by Iain Donaldson on 26 July, 2019
In the past 12 months we have seen a seismic shift in Britain’s political landscape as the Conservative Party re-invents itself and the Liberal Democrats assert themselves, leaving other parties with the option of heckling from the side-lines or shifting their position in support of one or other of these emerging leviathans of British politics.
Many see Prime Minister Johnson as a buffoon or a clown, but what he has done in the last 48 hours may well have saved his party. The first opinion poll since the announcement of his cabinet shows the Conservatives taking votes from the Brexit Party, and that is already being reflected in by-election results around the Country.
Similarly, by framing the Liberal Democrats as the party of Remain, Jo Swinson has in her first days as leader of the Liberal Democrats continued to polarise the remain vote even more strongly behind the Liberal Democrats. Since her election the party has seen its membership increase by a further 6,000, many of whom have joined directly from the Conservative Party as they abandon all hope of it being a vehicle for Remainers.
Interestingly, the Conservative party is also recruiting from disillusioned Labour voters and from Brexit Party voters who now see Prime Minister Johnson as speaking for them more so than the beleaguered Nigel Farage who is being side-lined by the rhetoric of the Prime Minister.
The latest YouGov poll was taken after the Cabinet reshuffle, and it shows the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats neck and neck in the lead with Labour and Brexit dropping back. This polling is consistent will opinion polls over the past three months, but it is also now being reflected in local election results across the country. People are beginning to vote either Conservative or Liberal Democrat with votes for both Labour and the Brexit Party falling back.