those who made it possible and to all those who voted for us, for the first time, all those whose pencils may have wavered over the ballot and who heard the voices of their parents and their grandparents whispering anxiously in their ears, I say thank you for the trust you have placed in us and in me. We will work round the clock to repay your trust and to deliver on your priorities with a parliament that works for you.

Then I want to speak also to those who did not vote for us or for me and who wanted, and perhaps still want to, remain in the EU. I want you to know that we in this one nation conservative government will never ignore your good and positive feelings of warmth and sympathy towards the other nations of Europe.

Because now is the moment, precisely as we leave the EU, to let those natural feelings find renewed expression in building a new partnership, which is one of the great projects for next year, as we work together with the EU as friends and sovereign equals, in tackling climate change and terrorism, in building academic and scientific cooperation, redoubling our trading relationship.

I frankly urge everyone on either side of what after three and a half years after all an increasingly arid argument I urge everyone to find closure and to let the healing begin because I believe, in fact I know, because I have heard it loud and clear from every corner of the country, that the overwhelming priority of the British people now is that we should focus above all on the NHS. That simple and beautiful idea that represents the best of our country with the biggest ever cash boost 50,000 more nurses, 40 new hospitals as well as providing better schools, safer streets.

In the next few weeks and months we will be bringing forward proposals to transform this country with better infrastructure, better education, better technology and if you ask yourselves what is this new government going to do, what is he going to do with his extraordinary majority

I will tell you that is what we are going to do – we are going to unite and level up – unite and level up – bringing together the whole of this incredible United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland together taking us forward, unleashing the potential of the whole country delivering opportunity across the entire nation.

Since I know that after five weeks frankly of electioneering this country deserves a break from wrangling, a break from politics, and a permanent break from talking about Brexit.

I want everyone to go about their Christmas preparations happy and secure in the knowledge that here in this people’s government the work is now being stepped up to make 2020 a year of prosperity and growth and hope and to deliver a Parliament that works for the people.

Thank you all very much and happy Christmas.

from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-in-downing-street-13-december-2019

General Election 2019 – Election Results

Results in the General Election held on 12 December 2019 are as follows: the Conservative Party have 365 MPs which gives them a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons. Labour came 2nd with 203 MPs. The SNP have 48 seats, and the Liberal Democrats have 11 seats.

With 47,587,254 Registered voters, the turnout was 67.3% (32,026,222)

The results are:

General Election 2019 - Results
Party Seats Change (from 2017) Votes Vote Share Vote Share Change
Conservative 365 +47 13,966,451 43.6% +1.2%
Labour 203 -59 10,295,907 32.2% -7.8%
SNP 48 +13 1,242,380 3.9% +0.8%
LD 11 -1 3,696,423 11.5% +4.2%
DUP 8 -2 244,127 0.8% -0.1%
Sinn Féin 7 0 181,853 0.6% -0.2%
Plaid Cymru 4 0 153,265 0.5% 0.0%
SDLP 2 +2 118,737 0.4% +0.1%
Green 1 0 865,697 2.7% +1.1%
Alliance Party 1 +1 134,115 0.4% +0.2%
Brexit Party 0 0 642,323 2.0% +2.0%
Others 0 -1 470,843 1.8% 0.0%

Map of Election Results

Key

(Img: Brythones, recoloured by Ezzatam [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Useful Links

Comprehensive details about the election and find out more about your constituency at :

BBC Election News

General Election 2019 – Exit Poll

Having managed to ignore most of the rhetoric since the announcement of a General Election on 12 December 2019, the election finally came to pass and my first item to report on is the Exit Poll which was announced at 10:00 pm on Thursday 12 December.

An Exit Poll asks voters as they leave a polling station who they actually voted for. The Ipsos Mori Exit Poll was held in 144 constituencies in England Scotland and Wales and are chosen as being representative of the country. As voters leave the polling station they are selected at regular intervals to fill in a replica ballot paper which is placed into a box to be opened and counted later – in this way they do not have to identify who they voted for. These votes are used to determine voting patterns which can be extended across the country as a whole to determine the potential result of the election. The first 2019 exit poll will not cover the last half hour or so of voting in order to be available to be released at 10:00 pm – it may, however, be updated to reflect actual results from the election as they are announced.

