Tuesday 19 November 2019

Why Tonight's Debate Could Backfire Against Boris.

I am very dubious about the Boris versus Jezza head to head debate that will take place tonight. There is a good reason why sitting Prime Ministers do not take part in these stunts and someone should have had a quiet word with Boris and told him that this was not one of his better ideas.

The Tories are ahead of Labour by at least ten points so what does Boris hope to gain from this event? It is unlikely that his margin will increase but the danger is there that Jezza may score enough hits to increase his level of support.

Boris is the better speaker of the two, but as those of us who remember him from the Oxford Union will testify, he is also bone-idle and relies on his wit to carry the day and get him out of the trouble that his lack of knowledge of a subject has caused him.

It must also be said that Jezza has one advantage over Boris in that he actually believes what he says. Boris, on the other hand, comes over as the cove who says whatever he has to in the hope of getting the votes.

Even if Boris does not implode - and I do not think that he will - then the possibility that the debate will lead to an increase in support for Jezza is still high. Consider the possibility that the Leader of the Opposition will leave the audience realising that the Liberal-Democrats are going nowhere and thus persuade a big chunk of their 14% in the polls to switch to Labour. If that happens then Boris' ten-point lead could be halved pretty quickly and that puts us back into hung parliament territory once again.

Finally, and most serious of all, could a Boris victory in the debate leave Brexiteers feeling that he has it in the bag? If enough start to think that then Nigel Farage's five per cent in the polls could turn out to be on the low side. We need to remember that votes for The Brexit Party come overwhelmingly from the Tories, not Labour. 

All in all, tonight's performance is a bad idea for the Brexiteers, and we all will pray mightily that not too much damage is done by it.

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