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The Tory Dilemma

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A friend points out to me that a Yougov UK poll indicates that Donald Trump’s approval rating among Tory voters in last week’s election was -65% (!) while among Reform voters it was +15%.

His analysis:

Reform voters want a party that’s scummier, meaner, more abrasive and vulgar. Tory voters don’t want that. The more the Tories try to emulate that style to appeal to the “rubbish bin voters,” as one Tory correctly put it, the more they will repulse the wealthy and upper middle class Tory base voter, driving them into the arms of the Lib Dems.

Here’s the context. These totals are a little misleading because there was a lot of strategic voting between Labour and the Lib Dems that took place. But here’s what happened in last Thursday’s election.

Labour: 34% of the vote (411 seats).

Tories: 24% of the vote (121 seats).

Reform: 14% of the vote (5 seats).

Lib Dems: 12% of the vote (72 seats).

You see the problem going forward for the Tories and Reform? Reform eats into the Tories’ vote, but the Tories don’t like Reform Party assholes and cranks. If the Tories move toward trying to co-opt Reform’s gutter appeal, they’re going to push a number of their voters into the Lib Dem camp. If they don’t, Reform is going to keep eating away at their base.

Another interesting development is that in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin got more seats and more votes than the right wing Democratic Unionist Party. Ireland is moving rapidly toward reunification and full incorporation into the EU.

I don’t know anything about UK politics, but thought this outlines a particularly interesting practical and game theoretic dilemma.

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