Nevada Caucus Results – Feel the Bern

Saturday American time saw the third caucus/primary vote take place in Nevada and it did not take long for a clear result to emerge. Bernie Sanders won the Caucus in a landslide and now appears to be taking a clear advantage to be the presumptive Democratic nominee. In this blog, I will analyse the Nevada Caucus results and then look ahead to South Hampshire Primary. and to the latest in National Polls.

So as of 88% counting, the results give Bernie Sanders 10 pledged delegates to Joe Biden’s 2 Pledged delegates with a vote share of 47% to 21%. That result is a blowout win compared to a slightly closer result via original votes gained which was 34% and realigned vote which is 40%. The reason for the disparity in realigned votes to the final pledged delegate votes is that in most counties of Nevada only Bernie Sanders reached the 15% threshold to get enough votes in the area to win pledged delegates. What’s interesting about the results from (1) is that Bernie Sanders is not just winning white educated voters this time, he’s also far and away winning the Hispanic vote and is doing a lot better amongst African American voters running second only to Joe Biden. It was another disappointing result for Elizabeth Warren who finished 4th and while she did well in the debate, it seems the far left voters are coming in behind Bernie Sanders. It was also a disappointing night for Pete Buttigieg who could repeat his stunning results in the first two states and seems to confirm he will struggle as the states become more diverse. What we didn’t see because he’s not on the early states is how billionaire Michael Bloomberg will fare as he has pumped major dollars into campaigning for Super Tuesday but he had a shocker of a debate struggling under the questioning of Elizabeth Warren about his treatment of female workers.
So now we move onto South Carolina Primary which takes place on the 29th of February America time. The Polling there still has Joe Biden ahead but it is a closer race than it was only a month ago and Bernie Sanders is closing fast as the second option to win South Carolina. In a move that may help Joe Biden, South Carolina Democrat and House majority whip James Clyburn looks set to give a national endorsement to Joe Biden as his preferred presidential choice. The Republicans much like in Nevada have cancelled the South Carolina Primary result. At a Convention the last time this happened all of the caucus votes of Nevada went to the Incumbent President George W Bush.
The National Polls for the Democrats continues to come out and (2) shows that Bernie Sanders is pulling ahead as the Democrats choice for running against Donald Trump. Indeed (3) now has Bernie Sanders as a close to 1 in 2 chance of winning the nomination with a majority of pledged delegates, that is first to a contested nomination which is still a 2 in 5 chance. All of the other options are now a less than 1 in 10 chance of winning the nomination and I think the Centre-Left need to start considering allying one candidate if they are serious about keeping Bernie Sanders from winning the Democratic Nomination.

Thank you for reading my blog, stay tuned at the end of the next week for my blog on the week in Australian Politics.

References

(1): https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/it-s-not-just-bros-sanders-wins-diverse-coalition-n1141251

(2): https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/us/2020_democratic_presidential_nomination-6730.html

(3): https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-primary-forecast/?ex_cid=rrpromo

Another week in Australian Politics – The Nats continue to be a muck up

It’s been another interesting week in Politics. Again most of the attention was on the infighting Nationals but other issues also came up.
So the week in Parliament started with Llew O’Brien quitting the Nationals Party to sit with the Liberal-National Branch of the party and no longer sit in the National Party room. The numbers on the floor of Parliament don’t change but it does make for an interesting way forward now as Llew O’Brien is freer to cross the floor on certain issues and pave the way for him to take the Deputy Speakership and more on that later. In Parliament, on Monday we started with a policy debate on Climate Change with Zali Steggall introducing a bill on the adaptation and mitigation of Climate Change. The morning ended with a speech to Parliament from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The main message in Mr Widodo’s speech was for Australia to take more action on Climate Change as well as talk about increasing tolerance of both nations cultures as well as acting to stop terrorism. The two countries also wish to increase their trade opportunities which will be helped now by the trade agreement signed between the two nations. Then question time started and not surprisingly the first question from Labor was on the chaos in the Nationals party. Then Labor targeted new minister Keith Pitt and his views on Nuclear Power. Labor then moved onto the bushfires and the government’s missteps on the matter, whether it be on the Economical response or its response on Medicare to the bushfire devastated area. Lastly, the Labor Party attacked the government on possible plans to privatise the visa program. (1) has a good article on the issue, with the possible drawbacks of the outsourcing of the visa program. Then after question time, you had the new Deputy Speaker nomination and six Nats crossed the floor to vote with the crossbench and Labor to install Llew O’Brien as the new deputy speaker over the government’s choice of Damian Drum the federal member for Nicholls.