The prediction is:

Exit Poll
Party Seats
Conservative 368
Labour 191
SNP 55
LD 13
Others 23

UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group

by Politicker 0 Comments

Jeremy Corbyn (Leader of the Labour Party) recently presented a number of documents which cover six rounds of talks between U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) officials and UK officials from the Department of International Trade. These documents detail meetings which were held between July 2017 and July 2019. With all the rhetoric flying around, it’s useful to explore what’s actually been happening with regards to discussions about a future trading relationship with the USA.

The meetings were preparatory meetings ahead of formal trade talks.

The UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group was established in July 2017 by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP and United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.

Since its inception, the Working Group has been laying the groundwork for an ambitious and wide-ranging potential future free trade agreement once the UK has left the EU, as well as ensuring commercial continuity for UK and US businesses, workers, and consumers.

The Working Group delegations were led by officials from the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and USTR. It also included representatives from a wide range of UK and U.S. Government departments and agencies.

Total trade between the two countries is already worth about £190 billion a year. We are each other’s largest source of foreign direct investment and, according to U.S. statistics, the UK and U.S. have around $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies. Every day around one million Americans go to work for UK firms, while around one million Britons go to work for American firms.

The documents presented by Jeremy Corbyn were posted on reddit around mid-october – it is unclear where the poster obtained them.

These meetings were held during Prime Minister Theresa May’s tenure and while Dr Liam Fox (MP) was Secretary of State for International Trade, running the Department for International Trade (DiT).

The meetings were mentioned in statements released by DiT, but other details do not appear to have been released to the public. The documents made available by Jeremy Corbyn, contain reports on the discussion and outcome of the meetings.

USTR Signs Mutual Recognition Agreements with the United Kingdom

https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2019/february/ustr-signs-mutual-recognition

On February 14, 2019, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and Ambassador Kim Darroch, United Kingdom (UK) Ambassador to the United States, signed two mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) covering telecom equipment, electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) for information and communications technology products, pharmaceutical good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections, and marine equipment.

These MRAs with the UK replicate substantive provisions of existing MRAs between the United States and the European Union for these sectors and will ensure that U.S.-UK trade in these product sectors is not disrupted when the UK leaves the European Union. U.S. exports to the UK of products covered by these agreements exceeded $5 billion in 2018.

Agreement on Mutual Recognition Between the U.S.-UK

Agreement Between the U.S.-UK on the Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Conformity for Marine Equipment

U.S.-UK Agreement on Trade in Wine

USTR Signs Wine and Distilled Spirits Continuity Agreements with the UK

On January 31, 2019, Ambassador Gregg Doud, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, and Ambassador Kim Darroch, United Kingdom (UK) Ambassador to the United States, signed two agreements covering wine and distilled spirits today to ensure there is no disruption in trade of these products between the United States and the UK when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). Currently the United States has agreements on wine and distilled spirits with the European Union which cover trade with the UK by virtue of its membership in the EU.

U.S.-UK Agreement on Trade in Wine

US-UK Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Certain Distilled Spirits/Spirits Drinks

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Other useful links

The UK is preparing for an independent trade policy to implement after EU Exit. This means the UK will have the opportunity to negotiate and enter into trade agreements with other countries.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/trade-with-the-us

These agreements can:

  • enable increased trade and investment
  • secure access for UK exporters to the key markets of today and the future
  • give consumers access to a greater range of products at lower prices
  • make the UK more innovative, competitive and prosperous

The Department for International Trade is preparing for possible negotiations with the US after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. The UK government is consulting with members of the public, businesses, trade experts, and any other interested organisations to help inform this work.

This agreed consultation will help to inform our overall approach to our future trade relationship and trade negotiations with the US.

An information pack for the Consultation relating to a bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States

Information Pack UK-US FTA consultation( pdf)

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