The Prime Minister didn’t expect it to turn out this way when she called her snap election in April. The campaign was meant to deliver her a majority of 100+ so that she could go and sock it to those arrogant Europeans.

In fact, there has been very little discussion about what sort of deal we might get from the EU negotiations. We can’t get past the slogans of hard and soft Brexit. That’s deliberate as Mrs May wants to go off for two years negotiating with little challenge from a parliament with a thumping Tory majority. Her speech in the North East on Thursday, specifically on Brexit, clarified little.

Unfortunately for her other issues have intruded into the campaign. Tragically terrorism and security came to the fore after the Manchester outrage, but also the future funding of social care. She came a cropper on this issue and there seems to be a lot of support for a general sharing of the cost of care above £72,000.

Then there’s Jeremy Corbyn who has campaigned well with policies that are individually popular. Also, bullying questions from Jeremy Paxman and daily vilification in the Tory press have provoked a closing of the polls.

All that said I think wider truths will bring a Conservative majority of around 50 next Thursday. Labour cannot be serious in asking the British people to elect as Prime Minister a man with an ambiguous attitude to IRA terrorism. Also, nobody believes Jeremy Corbyn would ever launch our nuclear weapons. He has very honourable feelings about the issue, but the whole concept of deterrence would be undermined with Corbyn in No 10. Personally disorganised, he does not have a credible team of Shadow Ministers around him to form a government.

Perhaps reluctantly the British people will elect Theresa May hoping that she can display the strong and stable qualities that she has not projected during this campaign


So, which seats should we be watching out for in Downtown areas of the North? The gloomiest of Labour insiders think any seat with less than a 10,000 majority is potentially vulnerable to the Tories. Those would include Huddersfield (welcome back to the Premier League by the way), Leeds North East, Lancashire West and Ellesmere Port and Neston. In relation to the latter I have picked up strange rumours that Justin Madders with a six thousand majority could be in more trouble than Chris Matheson in neighbouring Chester on ninety-three.

If we come on to constituencies with a Labour majority of less than 5000 they include the popular Deputy Speaker of the Commons, Lyndsay Hoyle, in Chorley, Bolton North East which is being heavily targeted, Wakefield and Wirral South where Alison McGovern is putting up a determined fight.

Right in the front line is Chester which I have already mentioned. The city is on the up, symbolised by the recent opening of the brilliant Storyhouse theatre complex. The seat went against the trend of the Cameron victory in 2015. Could it possibly stay Labour this time? Nearby another constituency that went against the trend was Wirral West. The 417 Labour majority should be overwhelmed by the able and popular Tory candidate, Tony Caldeira.

Other seats held on slim majorities by Labour include Lancaster and Fleetwood. The incumbent, Cat Smith, is a big Corbyn supporter which certainly can’t be said of John Woodcock in Barrow. His leader’s views on nuclear weapons are toxic in the submarine building town which went Tory in 1983 when Michael Foot was in charge of Labour.

I had hoped the Lib Dems would do well with their promise of a second EU referendum. It appears they have been squeezed as people polarise between Labour and the Conservatives. This means the Lib Dems are unlikely to reclaim Burnley or Cheadle. Indeed, they look likely to lose Southport where they only have a 3% majority over the Conservatives and have been damaged by the decision of the long serving MP John Pugh to retire.


Might this happen on Thursday night?


It’s ten o’clock and the BBC predicts the Conservatives have won the General Election with a comfortable majority.


Jeremy Corbyn vows to fight on for socialism.


Tony Blair and Nick Clegg announce the launch of a new centre party for Britain.

Follow me @JimHancockUK







What effect will the triumph of the far left in Greece have on our General Election?


People across Europe are reacting to years of austerity and the failure of mainstream parties to offer fresh solutions. Greece is an extreme example of how the slump has crushed ordinary people. They have responded with a defiant cry against the attempts to make them obey the economic rules that we must all obey. Whilst some minor debt repayment restructuring might be possible, the fact remains that two things will save Greece. A productive economy and people paying their taxes. I fear the next phase in the Greek drama will be dangerous disillusionment amongst the Greek people when the Syriza politicians are unable to implement policies like hiring ten thousand public sector workers as they bump up against the rules of the Euro Zone and European Central Bank.


A far left party in Spain is mobilising to make big gains in its election later this year. With a much bigger economy than Greece, that could pose an even greater challenge to the European financial institutions.


Although the UK’s economy is on the mend there are plenty of signs that people are looking for alternatives. On the right there is UKIP, in Scotland the SNP, but the growth in membership of the Green Party could be highly significant. The Greens offer a much more fundamental challenge to the way society is organised with bold policies on energy and taxation. Initial attempts to keep them out of the election TV debates caused a backlash, and quite right too.


How will Labour respond if they detect a growing appetite for more radical solutions? Ed Miliband has been inching his party to the left but remains nervous about how it will play in those southern marginals. The issue of our Trident nuclear missiles remains a fascinating issue. I was in the Commons gallery recently where Labour’s spokesman on the issue, Vernon Coaker, pledged the party to approving the “main gate” decision on renewing the four boat fleet. But what if Labour has to do a deal with the anti nuclear SNP after May 7th? Is there really a majority of Labour MPs and activists prepared to stay out of office rather than scrap Trident? We could find that the arguments that beset the party during the leadership of Hugh Gaitskell in the 1960s would resurface.




Politicians sometimes defect on the grounds of principle, but often not. I remember a man called Peter Thurnham, the MP for the highly marginal seat of Bolton North East up to 1997. He tried for the safer prospect of Westmorland and when he wasn’t selected, suddenly discovered he was a Lib Dem.


Amjad Bashir, an MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber seems to have even more difficulty in defining his political principles. Following associations with Respect and UKIP he has now joined the Tories. UKIP say they were about to suspend him over various allegations connected to his business and political behaviour.


Have the Conservatives done due diligence on this man or are they just like all other parties in being unable to resist defectors to them, however unconvincing they are?