Tuesday started with a historic High Court decision to say that no Indigenous Australian’s could be deported despite where they were born. The government responded that this created a new class of citizen and the government would look at ways around this to legislate for still being able to deport Indigenous Australian’s who were born outside of Australia. Once the Parliament started sitting the Greens Adam Bandt tried to move a motion to establish a National Integrity Commission into corruption, now that failed but it does heap the pressure onto the government about missing its deadline to introduce a new National Integrity Commission. Question time started with a question from Labor on the stability of the government based on a comment from Kevin Andrews the member for Menzies. The Shadow Treasurer and Treasurer then had a slanging match over the weak economy and the fact that the economy was already weak before the summer of drought, bushfires and Coronavirus. Then Labor went to the attack on the government’s bushfire handling, its views on emissions and which technology should be used to bring down emissions and minimum milk gate prices. After question time Bill Shorten went on TV to say that the Robodebt money which has now been found to be illegal should be mostly repaid which seems reasonable.

Wednesday saw the latest Closing the Gap report released. The report showed only two of the seven categories had made progress to being met, while the other five categories had had little progress made. Particularly concerning is the lack of progress made on Child Mortality and Life Expectancy. The government’s response was to move to a fresh approach focussing on the practical solutions rather than pie in the sky aspirational approaches. The Labor response was also on the need for more action rather than just speeches and token ceremonies. While these speeches were going on Darren Chester collapsed, thankfully it was just put down to fatigue and he was given the all-clear to return to Parliament the following day. Question time then started and in both chambers, the first question was about the government’s response to the Closing the Gap statement and what would the government do concerning Constitutional recognition. I think Constitutional Recognition is important but it has to be Conservative-led otherwise the no campaign would lead to a nasty racist campaign that would hurt the Indigenous community. The Labor Party then had a question about the fines for Unions versus the action taken against George Calambaris. The Labor Party then went onto attacking the governments handling of the Economy particularly on Wages growth and then attacked the government on its handling of the bushfire. After question time you had a stunt in the Senate thankfully fail with the Opposition and some of the Crossbench trying to strip Mathias Cormann of his role of Leader of the Government in the Senate. Thankfully One Nation and Centre Alliance withdrew their support of the bill which would have otherwise set a very dangerous precedent.

Thursday started with the fallout of the Wednesday night revelation of an Otis group faction of Labor Right-Wingers dining together to talk Climate Policy and other issues that they disagree with the left faction of the Labor Party. I think it shows that Climate Policy is going to continue to be a thorn in both parties side coming into an election year in Queensland. Then we moved into question time where the Labor Party first targeted Greg Hunt the Health Minister on the governments Aged Care Policies. Labor then moved their line of attack to Stuart Roberts about Robodebt before attacking the Defence Industry Minister on the government’s shipbuilding plans. The Labor Party then went back to a question on NDIS after news came out in the morning on waiting times for the NDIS being different based on Income and whether the child had a diagnosis already or not. After Question Time the Auditor General came into the Senate and contradicted the government on the Sports Rorts affair saying that 43% of projects that were in the grant were ineligible.
Friday and Saturday saw the fallout from the Auditor General’s report continue. Labor said that the report needed to be released and that the Prime Minister had misled the Parliament by saying no ineligible projects were awarded money from the sports grants. The Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson said he disagreed with the Auditor General won the projects being ineligible. Sunday saw Insiders come on and Michael McCormack was on defending his leadership from those critical of his current leadership and also defending the handling of the sports grants affair. He also promised he would change his leadership style but was rather short on what about his leadership he would change.
So what will come next, expect the Sports Grants affair to continue to dominate politics? Expect Climate Change and Energy Policy to continue to dominate both sides of the aisle with Trent Zimmerman coming out on Energy Policy today saying the government should not fund any more coal-fired power generators and Michael McCormack saying he disagreed while the government will continue to attack the Otis Faction on disunity in the Labor Party. Expect Religious Freedom to come up again as there is another version of that bill due to come out soon and both Labor and Liberal are likely to split on that issue.

