April 20, 2017

French and British election #schadenfreude hopes

Prime Minister Theresa May
Now that Jeremy Corbin has once again (shock me) not listened to people inside his own party and British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election has been approved by Parliament,* it's time for some schadenfreude!

* In case you're wondering, as was I, the "Fixed-Term Parliaments Act" was passed in 2011; it was sponsored by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and was one of the stipulations to enter coalition with David Cameron and his Tories. Conservatives plus Labour had more than a two-thirds majority in the Commons, preventing the Lib Dems or Scottish Nationalists from playing spoiler on the dissolution vote.

OK, on to our schadenfreude, British division.

The most fun would be if the SNP mops up all remaining votes in Scotland whilst (hey, we're writing about British elections, so, British English!) the Lib Dems have a surge big enough to knock the Tories off the majority and also to ding Labour at the same time.

The LDP says it already has at least 400 candidates lined up. Obviously, it's not taken May at her word.

That said, LDP leader Tim Farron is a nutter. (Still British English!) Specifically, a nutter enough to think the European Union will agree to a "soft Brexit" if he's in No. 10 Downing.

To quote US President George H.W. Bush, as portrayed by Dana Carvey? Not. Gonna. Happen.

That said, if Farron can sell enough others into thinking it will happen, the LDP might just win enough seats to knock May off her slim five-seat majority. Per Wiki, here's the current makeup of the Commons; see also graphic at left.

Let's say Farron gets 30 new seats, a net plus-8 from the Tories and a net plus-22 from Labour.

That means May has to coalition with somebody, which undercuts why she called the election.

What next?

First, May gets bounced as party leader. That's obvious. Second, the Tories scramble to find a "soft Brexiter" as new party leader.

Third, a loss of 22 seats should be enough for the Labour central committee to finally turf Jeremy Corbin as its party leader, no matter the degree of his hard-line union support. "Should be" is not "will," though.

Odds? Oh, about 40 percent, if I were a British punter.

Let me give you option B.

Ferron gets 40 new seats, but its plus 30 from the Tories and plus 10 from Labour. Labour loses all remaining seats in Scotland to the SNP. At the same time, it gains enough elsewhere, laughable as that sounds, to help the LDP knock Labour 35 seats short of a majority.

Now, the Tories need a third coalition partner along with the Lib Dems. Or else, Labour needs everybody but the Tories.

If you're British, or a good American Brit-watcher, you know neither happens.

Hung parliament.

Odds? Oh, about 2 percent, if I were a British punter.


That was schadenfreude No. 1.

Marine Le Pen
Off across the Channel to No. 2 — Saturday's French presidential election.

This could be even more fun.

This one is looking bunched ever and ever tighter. And here would be the most fun.

The top two emerge as Marlez-vous Francais and ...

Jean-Luc Mélenchon!

Quelle horreur, to parlez-vous Francais!

A far-right nationalist vs. a Communist!

That said, in reality, Mélenchon is more a Socialist than a Communist, or at least, what Americans think Communists are. But, versus former Socialist, and fake socialist investment banker Emmanuel Macron, and even versus actual Socialist Party member Benoît Hamon, he's a real far-left Socialist.

National Front was doused in the second round in 2002 after making the cutoff, and fell short in both 2007 and 2012, so a dead dog could probably beat her in Round 2 if she makes it. Still, the contrast would be fun; and it would be

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