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Why Reform UK Should Do A Deal With the Conservatives

Westminster with Unhion Jack

I agree with Richard Tice that the Conservatives must be ejected unceremoniously from office at the next General Election in justified retribution for their disastrous mismanagement of the country and their betrayal of all those who voted for them in 2019. However, there is much to be gained for Reform from the current situation and, most importantly, for the country as a whole in Reform negotiating an electoral pact with the Conservatives. This is where I disagree with Richard Tice.

There are a number of interconnected issues:

FIRSTLY, the opinion polls are all consistently showing Labour about 20 points ahead of the Conservatives in voting intentions. If this is translated into votes at the next General Election Labour could have about 400 seats with the Conservatives reduced to a rump of about 100 seats. This would be a disaster for our Parliamentary system which depends on a viable Opposition to hold the government to account.

Some years ago renowned jurist and former Conservative Cabinet Minister and Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham memorably referred to this sort of scenario as “elective dictatorship”. His arguments warning against it then are every bit as valid as they ever were.

SECONDLY, such a huge Labour majority would inevitably involve new M.P.’s being elected who have little or no world experience of ever having had a “proper job” and, more worrying, are from the extreme left of the Party.

Momentum “hasn’t gone away you know”. They’ve just kept their heads down. With a weak Parliamentary opposition the dross of the looney left and class warriors such as Angela Rayner would have a field day, and who will control them – Starmer?

THIRDLY, even if the current poll ratings for Reform are translated into votes the Party will not win any seats. Saying this isn’t being defeatist. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it’s being realistic in that our “first past the post” electoral system for general elections militates against Reform because their potential votes are spread throughout the country as a whole and, unlike the Lib Dems, are not concentrated in particular geographic areas such as the south-west and south-east of England.

The Lib Dems will probably poll less nationally than Reform, but they will win some seats. If Reform takes 15% of the vote and wins no seats this will clearly be an affront to democracy and would be the basis for a campaign for electoral reform and the introduction of some form of proportional representation as already exists for the devolved assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Support in this endeavour would likely come from the Lib Dems and Greens.

Proportional representation must be the future route to power for Reform where like-minded voters, whether traditional Conservatives or traditional Labour, will find a home. I’m convinced that hitherto traditional Labour voters, not only in the Red Wall, will vote for Reform because they, for the most part, a fiercely patriotic and will support Reform’s policies on Brexit, immigration, net zero, defence, anti-woke common sense, etc. A good example of such a voter is Lee Anderson whose grounded common sense and no-nonsense patriotism is rooted in a Labour upbringing but has found its spiritual home in Reform.

FOURTHLY, Reform should seize the opportunity presented by the implosion of the Conservatives
to convert their vote share into seats. It seems clear that the Conservatives will get hammered in the Red Wall seats so there is not much point in them fielding candidates who’ll be humiliated and lose their deposit, but they will.
Reform should propose that the Conservatives stand down in all the Red Wall seats and give Reform a clear run against Labour. In addition, they should also stand down in favour of Reform in those Labour-held seats where they, the Conservatives, have no chance of winning. In return, Reform should stand down in those seats where a split conservative vote will hand victory to Labour.

The Red Wall voted for the Conservatives in 2019 because they supported their polices of “getting Brexit done” and control of immigration. Whilst Brexit has been done it’s been done badly and the Conservatives have failed lamentably to use the new-found freedoms to best advantage. It’s almost as if the pro-Remain wing of the Party, the so-called “One Nation” group of wets, allied with the pro-Remain civil service have conspired to hobble the Brexit horse and have produced BRINO (Brexit In Name Only). Their long term aim is for us to rejoin the EU.

The Conservatives’ active deception of the British people with regard to legal immigration is a disgracefully cynical exercise in arrogant contempt of the voters who put them in power. Their failure to also effectively tackle illegal immigration is a disgrace of a different kind – the disgrace of complete incompetence.

IN CONCLUSION, the reasons why Reform should do a deal with the Conservatives can be summarised as follows:

1. It would give an opportunity for Reform to win some seats at the next General Election and thereby achieve a national profile to promote its policies from within Parliament.

2. It would give Reform a toe-hold in Parliament from which it could argue together with the Lib Dems and the Greens for electoral reform and the introduction of some form of Proportional Representation. This would significantly increase Reform’s seat count at the next-but-one General Election.

3. It could help to reduce the size of the putative Labour landslide and give Reform a role in Parliament in holding the new Labour government to account. It’s very important for the well-being of the country as a whole that Labour isn’t left in a position of “elective dictatorship”.

I think a deal with the Conservatives (if they’ll play ball) is right for Reform and right for the country. Whilst I share Richard Tice’s anger at the Conservatives betrayal of the electorate who put them in office we should nevertheless take whatever advantage we can from their current disarray.

If Reform can establish itself in Parliament it will go from strength to strength and, through PR, could well become a party of government.

Following Lee Anderson’s defection to Reform I would hope that discussions are under way with other disillusioned Red Wall Conservative M.P.’s to make the switch BEFORE the General Election is called. Reform will stand a much greater chance of retaining these seats from a position of possession, even if the Conservatives won’t do a deal.