Thank you for reading my blog, stay tuned for my next blog on the Nevada Caucus Results and also something on some of the recent rumblings from UK Politics.

 

References

(1): http://theconversation.com/the-government-wants-to-privatise-visa-processing-who-will-be-held-accountable-when-something-goes-wrong-127618

New Hampshire Primary – I set all the records

Yesterday Australian time the Second Democrat and Republican primary caucus took place. One contest was a close result being the Democrats where Bernie Sanders won the most pledged delegates and there was one non-close result with Donald Trump winning all 22 pledged delegates or 85% of the vote. In this blog, I will go into detail about the results of the New Hampshire Primary Delegates and then look at what’s next and some of the recent National Polls.

So as I alluded to above both the Democrats and Republicans went to the polls in New Hampshire to nominate their preferred candidate. In the Republican nomination, Donald Trump won all 22 of the 22 pledged delegates taking roughly 85% of the vote counted. His total votes of just over 129k votes are the most votes obtained in New Hampshire by an incumbent President ever, something that suggests that Republicans are keen to re-elect Donald Trump to come November. In the Democratic Primary Bernie Sanders won the highest vote share but not by as much as some polls were suggesting which had him with leads up to 10%. In terms of total delegates pledged Bernie Sanders ended up tied with Pete Buttigieg who also got 9 pledged delegates. Amy Klobuchar surprised everyone parlaying her strong last debate performance into third place in the state with just under 20% of the vote. The losers of the night were Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden who finished 4th and 5th respectively with under 10% of the vote and well under the threshold of 15% to get a pledged delegate. The total vote for moderate Democrats was about 45% to the extreme left is about 40% but the splitting of the moderate Democrat vote amongst many candidates is what’s allowing Bernie Sanders to do so well at the moment.

So what’s next the Democrats will now switch their attention to the more diverse states of Nevada on the 22nd of February and then South Carolina on the 29th of February. (1) has very good tracking polls for both states and in Nevada, it now has Bernie Sanders leading over Joe Biden which is a worrying trend for Biden and then South Carolina has Biden still well clear of Bernie Sanders but again his support his nosediving. If Biden doesn’t win Nevada and/ or South Carolina then I find it very hard to see him continuing in the race. My one proviso to this is we have a Contested Primary Nomination event with (2) now having that as a 1/3 chance. What a contested nomination means is that no-one wins half of the pledged delegates after the first round of delegate nomination results come out. At that point, it goes to the floor of the Primary Room in which case members of the Democrats decide who becomes the candidate to take on the Republican who will be Donald Trump.

Thank you for reading my blog, stay tuned at the end of the week for my summary of the week in Australian Politics.

References

(1): https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-primary-d/nevada/

(2): https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-primary-forecast/

The week in Australian Politics

It was a very busy week in Australian Politics, with resignations, spills and tears aplenty. In this blog I will focus on Australian Politics, for my summary of the week in US Politics please refer to my previous blog.
The week started with Insiders on Sunday morning and Josh Frydenberg did not want to commit to a surplus this upcoming financial year due to the effects of the Bushfires and also the Coronavirus putting a huge dent in tourism as flights in and out of China have been grounded to a halt. There was a lot of spin instead about how great it was that Australia had managed a balanced budget so I would expect to see more on this as the Budget draws closer. That afternoon the Scott Morrison report by the Department of Prime Minister came out and it said that Bridget McKenzie did not pork-barrel however she did break the Ministerial Code of Conduct for not declaring she had an interest in a shooting club that got grant money and so she resigned from cabinet.

Monday started with Barnaby Joyce going on media to tout his potentials of becoming party leader again, this was while a whole slew of Nationals members touted their credentials of being Deputy Leader to replace Bridget McKenzie. That was the beginning of a morning of madness with Bob Katter stepping aside as leader of the Katter Australia Party and handing the reins over to his son Robert Katter, expect to see him become the next Federal member for Kennedy at some point. Then Richard Di Natale stepped aside as Greens Leader citing family reasons. It was very quickly established that Adam Bandt would be the next Greens leader and the only question would be who his deputies would be. Then in the afternoon, Damien Drum went on afternoon Briefing to say that the sports rorts program was used to try and win seats at the election but that’s all okay because everyone does it. That may be true to an extent but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be punished for it, it doesn’t mean you should do it to such an extent as Bridget McKenzie did it and also other politicians have been punished for doing something similar, most famously Ros Kelly for her sports rort scandal of $40 million a 1/4 of what Bridget McKenzie misappropriated. Late in the evening, Llew O’Brien a Nationals backbencher for the seat of Wide Bay said he would call a spill motion for the leadership of the Nationals party. Later still that night Matt Canavan resigned from cabinet to support Barnaby Joyce. Then on Q and A Jim Moran had a shocking night and said he did not rely on evidence for his views on Climate Change not being man-caused.

