#GE2017: Experts puzzled by ‘first party’ effect

YQoXTr6.pngThe last few years have seen huge shifts in world politics, with some established parties (the French Parti Socialiste, PASOK in Greece) more or less disappearing overnight and new contenders coming into play as the voting public tire of the same old establishment names and faces. In the upcoming UK General Election even seasoned observers have been astonished to witness the seemingly unstoppable rise in the polls of a brand-new political force. The party is known as the Conservative Party, and is led by Theresa May, which also happens to be the name (and the person) of the current Prime Minister.

Throughout the country people disillusioned with years of austerity, with cuts to public services devastating areas already reeling from deindustrialisation and underinvestment, are preparing to deliver a huge blow to the government, by voting for it.

“I’m particularly angry about what’s been done in my area to local schools”, says John Blobb from Exeter. “It’s almost impossible to find a place for my child, and it’s all due to the mess successive Conservative ministers have made of the education system. Plus in this next Parliament, if the Tories get a clear majority, it’ll be the final solution for the NHS, full-on privatisation. It’s terrifying. And I cannot f*cking stand the way that woman speaks. She’s like this horrendous mix of cruelty and insincerity, and it all comes out in that truly awful, unbearable voice of hers. That’s why I’m definitely going to vote Conservative”.

Amanda Mardy, from Sunderland, is voting Conservative “because I’ve been sanctioned four times by the jobcentre, and twice it was only because the public transport is so bad I couldn’t get to my appointment on time. I’ve barely got enough food to last me til the weekend, then that’s it. I’ll have to beg, or punch a policeman just so I can get a bed and some food. I think my case proves conclusively that Theresa May is doing an excellent job”.

Sunjit Sahil, from Manchester, is horrified by the level and tone of racist abuse he and members of his family have suffered over the last few months. “I blame the Government for stoking up division in the wake of Brexit. It’s a classic case of divide-and-rule. My nephew was actually called a ‘paki’, by a bus driver, in 2017 for god’s sake! I’m scared about what kind of environment my kids will have to grow up in. I’ll definitely be voting for the Conservative Party to express how angry I am at the Conservative Government.”

Jimmy Chonk is a lifelong animal rights activist who spends his weekends trying to sabotage fox hunts in Berkshire. He’ll be voting Conservative “because someone has to do something to protect foxes”. He also says that the Government’s treatment of child refugees and its “horrifying complacency” with regard to Climate Change has “disgusted” him to the point where he’s “definitely” going to vote for it.

Sandra Scallop of Portmerion was inspired to vote Conservative by the Ken Loach film ‘I, Daniel Blake’. “When I saw that film I was in floods of tears. Just the thought that in this day and age so many people are treated in such a callous way, and it’s getting worse. Thinking about it now makes me so angry I feel physically sick, any one of us could have an accident or get ill and end up in such a situation. People like Theresa May can afford expensive private insurance, they don’t have to worry about such things and they simply do not care about the fate of ordinary people, they’ve probably all got shares in companies which profit from people’s misfortune! And don’t get me started on bloody fracking! In five years’ time we’re probably going to be living in a permanent bloody earthquake zone, with fire pouring out of the kitchen taps. I don’t know the name of my local Conservative MP, but I’m definitely going to vote for him or her”.

Seasoned psephologists are struggling to explain the phenomenon. “We’re used to seeing a third-party protest vote, particularly in by-elections.”, says James Lee Curtice of Essex University. “It’s common to vote out of anger against the Government. This is the first time in my career that I’ve seen what we might call a ‘first party effect’. There is some evidence that the British electorate are responding to what we call the ‘man with beard’ effect in reaction to Jeremy Corbyn. There’s also a very strong chance that large sections of the British electorate are absolute fucking idiots. We really, definitely can’t rule that last possibility out.”

“Vote Conservative”, he added.

 

2 thoughts on “#GE2017: Experts puzzled by ‘first party’ effect

    1. Wow, I think that’s the most straightforward, trenchant and cogent analysis I’ve read about this election. If yiu factor in the things that Carol Cadwalladr’s been finding out about individual targetting of voters it all gets very dismal indeed and certainly explains why my made-up voters are so keen to vote Tory against their own interests. Thanks!

      Like

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