Monday, July 15, 2024
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If Reform can do this in just four weeks, Starmer faces five years of fear


REFORM’S four-seat win belies the political earthquake that Nigel Farage has just triggered and the fighting start his party has got off to in its Battle for Britain. 

The 4million votes it won – 14 per cent of the share – needs to be compared not just with the Lib Dems’ 12 per cent and 3.5million votes (which delivered them 71 seats and is indeed scandalous) but with Labour’s paltry 9.65million votes and 34 per cent share and the Conservatives’ even weaker 24 per cent on 6.77million votes.

Labour for all its time in opposition to organise and its long history as a party managed little more than double Reform’s vote. The Conservatives were not even 3million votes ahead.

Undoubtedly PR would have delivered a different outcome as James Melville showed us on X this morning.  Reform would have 93 new MPs.

It is certainly a broken electoral system that can produce such a startlingly unfair and unrepresentative result. 

But the way the cards landed cannot hide the fact of this extraordinary swing to Reform, which was not just on the back of disenchanted Tory voters. In just four weeks it stormed to second place in 100 seats, many of which were Labour strongholds. This was on the back of next to no financial support or party organisation or back-up at all for many of the candidates; on the back of an 11th-hour decision by Nigel Farage to take the helm – all in face of a predictably hostile and ‘silencing’ media.  

Take TCW’s very own Paddy Benham-Crosswell and his amazing (6,000 votes-plus) second place in Swansea West, a Labour heartland. He was out there with no ‘party support’ behind his campaign, up against a brutal Labour Party machine out in force. But when he fights this seat again in five years (or sooner – who knows?) he will have an organised army working for him to bring him home.

The MSM, in all this, did their level best to pretend that Reform did not exist and when they did to smear the party as racist (again). One wonders what the result would have been if Channel 4 had not conspired to discredit him (as is alleged and certainly appears to be the case). One wonders what would have happened if Ofcom had announced they were investigating this election interference. One wonders what would have happened if, from the start of the polling data indicating 15 per cent support for Reform, Ofcom had not limited Reform to  eight per cent of election airtime. One wonders what would have happened if the polling companies had not chosen to disguise Reform’s poll support in ‘Other’. One wonders what would have happened if the BBC was not venomously biased against Mr Farage as a person. And if Google Ads had not censored him.

Despite that cliff-face of censorship and misinformation the party’s 14 per cent share and 4 million votes must have been the biggest and fastest swing in British electoral history. Talk about a testament to the saying that a week is a long time in politics. In this case just four. Nigel’s brilliance broke through thanks to social media and TikTok. His Eminem singalong Guess who’s back was genius, whoever he had to thank for that. 

For all its seats no one can say Labour won a mandate from the country with a miserable 9.65million votes in a country with an adult population of over 40million, only 56 percent of whom bothered to turn out they are so disenchanted with the establishment parties. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Starmer, whose doubled seats came on fewer votes than Corbyn won in 2019. He’s now snapping at Keir’s heels as an Independent. We will be on ‘Labour Watch’ from next week, not bothering too much with Tory death throes. 

Almost inevitably the Conservatives will ‘double down’ again, and think swinging left is the answer, getting rid of their imaginary hard-right element – the direction taken ever since John Major’s dire Maastricht decision. They have yet to get – if they ever will – that what they believe to be ‘extreme’ policies are in fact ‘wholesomely mainstream’, as Douglas Murray put it today. Even more important, that this is the prevailing wind blowing across Europe.

Keir Starmer is going to find himself puffing against this real wind of change with his plans to bring Britain closer to the moribund and anti-democratic EU.

Yes that wind of change is with Farage – and all across Europe. It can no longer be discredited as far-right – it is the new mainstream. In France that banner is being flown by Jordan Bardella, the 29-year-old from Le Penn’s NR party who is soon to become France’s PM. In the UK we have the young Zia Yusuf, who has joined Farage to fly the flag for Reform. These will be the people to whom the disenchanted young will turn for hope.

Nigel’s message sent out to his supporters sums up that hope:

‘In four remarkable weeks, we have won millions of votes from people who want real change and got Reform UK MPs into Parliament for the first time. And this is just the beginning.

‘Of course, the UK’s broken electoral system means that we have far fewer MPs than our votes deserve. But we are committed to being the real opposition in parliament, holding Keir Starmer’s Labour government to account over its plans to open Britain’s borders to even more immigration, and its plot to betray Brexit by taking the knee to the EU.

‘Outside the Westminster bubble, I am serious about building a mass popular movement for real change over the next few years. Millions like you have shown that they believe in Reform UK, because we believe in Britain. Now we need your support to help us take the next big step and get this party ready for government in 2029.

‘Together we can change Britain for good.’ 

I believe he is right and that we can.  

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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