Tuesday morning started with two leadership spills. One was messy being the Nationals leadership which was won by Michael McCormack with David Littleproud winning the deputy leadership. The exact numbers were not known because only the whip and deputy whip find out the numbers but 11-10 was the widely reported number for the Leadership spill result. Then in the Greens Adam Bandt won the leadership in an uncontested ballot with Larissa Waters expected and Nick McKim unexpected to be his deputies. Adam Bandt straight away announced his intentions to move the Climate debate into an Economic debate and said time was up for Big Businesses who were killing people with their climate policies, an overreach not unexpected by Bandt. Later in the day Question Time was postponed to give tributes to the Bushfire victims with Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese and others giving impassioned speeches about what the government and an alternative government would do on the bushfires. Anthony Albanese said the public wanted to see practical measures to tackle climate change, something that moderate Coalition members agreed with and voiced in the morning’s party room meeting. The problem is the Nats and they want a Coal-Fired Power Station subsidised by the government and they want to differentiate themselves from the Liberal Party heading into the Queensland election later this year.

Wednesday started with a Senate led inquiry passing the Senate into holding an inquiry on the Sports Rorts scandal. Then we moved onto question time and Labor focussed their attacks on two fronts. First was the Prime Ministers Missteps on Bushfire reaction and then the possible involvement of the government in the Sports rorts affair. Question Time ended with a suspension of standing orders to cover those two topics and that quickly was gagged by the Leader of the House Christian Porter. Then in Afternoon briefing Peter Dutton tried to become relevant again by saying that Arsonists started the bushfires, not Climate Change despite the Police clearly saying only a small percentage of fires are started by Arsonists.

Thursday saw Scott Morrison reshuffle the Cabinet to allow for the loss of Bridget McKenzie and Matt Canavan. Now I thought Matt Canavan should have stayed in the cabinet to avoid him going to the backbench and further destabilising the leadership of McCormack but Michael McCormack decided instead to reward his backers and gave cabinet spots to Keith Pitt as Resources Minister and then elevating Darren Chester to the cabinet for his Veteran Affairs portfolio. The other move was David Littleproud back into Agriculture and he will be the future leader of the party at some point in the future. Labor before question time moved another motion into the actions of Angus Taylor over the Clover Moore doctored documents affair. Then in question time, two things happened, firstly Labor drilled down on Scott Morrison’s handling of Bushfires and his many missteps in a far more forensic fashion that left the PM squirming a bit. But the government had a win with the AFP announcing that it would not carry on with the investigation into Angus Taylor and the doctored documents.
Friday and Saturday were quiet days in Federal politics with Parliament not sitting as the only real newsworthy stuff was the Queensland Treasurer attacking Frydenberg for his handling of the Coronavirus. That was an interesting move from an embattled Minister who has faced criticism the last year for not declaring interest in a house that her husband owned. Sunday saw the Deputy Leader of the opposition of Labor interviewed for Insiders and he was tight-lipped on what the opposition would do on climate change and whether they would approve a coal mine or Coal Power Station if it was built by a private enterprise. What he did make a point of saying was that the government had set a test on delivering a Surplus Budget this year and they better deliver on that or else they should be judged harshly by the public.
So what’s happening next week in Politics. I’d expect to hear more from Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canavan in terms of their alternative views on policy for the Nationals to tackle. I’d expect more attacks on the handling of the Bushfires by Labor. I’d expect the government to continue to try and turn the pressure back on Labor by talking about the biased nature of grants awarded by Labor while they were in power.

Thanks for reading my blog, stay tuned for my next blog summing up the New Hampshire Caucus result.

