Express & Star comment: Loss of confidence brings dim view of politics
If you wonder which politicians will win the general election, our survey of readers has already given the answer.
None will. They are all losers. They have collectively lost the trust and confidence of voters.
As the electorate goes to the polls next month, it will not be voting for the best set of politicians to lead the country, but for the least worst in a bad bunch.
They are incapable of giving an uplifting vision for the country because even when they do mouth the words, nobody believes them.
The upshot of that is that our survey shows an undercurrent of pessimism for the future of the nation and for those who are leading us.
In answer to the question of whether British politicians are doing a good job, the percentage of respondents who think they are is in low single figures.
These days people easily slip into the language of crisis and emergency, such as in the cases of climate change and the need for new housing, but here is a crisis at the heart of our democracy.
Those people who represent the people are perceived to have let them down, big time.
Our survey will make easier reading for Boris Johnson than Jeremy Corbyn.
Boris is perceived to be by far the more fitting of the two to be Prime Minister.
If this turns out to be the verdict of the country next month, then it will pose an awkward question for Labour, which is fighting the campaign on its most radical manifesto, clearly shaped by the Corbyn-McDonnell axis, for years.
There will be much recrimination about its all-things-to-all-people Brexit policy, which appears to have failed to hit the mark, with around a quarter of voters, as shown in our poll, not even understanding what the policy is in the first place.
But remember, Labour does not have to win, to win.
Indeed, Brexiteer cynics might say that the lesson of the 2016 referendum is that losing is the new winning.
Take a core of Labour MPs, stir in the SNP, add a sprinkling of Lib Dems, and you’ve got an oven-ready coalition, although it would be called an informal working agreement or something like that because of sensibilities in relation to that c-word.
It’s the sort of scenario to get them breaking out in cold sweats at Conservative Party headquarters.
Only one result will do for Boris Johnson – one in which he gains an overall majority, and from his point of view ideally one in which Labour suffers a decisive electoral rejection which demonstrates that its sharp turn left has taken it down a political blind alley.
General elections are usually political campaigns fought on many different fronts.
Yet in our survey, Brexit even comes ahead of both the NHS and the economy in voters’ priorities.
To Leavers and to Remainers alike, the Brexit issue is crucial.
However much a weary country would like to move on, the numbers in the last Parliament made that impossible.
The worst result of all in the current circumstances would be a general election that changes nothing – a vote that is in effect a waste of time, allowing the deadlock and the agony to continue unabated.
Then we’ll all lose.