All I want for Christmas

So, we finally have a date for an election, which feels waking up from a nightmare, for the moment at least. I suspect the sense of relief will be short-lived though, since the campaign that will now ensue is likely to be ill-tempered and divisive.

The final result may turn on the degree to which Boris Johnson is able to keep the focus on his preferred narrative – the one that casts him, an absurdly privileged toff, as the unlikely tribune of the common man – and away from where he actually wants to lead the country, which is not a destination likely to appeal to the working-class voters he needs to win over. Conversely, Jeremy Corbyn will be hoping that the electorate can look beyond the immediate question of Brexit, and buy into the progressive Labour programme that proved popular in 2017.

Whatever plans the parties may have are unlike to survive first contact with the population, so predicting the outcome is a fool’s game, but I’ll go for it anyway – Johnson’s gamble won’t pay off, and our Yuletide present will be a Labour government.


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