It’s all about the Don and Iowa Caucus debacle

It’s been a very busy week in politics both domestically and abroad. In today’s blog, I will just focus on American Politics before moving onto Australian politics in a blog on the weekend. So in the USA this week there have been 3 important events. Firstly was the Iowa Caucus for the Democratic and Republican nominations for the President, the Democratic Caucus is far more interesting as Donald Trump got 97! percent of the Republican caucus vote, whereas the Democrats had a close race between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. With 97% of the precincts in Bernie Sanders still has the popular vote sown up but Pete has the slight edge on pledged delegates, more on how that works later. Then Tuesday night Donald Trump gave his final State of the Union Address for this term before Wednesday saw Trump acquitted of both impeachment charges.

So the Iowa caucus, particularly on the Democratic side, turned into an unmitigated farce as results did not come out for the first 19 hours after the ballot was finished due to an error in an online company outsourced to produce the result. When the results did finally came out it showed a Bernie Sanders lead amongst the popular vote and Pete Buttigieg leading amongst the pledged delegate vote. The reason for the disparity is that Bernie Sanders ran up the score in bigger polling booths while Pete was more consistent statewide and the delegates method rewards consistency right through the state much like the Electoral College does. The other shock of the night was that Joe Biden the former Vice President only finished fourth in the results falling behind Elizabeth Warren in the nearly final results. That is a significant result because there’s a rule of thumb that only the top 3 Iowa result getters end up having a chance of winning the presidential nomination, that being said Iowa is a less diverse state and Joe Biden is polling better in the more diverse states, conversely, Pete Buttigieg has struggled polling wise in the more diverse states. It’s a very good night on the Republican side for Donald Trump who picked up 97% of the pledged delegates for the Iowa Caucus. Now attention moves to New Hampshire and per (1) the polls are once again pointing to a Bernie Sanders win much like they did in Iowa but Pete Buttigieg has gained in the polls to now be second with 19% and Joe Biden has dropped away to 12%. I think it’s early days but Iowa shows something real about the drop of support for Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders would be pretty happy with his first-up result.

Tuesday night saw President Donald Trump give his final State of the Union address in this term of government. The speech was definitely a pitch for re-election focussing heavily on the state of the economy and what he had done for defence and education as well as his form of health care. The speech also had its version of reality show added in with an Order of Freedom medal given to a Conservative Radio Shock jock who had the previous day announced he had lung cancer, a reunited wartime family and an honour badge given to a grade four student. I think the moment of the night and one of the rare bipartisan moments of the evening was when Donald Trump welcomed the Venezuelan member wishing to become president. (2) provides a good fact-checking account of Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and most of his speech is on the mark although some of the speech is inflated and there were some mistruths particularly on Health care. The Democratic Response to the speech was somewhat petty, many Democrats boycotted the speech and those that did attend came in white dress (the woman that is) and then Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of the state of the Union address. In a more formal response, the Democratic Michigan representative gave her response on the Democrats planning to do more on Infrastructure, Education and Health care. Overall I think it was a fairly good State of the Union address, in that focus on the President’s strong areas, the fact that the TV ratings declined from previous addresses suggests that people have either switched off from politics or have made their mind up on this president already.

On Wednesday after a five-month trial, Donald Trump was acquitted of both charges that he was charged with as grounds of impeachment. The votes were 52-48 on abuse of trial and 53-47 on obstruction of justice in favour of acquittal. In the end, despite rumours of Republicans and Democrats crossing the floor the vote went on near party lines with Mitt Romney crossing the floor to vote to impeach on the first charge and then voting not to impeach on the second charge. No Democrats voted to acquit the President despite some talk that some of the moderates would cross the floor. Mitt Romney, when asked about why he crossed the floor on the impeachment vote, said he was voting in a way he could be proud to tell his grandkids about. The Trump response to the acquittal was that he had done nothing wrong and that he would now return to doing the job of running the country. The Democratic Response was that Trump had done the wrong thing and the Republican Party had now normalised lawlessness. The Republican Senate response was that this process had been a circus and that while Trump had possibly done the wrong thing it did not rise to an impeachable offence. My view on the matter is that Trump probably did break the law but I’ve always believed that this was not going to pass the Senate and that with that being in mind the People should decide on the fate of Trump’s behaviour this coming November. To be quite frank if Trump manages to win re-election now despite the multiple bad things he has done this term in office then the American people deserve what they get! The president in the last few days has had a good stretch and now has his highest approval rating of 49%.

