BoJo's victory heralds nationalism on the march

15 December 2019 - 00:00 By The Sunday Times

Boris Johnson's thumping UK election victory this week will send shivers down the spines of moderate political leaders facing the growing threat of populism in their countries. Once again, the polls got it wrong. By the time British voters went to make their marks, a hung parliament was being predicted, even if a Tory win always seemed likely. Looking at the results, it is understandable that there was a significant "lie factor", as especially traditional Labour voters turned their backs on the party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

To his credit, Corbyn did not hide his ultra-left credentials. If anything, he paraded them, promising voters a radical green agenda, wholesale nationalisation of utilities and free internet access for all. Yet Labour's position on Brexit, which has come to define political identity in the UK, cost it dearly. In particular, in its worst electoral showing since the 1930s, Labour appears to have misread the voters' mood. And left them behind...

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