Tuesday, July 19, 2022

We stand on the brink of a glorious new Elizabethan age as Scots come together in unison to say...IN LIZ WE TRUSS

Result of today's ballot:

Rishi Sunak 118
Penny Mordaunt 92
Liz Truss 86
Kemi Badenoch 59

There have been a number of unexpected twists in this race - including today, with it being very hard to understand how the redispersal of Tom Tugendhat's votes led to the gap between Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss somehow narrowing further.  So perhaps I shouldn't say anything with too much certainty, but it's now very hard to see how Mordaunt isn't going to be overtaken by Truss tomorrow, thus eliminating her from the contest.  It's probably true that Badenoch's support was a more complex coalition than it's generally been portrayed as, so her votes won't go uniformly to Truss, but they don't have to - Truss just needs the lion's share, and she'll probably get that. 

In theory, Sunak could save Mordaunt's bacon by 'lending' her some votes if he calculates that she's now a more beatable candidate in the run-off than Truss.  We've seen shenanigans of that sort in past Tory leadership contests (most notably in 2001 to squeeze out Michael Portillo), but it's a dangerous game to play.

If, as is now generally expected, the run-off is Sunak v Truss, the polling currently suggests Truss will win with a bit to spare.  It's tempting to assume Tory members would come to their senses over the course of the campaign and realise that Sunak is the more voter-friendly candidate, but they didn't come to their senses about Iain Duncan Smith in similar circumstances two decades ago.  A Truss premiership would be the ideal outcome for the Scottish independence movement - I don't think we could ever have dreamed that the Tories would follow up Boris Johnson with someone equally as perfect.

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  1. One fly in the ointment is that Truss seemed intent on getting us all killed by encouraging mercenaries to go to Ukraine and other such lunacy. Truss isn’t just a danger to the Union she’s a danger to humanity.

  2. I concur with your comments James and note that the leader of the Team Truss campaign is nonother than one Iain Duncan Smith.Oh the glorious irony of it all......

  3. Could a victory for Truss potentially turn out to be a bad thing for the Scottish independence movement? I don’t see how Truss can possibly win a general election, and if enough of Scotland thinks the same then a not-so-insignificant chunk of soft Yes voters may be swayed to vote for Labour in the 2024 election (whereas those same voters may instead vote for the pro-independence party if another 5 years of Tory rule seems likely).

    Of course, it shouldn’t make any difference which party is in power — the reasons for Scotland being independent are just as valid regardless of the governing party — but it does seem to factor into some people’s decision-making.

    1. I'd say the opposite is the case. If it looks like Labour are going to win anyway, people may judge it "safe" to vote for a pro-independence party. That's less likely to be the case if it looks like a tight contest at UK level.

      Though this is all pretty irrelevant under FPTP anyway. In virtually* every seat in Scotland where the Tories have a chance, it's the SNP who are best placed to stop them, not Labour.

      *Perhaps this is actually true in every seat? Are there any Tory-Labour contests left in Scotland?

    2. Labour can't win in England now the Tory media have seen to that

  4. Please let Truss become Dross's boss. The UK is coming to an end anyway so we might as well dissolve it to the sound of laughter.

  5. While I hope you're right, the Boris premiership didn't really move the dial much in Yes's favour, so I'm not sure how a Truss one would do so. She strikes me as less of an outright liar than BJ, so she might even shore up No's support a little. Also I'm not sure to what extent relatively short-duration events (like the length of office of a PM) alter the Yes / No split - it strikes me that that's driven by slower and longer-term effects rather than short-term ones.

    1. "the Boris premiership didn't really move the dial much in Yes's favour, so I'm not sure how a Truss one would do so"

      My eyes roll to the heavens whenever anyone says that. Under Boris, Yes hit record highs in the polls - that's unlikely to have been a coincidence. You'd certainly have noticed the difference if there had been a moderate, competent, likeable leader in Number 10 - the Yes vote can go down as well as up, remember.

  6. Seems we will find out the truss effect soon enough. While an egregious tory government in westminster must surely help the independence movement I really don’t want to become independent ‘because Scotland does not like Tories’.
    I’d rather be in an independent Scotland run by Scottish tories than be run from westminster.
    We have to want independence - not regime change.