Thank you for reading my blog, stay tuned on the weekend for my review of the week in Australian Politics.

 

References

(1): https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/02/05/new-hampshire-primary-tracking-poll-bernie-sanders-pete-buttigieg-joe-biden/

(2): https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/04/politics/fact-check-trump-state-of-the-union-2020/index.html

Bridget McKenzie should go? and the latest on the Don’s Impeachment trial

It’s been fairly quiet on the political spectrum lately which is why I have gone on blog writing hiatus for a while but as January nears its end I thought it was worth writing a blog on one of the biggest summer stories as well as providing an update on the latest in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
So starting with the Bridget McKenzie affair and it dates back to when the now Deputy leader of the Nationals and Minister for Agriculture was the Sports Minister. It follows an auditor generals report into the alleged mishandling of $100 million in sports grants funding. The money included handing out funds disproportionately to marginal seats in Coalition seats including half a million dollars to an Adelaide Rugby Club for female changing rooms in a club that no longer had female sport. The other funding that caught the attention of the opposition and the media was an over 100K funding amount to a bowling club in the electorate of Mayo by the then candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer rather than the incumbent member Rebekha Sharkie which is the norm for giving out grants. Moreover according to (1) 70 percent of the second round of funding and 73 percent of the third round of funding was approved by Minister McKenzie without the recommendation of the sports funding affair. So what was the opposition’s response, well not surprisingly they have called for the Minister to resign calling the whole scheme a rort. What’s the government’s response, well they are thus far resisting the calls for McKenzie to go saying that more money went to Labor seats than Coalition seats (marginal ones that the Coalition were trying to win!) and that the law has not been broken because all of the projects that the money went to sports grants that were eligible ignoring the fact that there were several Labor seats that grants could have also gone to. Eventually the government did call a review by the Auditor General by Christian Porters Attorney General’s department after it was revealed that a 36K sporting fund was given to a shooting club that Bridget McKenzie was a member of that she did not declare. It is thought that when this report is returned if there is an adverse finding found by the Auditor General then Bridget McKenzie would resign. So why has the PM Scott Morrison not sacked Bridget McKenzie yet, I see a few obvious reasons. Firstly Bridget McKenzie is a National so the final decision of whether McKenzie stays or goes is up to the Nationals leader Michael McCormack. Secondly it would be hypocritical for Bridget McKenzie to be sacked after the government stood so steadfastly by Angus Taylor over his Clover Moore forged documents scandal. Lastly and I think most important politically, a sacked McKenzie would no longer provide support to an already weakened leader in McCormack and would possibly pave the way to a return to the front bench of Barnaby Joyce which would start the rumour mongering of Barnaby Joyce returning to the leadership again. So what do the public think, I think it’s lucky this has broken over the summer because the public are not as tuned into politics over the summer period, that being said an Essential Poll found 51% of people polled thought Bridget McKenzie should be stood down by the PM, which is higher than the amount who thought Angus Taylor should go, which is interesting given Angus Taylor is currently under police investigation. I’ll leave the last word to former Opposition leader John Hewson who hounded Ros Kelly into her resignation back in the 90’s. In an article penned in (2) who said this current scandal is worse as $30 million only was involved in the Ros Kelly affair back in 1994 whereas in this matter its $100 million in question.

Now onto Donald Trump and the impeachment trial in the Senate continues to roll on in earnest with most votes so far going on party grounds to avoid key witnesses having to give evidence to the trial. Friday USA time will be the crucial day of the trial as the Senate will vote on whether to call further witnesses to the trial including former National Security Advisor John Bolton. If the vote goes on party lines then that vote will be blocked and Trump will get an early acquittal, if some Republicans cross the floor and that has been flagged as a possibility then we may see some extra witnesses be called to the Impeachment trial. The main news of today comes from Republican’s turning the attack back on the Democrats saying that a friend of the Ukrainian Whistleblower now works for a Democratic Senator making him a compromised witness and there was also the revelation that Rudy Giuliani was not carrying out official business when he pressured the Ukrainians to investigate the Biden’s. So what do the public think about the impeachment process, well overall 51% of people according to (3) think the Impeachment process is a bad idea with the large amount of those people thinking that it’s distracting the Senate from more important issues. However that number is slightly misleading because it is largely split on partisan lines with 85 percent of Republican’s thinking it’s a bad idea whereas only 25% of Democrat’s think it’s a waste of the Senates time. Overall it could be a good couple of days for Trump as he could see the Republican’s unite behind him to acquit him from impeachment, Bernie Sanders could win the first caucus race in Iowa which would show the Democrats are lurching to the left and then he gets to give his State of the Union Address which usually results in a president getting a polling bump.
Thank you for reading my blog, my next blog will be in the next few days if Donald Trump is acquitted as expected and to wrap up the first Democratic Caucus vote in Iowa where Bernie Sanders looks set to win the first race.

