Could Jo Swinson really be the next Downing Street resident?
Although the general election campaigns do not officially start until tomorrow, there is no doubt that Boris Johnson has had it on his mind since entering Downing Street. It is only now however that social media, pamphlets and media advertising is really seeping into the collective consciousness.
There seemed little doubt, even at the beginning of the year before Theresa May was ousted, that it would be the leaders of he Labour or Tory parties that would be competing for the top job at a general election, but there is now another character who believes she has a chance of fulfilling the role.
When Vince Cable stepped down as leader of the Liberal Democrats, it was Jo Swinson, who took his place and if her dialogue is to believed, she has every intention of being the second female prime minister.
Is this a real possibility or just a Liberal daydream?
Well, it is not so long ago that the then Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg embarked on a coalition with the Tories to avoid a hung parliament, but as a result of endorsing the Conservatives’ tuition fees policy and reneging on their own promises, they lost a raft of votes and MPs in the 2016 general election.
It is only now, that the Liberals have climbed back into popularity, largely because of their stance on Brexit. They have made it abundantly clear from the outset that they are not only a remain party, but they would wholeheartedly support revoking Article 50 altogether.
They are the only party who has made this clear remain stance, so there is absolutely no possibility that they could enter a coalition with the Tories with their current tough ant-Europe mandate.
Jo Swinson is therefore definitely never going to be Boris Johnson’s deputy.
So how else could Swinson find herself in the hallowed corridors of power?
Remembering that the Liberals are the only clearly remain party, it will be interesting to see how many voters abandon their usual parties at the ballot box and vote from their Brexit beliefs.
The Liberal Democrats did very well in the European elections beating the two main parties in surprising numbers, so it is not impossible that both Tory and Labour voters could drift towards Swinson in the general election.
In fact it is precisely this abandonment of normal party loyalties due to Brexit, that political pundits are finding the election result so hard to call.
Labour Brexiteers could find themselves voting for the arch enemy, Tory remainers could vote with either Corbyn or Swinson and both could end up cancelling each others’ votes out, leaving the country with yet another hung parliament and parliamentary deadlock.
Now that the PM has completely ruled out any alliance with the Brexit Party, and with Labour still sitting on the fence regarding its possible Brexit deal, it could well be that some Labour remainers vote for the Lib Dems.
Swinson is young and female, which in a world of older male candidates could either be read as refreshing or naive. However, there is another female leader who is expected to do very well at this election and that is Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, also a fervent remainer and ironically a fellow Scot.
However, in the scheduled TV debates, neither voices are currently being given a chance to be heard.
Could it be that these two women could form a coalition and shake the establishment to its very foundations?
Now that would be an interesting headline on December 13 wouldn’t it?
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