The following is a conversation that may or may not have happened over social media last night following the Survation poll that put UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems.
Person 1: Lib Dems down 4% again. They get what they fucking deserve.
Person 2: Eh?
Person 1: Lying about tuition fees. The sooner they become extinct the better.
Person 2: So you are happy with the poll?
Person 1: Fuck yes.
Person 2: But you’ve received plenty of racist abuse over the years and you are rejoicing that UKIP are polling above the Lib Dems.
Person 1: No, I’m happy the Lib Dems are down because why anyone votes for them when they lied about raising tuition fees is beyond me.
Person 2: But the poll shows there is more support for a party I know you think is populated by racists and xenophobes but that isn’t important to you?
Person 1: It is but I hate the Lib Dems.
Person 2: You also hate Brexit.
Person 1: And?
Person 2: UKIP are pretty much the reason Brexit is happening. Oh and the fact it was a plan for David Cameron to quell his backbenchers followed by Jeremy Corbyn refusing to really put his whole muster behind the Remain campaign.
Person 1: Jeremy Corbyn can’t be blamed for any of this. He said he wanted to Remain on The Last Leg.
Person 2: Yeah it wasn’t exactly a wholehearted endorsement was it?
Person 1: If he said it then he meant it.
Person 2: Didn’t he say he was behind Remaining in the European Union like 7 or 8 out of ten or something like that?
Person 1: Good enough for me.
Person 2: Why didn’t he campaign with the other party leaders on it then?
Person 1: Jeremy is his own man and does things how he wants.
Person 2: Really…?
Person 1: Yes.
Person 2: Has Jeremy ever done anything wrong in your eyes?
Person 1: He speaks for me and everyone who cares about others and not capitalist ideals.
Person 2: What did you make of Ed Miliband’s Labour leadership?
Person 1: He lost. He was a loser. Just like Brown and Blair before him.
Person 2: Blair won three landslides.
Person 1: Only because the Tories were so shit. No-one voted for him just against the Tories.
Person 2: Did Jeremy win the 2017 General Election then?
Person 1: Yes.
Person 2: No he didn’t.
Person 1: He did better than everyone expected and that is the important thing.
Person 2: No it isn’t. Surely actually you know, winning and being able to implement his policies and manifesto is the most important thing?
Person 1: That is what people like you always say, winning is secondary to doing the right thing.
Person 2: Surely in politics, if you don’t win then you can’t do anything that your supporters actually voted for?
Person 1: He is holding the government to account.
Person 2: Do you actually believe anything you’ve said in this conversation?
Person 1: Of course. All of it.
Person 2: So you are still happy the Lib Dems are below UKIP in that one poll?
Person 1: The sooner the Lib Dems die, the sooner more people will vote for Jeremy Corbyn.
Person 2: That isn’t strictly true now is it?
Person 1: Yes, they wouldn’t vote for the Tories and the Greens are nothing.
Person 2: Did you not see the 2015 General Election?
Person 1: I did.
Person 2: And the way all those Tory/Lib Dem seats went Tory. Even places with like a 20,000 Tory majority went blue. So all those people who had voted Lib Dem before didn’t suddenly all vote for Labour then did they?
Person 1: That was Ed Miliband though.
Person 2: So under Jeremy Corbyn that wouldn’t have happened?
Person 1: No.
Person 2: So why didn’t all those seats suddenly turn red in 2017?
Person 1: Change takes time. Jeremy is building momentum and soon everyone will see that he’s the future. The Tories are the past and the sooner the Lib Dems die or become completely irrelevant the better.
Person 2: So let me get this straight. You hate Brexit. You hate the Tories. You hate UKIP but most of all, the top of your list is hatred of the Lib Dems over tuition fees.
Person 1: I suppose when you put it like that no.
Person 2: Then why rejoice the fact UKIP climbed above them in that poll?
Person 1: Because they lied and I can’t forgive them.
The mind boggles. I still think the Lib Dems biggest problem isn’t tuition fees per se but more the fact that many people feel like a jilted lover. They feel for Nick Clegg and his hopes of doing things a third way but when it came to the parliamentary maths, the only plausible way to provide a stable government was to form the Con/LD coalition. That isn’t what people voted and when he couldn’t honour all his manifesto (with particular reference to that one bit) then that was enough.
Voting isn’t about reason anymore. It is about emotion. Few people actually look at the candidates they are going to have on their ballot. Few look at the manifestos in full. What is en vogue is going to the ballot box and have a feeling, whether they is voting for somebody or indeed voting against somebody.
To get people to go out and vote you need to give them that emotional reason to do so. A million more people did that for the Lib Dems in 2010 than they had done five years previously. Hope was in the air but a lot of people these days want everything or nothing. Small steps of progress is not enough. This is why Jeremy Corbyn does well up to his limit. People feel that he has the power to change everything in one foul swoop and until he has a semblance of power to actually do so, he can talk the good game and doesn’t need to back it up.
In American Football the most popular player on a bad team is always the backup Quarterback because they provide hope that things can get better. Until they get their chance then they don’t have to prove it and that is exactly how it is with JC at the moment. He can promise the Earth and a socialist revolution but until he gets his chance, people will always believe he can do it all.
Logically the Lib Dems should be recovering. The majority of people seem to back a second vote based on the outcome of the Brexit Deal, which is the key issue facing the country today. Most of the big names tainted with the coalition are gone. In most of their key areas they are Tory facing and they are in absolute disarray. Labour aren’t doing too much better on that front. Yet when it comes to actually voting, people vote with their hearts and not their heads and that stench of betrayal isn’t leaving the Lib Dems anytime soon. It is tough but when you are a Labour Remain voter but prefer UKIP to the Lib Dems, that says an awful lot about where people’s heads are at…
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