References

(1): https://10daily.com.au/news/politics/a200122jrngf/whats-the-sports-rorts-scandal-and-why-does-it-matter-20200122

(2): https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-hounded-ros-kelly-until-she-resigned-but-bridget-mckenzie-s-sports-rorts-are-worse-20200129-p53vsa.html

(3): https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/half-of-americans-think-impeachment-is-a-bad-use-of-congresss-time/

Summary of UK Election 2019

And the Conservatives are back in power what a wonderful phrase as the Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch once famously said. Thursday UK Time saw UK voters from around England, Scotland, Ireland, North Ireland and Wales all went to the polls. The Exit Poll came out at 10 PM and it predicted a Conservative Majority of 86 seats with the Conservatives on 368 and Labour on 191 seats. Now you may ask why the Exit Poll is so relied upon as a poll when polls have been so wrong recently and the answer is because it goes around the country and survey’s people from all ends of the country to give a seat by seat prediction which tends to be about on the money. In the end, the Exit Poll was pretty close to right with the Conservatives winning 365 seats, Labour winning 203 seats and the SNP winning 48 seats. In this blog I will talk about the results for the country, some things that stand out from the results, some key seat changes and why the results occurred as they did. I will then discuss what next for the key Parties in the UK.

UK results
Party Conservative Labour Scottish National Party Liberal Democrat Democratic Unionist Party Others
Seats 365 203 48 11 8 15
Change +47 -59 +13 -1 -2 +2
Party % share
Conservative 43.6%
Labour 32.1%
Liberal Democrat 11.5%
Scottish National Party 3.9%
Green 2.7%
The Brexit Party 2.0%
  • Liberal Democrat+4.2Gained
  • The Brexit Party+2.0Gained
  • Conservative+1.2Gained
  • Green+1.1Gained
  • Scottish National Party+0.8Gained
  • Labour-7.9Lost
Final results for Scotland
How the parties' share changed in strong Leave and strong Remain areas.
BBC north of England election results map
Above are the results for the major parties in seats won and percentage of vote gained and also the change in vote share (1). I also included the seat results for Scotland in (2). (3) shows the results in Leave vs Remain seats and also working-class England which takes up the North of England. So as I said above the Conservatives ended up winning 365 seats which is a net gain of 47 seats from the last election when they fell short of the majority of 326 and had to govern with the Democratic Unionist Party in Minority government. The Conservatives 365 seats is the most seats they have won at an election since 1979 and the vote share of 43.6% is the highest vote share they have won since the 1975 election both numbers achieved by Margaret Thatcher arguably one of the greatest Conservative Leaders of the 20th Century. Labour finished with 203 seats which is their worst result since under Clement Attlee in 1935 and their vote share of 32.1% is their worst result since 2015 under Edward Miliband. The Liberal Democrats actually went backwards in numbers to 11 seats despite having a 4 percent higher vote. This is because in London they stole a large amount of Labour’s vote but not forming a grand coalition with Labour meant that the remain vote split and the Conservatives could just scrape by in London seats in a lot of cases. The Scottish National Party won 48 seats a gain of 13 seats although slightly short of the 55 seats that the exit poll predicted. This is not hugely surprising as Boris Johnson does not play well in Scotland and Labour’s Brexit position would not play well with Scottish voters who are strongly remain although 1 seat only is a horrid showing. The Liberal Democrats would have been hoping for a better result in Scotland with a remain platform and they lost one seat and gained one is not a good result. The Democratic Unionist Party lost 2 seats in Northern Ireland which is a bad night for them but reflects the fact that Ireland, on the whole, voted remain and they became a strong Leave Party on Brexit. The Brexit Party had a mixed night, 2% isn’t a terrible result given they weren’t standing in every seat but not a single seat win would disappoint them given the high standing of some of the candidates. The Greens also went forward in their vote share probably at the expense of Labour in the London seats where Climate Change and the Greens Brexit agenda would play well. I’ll go into more of what lost the election for Labour but I though two patterns from the election are clear. Firstly contrary to what some thought Labour didn’t just go backwards in strong Leave seats (seats which voted Leave by over 60%), they also went backwards in strong Remain seats too. The difference is where their vote went too, in Leave seats their vote went strongly to the Conservatives whereas in the Remain seats their vote went to the Liberal Democrats. You also have the working-class voter which is particularly strong in Northern England and the graphic I put in earlier shows just how strong of a night it was for the Conservatives there, the Conservatives picked up 28 seats from Labour in Northern England.

