Brexit Party & SDP. A Crazy Idea. But….

OK. Laugh this out of court if you like. It is (as it says on the tin) only a crazy idea. I’d love your comments (however derogatory) either here or on twitter.

This concerns the next General Election, which we all hope will not be long in coming.

It also concerns the Social Democratic Party (to whose members it is mainly aimed). So if you are not interested in the SDP or (say) the Brexit Party or even Brexit then stop reading now.

This post particularly concerns the vulnerability of the Brexit vote to splintering and how (this is the crazy bit) how to mobilise and maximise the Leave vote in staunchly Labour areas to ensure Brexit.

It also concerns (take a deep breath at this point – this is even crazier) also how we may yet get some SDP MPs.

So, here we go.

The Conservatives even though they are well ahead in the opinion polls, will struggle in many traditional Labour seats. However dismal Labours policies are, many will still vote for them rather than Conservative. The historic loyalties of honest Northern voters will be played like a fiddle by Momentum and their pals.

While the Brexit party may gain traction in these seats it may not be enough. The end result could well be that (thanks to our crap electoral system – FPTP) in many traditional Labour seats the Labour candidate sneaks in with 30-35% of the vote.

We could easily end up with another minority Leave government or even worse a minority/majority Remain government. Even though the electoral vote share for Leave may swamp the Remain vote.

This has happened before in UK General Elections. See these old posts of mine for dates and what happened. (Overview Here) (Example 1 - 1929 ) (Example 2 -1951) (Example 3 - 1974)

One of the obvious tactics that will be used by Labour to attack the Brexit Party will be that (as viewed by many on the left) they are closet Tories. Meanwhile many Tory voters in those same seats will see the Brexit Party as a one trick pony with few policies or direction.

The Brexit Party will get squeezed by both these ideas. Even though in fairness, it has gone some way to ensure it has candidates that are other than small Tories, and it also has policies beyond Brexit.

But voter perception is King. You can bet your bottom dollar the Brexit Party will get vilified by both sides.

So how does the SDP fit into this?

To answer that we need to look at the structure of the Labour Party. (Yes I told you this was crazy. Now it is going to get bizarre)

Or rather lets look at the structure of two separate partys. The Labour Party, and the Cooperative Party.

Most Labour MPs are just that. Labour MPs.

But 38 (who also take the Labour whip) are not. They represent two parties. they are elected on a joint ticket for the Labour & Cooperative Party

Although these days there is little difference between the two different parties, these 38 MPs in the House of Commons are actually from an alliance (dating back to 1927) between the Labour Party and the Cooperative Party. (See Here)

Today they form the the fourth largest grouping in the House of Commons. They do NOT stand under the ticket of the Labour Party but under a joint ticket. On the ballot paper voters put their X in the box marked “The Labour & Cooperative Party”.

I expect you are way ahead of me by now. But if not, let me expand.

To ensure success in Labour Heartland seats, the Brexit Party needs to de-tory-fy itself. It has done this to the best of its ability by selecting candidates that are in the main clearly not Torys. But the stigma sticks. 

If it could form a public alliance with a Party with a strong working class history that Labour voters could easily identify with, it would greatly aid it electoral chances.

I would suspect too that many of the chosen Brexit Party candidates, while fully committed to delivering Brexit, are still somewhat unhappy about being on exactly the same ticket as Nigel Farage and would like some distance.

So for the Brexit Party it would make a lot of sense to stand candidates as “Brexit and SDP Party”. Just as some Labour candidates stand as “Labour & Cooperative Party”

I’d put money on it that Labour voters would much rather put an X in a box labelled Brexit & SDP Party than one marked Brexit Party. (let alone one marked Conservative)

It would also make a lot of sense for the SDP to adopt some of the finer centre-left candidates in the Brexit party as dual party members, and maybe negotiate to replace one or two of the weaker ones with real quality SDP candidates like Patrick O’Flynn.

Both partys would gain.

As Robert E. Heinlein once said

“Never appeal to a man's 'better nature.' He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.”

It is in the self interest of the Brexit Party to have an alliance. It is also in the self interest of the SDP to have an alliance.

It is in neither partys interest to squabble or ignore each other.

(Right. I’ll restart taking the medication now. Thank you)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I fear that if The Reform Party is birthed from the ashes of The Brexit Party then the SDP will struggle to find it's place and fail to gain significant membership increases. I had the choice to vote for either party at the General Election and went with The Brexit Party as I knew both parties had many overlapping policies on a range of issues and that Brexit Party would have had more chance of gaining more votes....but, yes, the FPTP system is to blame and there's nothing we can do about it.