Category: General Election 2019

At the time of publishing this (6.00am), Boris Johnson will command a very comfortable majority in the House of Commons. Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist agenda and dithering over Brexit has cost his party seats and influence in parliament. He will also stand down as leader. The Lib Dems fell flat with a campaign that was too much focused on Jo Swinson. She lost her seat by just 149 votes. The Greens kept their one seat. The Brexit party proved to be a figment of Nigel Farage’s imagination. A new vote on Scottish independence looks to be on the cards after Nicola Sturgeon strengthened the SNP’s dominance in Scotland. Over the border in Wales, the Conservatives gained seats at the expense of Labour. The political geography of our country has changed. Outside Scotland, we live in a more illiberal country. All hopes of electoral reform for the voting system and the Lords are once again as dead as a dodo. The two party system survived both in parliament and in media coverage. We now are aboard a runaway train hurtling towards Brexit. Only time will tell if we are heading towards a train crash for our economy, society and the future of…

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Congratulations to Philip Dunne on being elected MP for Ludlow for the fourth time. He has now been MP since 2005. He has a vote share of 64%, up just 1% on 2017, and commands a 23,648 majority. Heather Kidd increased the Lib Dem vote share by 6%. Labour’s vote dropped by 9% coming third after parachuting Kuldip Sahota in as a last minute candidate. Hilary Wendt achieved a small increase for the Greens. Shrewsbury & Atcham, Shropshire North, Wrekin and Telford were returned for the Conservatives.

Was this the craziest election of our lifetime?

10pm, 12 December. It’s all over bar the counting. It was an election where we heard of plonkers. Joshing. Post stratification. An election where blocks of ice made more of a contribution to the climate emergency debate than most politicians. An election where children lay on the floor. There were false facts. False fact checkers. Tony Blair unbelievably accused parties of peddling fantasies. We didn’t see much of Jacob Rees Mogg. Lifelong Tories recommended voting against the Conservatives. This article is not about political parties and policies. It’s about political antics. Things that have caught my attention.

Lib Dem MPs more helpful to constituents than the Tories has published a People Power Index measuring how responsive MPs were to their constituents during the 2017-19 session. The rankings put Daniel Kawczynski, who was MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, close to the bottom. Mark Pritchard, who represented the Wrekin, is even worse. Philip Dunne, Ludlow, is more than halfway down the rankings though very close to the mediocre average for the Tories. Lucy Allen in Telford scores highest for Shropshire’s five MPs during. Looking at the parties standing in Shropshire, the Lib Dems top the People Power Index for responsiveness (though beaten by Caroline Lucas, the sole Green MP). Labour comes second. The Tories a miserable third.

Election: Lib Dems will end rough sleeping, give a better deal for social and private renters and build more homes

We need to build 300,000 homes per year just to meet current demand but we are barely building half that amount. There are not enough homes for social rent to meet demand.  That means people are struggling to afford good homes where they need to live. Any hope of owning a home is remote for too many people. They often must rely on the private rental market which is expensive and insecure. The crisis in social housing has been depleted by the loss of stock under Right to Buy. Decisions on Right to Buy will be devolved to councils. Social tenants will own their homes after 30 years under the Rent to Own scheme. Private tenants will benefit from a Help to Rent scheme. Liberal Democrats will build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year and ensure that total housebuilding increases to 300,000 each year. Rough sleeping will end within five years and the Vagrancy Act scrapped.

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