So what are some of the big results, well 2 leaders of UK Parties lost their seats? Jo Swinson lost her Scottish seat of Dunbartonshire East to the SNP Party meaning she quit as the Liberal Democrats leader, in Northern Ireland Nigel Dodds lost his seat of Northern Belfast. Labour lost a number of seats at this election and therefore lost a number of key seats namely the Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights Laura Pidcock who was in line for a promotion to Deputy Leader of the Labour Party if she had of won her seat, also lost was Denis Skinner who had been an MP since 1970 and would have become father of the House. Sedgefield is another famous seat loss for Labour in that it is the former seat of Tony Blair who was a former Prime Minister of the UK. It was not all good news for the Conservatives on the night though, Zac Goldsmith who was a former mayoral Candidate for London lost his seat of Richmond Park to the Liberal Democrats.

So what lost the election for Labour, I can see quite a few reasons for the election loss. The big factor for the election loss was Brexit, the Conservatives message of getting Brexit done really resonated with voters while the Labour message of a second referendum where Jeremy Corbyn would remain neutral on Brexit just didn’t wash with the voters. Another factor was Jeremy Corbyn and you can’t ignore the elephant in the room which was he had an approval rating of -40!!. Compare that with Boris Johnson who only had an approval rating of -12 and it’s a stark comparison in popularity. I think Labour’s slow to dealing with Antisemitism really played a part in the election campaign particularly when Jeremy Corbyn refused to apologise to a Jewish Priest for the Anti Semitism in the Labour movement. Another reason offered in (4) is the Manifesto which was seen in many quarters as being too expansive and not within cost balance, I mean what do working-class people care about free Broadband for instance when they are struggling to find a job. On the Economy, the Economy has improved since 2019 which would be a factor to some marginal voters who care solely about the Economy as opposed to more social issues.

So what next for the major parties. For the Conservatives, it is now onto the business of government which should theoretically be easier for them with a majority government. I think it was a smart strategic move for Boris Johnson to visit Northern England the day after the election as it is clear that is one of the key areas that swung behind the Conservatives. The first job for the Conservatives comes this week with the Queen’s speech where the Queen will set out the agenda for the next five years for the Labour Party. For Labour, they will now move into a period of reflection particularly with Jeremy Corbyn finally the day after announcing he would very shortly step aside from the leadership. That leaves Labour with the task of finding a new leader and candidates have already put their hand up like Rebecca Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy and Sir Keir Steimer who is the shadow Brexit Secretary and the bookies favourite for next Labour leader. Having another strong remain leader in Steimer would be an interesting tactic though given how Brexit was such a strong issue in the election. For the Liberal Democrats, they too need to find a leader and probably reflect on what role they want to play in UK Politics because the sight of Jo Swinson saying she was the next UK Prime Minister went down like a lead balloon. The Scottish Nationalist Party who is now the second-largest opposition party in the UK is invigorated by their very good election result. The obvious calls from the SNP now are for a second Independence vote on Scotland’s membership in the UK something that the Prime Minister has already rebuffed. They might not mind that in the short term though as they can fight the Scottish Elections due in a few years time on seeking a mandate for a second Independence Referendum then.

Thanks for reading my blog, we now hit a quiet point in Politics so I’m not sure when my next blog will be. Stay tuned for my next blog when it hits and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

References
(1): https://www.bbc.com/news/election/2019/results