Conservatives with a gain of five seats in Greater Manchester now hold a third of the area’s constituencies.
And so, another General Election over. The gridlock has broken, ‘dither and delay’ is now ‘advance and progress’, and the remnants of everything wrong with the last parliament are now confined to a mere footnote in the history books. The Prime Minister backed into a corner made another gamble for the Conservatives and he certainly collected his winnings and then some and although many of us, myself included, are no fans of his new deal, which many said he couldn’t achieve, it’s safe to say I’d much rather Boris have this majority to prevent a dangerous second referendum that Corbyn would be making the preparations for right now if the shoe were on the other foot.
It’s rather poetic that last month we saw the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin wall in Germany and last week many of us watched in amazement at the collapse of the Red wall in the North of England, Labour heartlands. What Labour heartlands? Seats that we could never countenance going blue did so for the first time, a Blue Wave and a glorious Blue Wall.
The Conservatives made hard fought campaigns in Labour leave strongholds, seats that typically vote for the red rosette whether it was on someone left of Michael Foot or right of Tony Blair such as Bolsover, Leigh, Heywood & Middleton.
Working class, traditional, Northern voters who for the first time placed their trust, albeit while holding their nose, in the Conservatives to deliver the mandate they gave the establishment three years ago.
But what have we learnt from this election? How come Boris was able to do what no Conservative leader has done to this scale since the days of Thatcher? Where did David Cameron and Theresa May fall short in a way that Boris was able to secure such an unprecedented win after nine years in Government and a staggering defeat last time? In days where victory in a general election has been constant back and forth bartering in the lobbies of Westminster for confidence, supply, and King-making.
The answer lies in the rural and suburban communities of the North where Boris launched his campaign and his foot soldiers grafted the rest of the way to the finish line. Not in the Metropolitan Liberal vipers’ nests that we call cities, the Westminster bubble which in all honesty blends folk like Blair, Brown, Cameron and May as one and the same to those looking from the outside in.
And although Boris, the former Mayor, is a Londoner himself, he’s been able to catch on to this, not just for this election but in the 2016 referendum which along with people like Nigel Farage he essentially became the mascot of and secured the win for. This election was just part two, the sequel to the movement of forgotten people and Boris kept it up his sleeve over the last three years as Theresa May resorted back to the business as usual wet Toryism of the M25-centric clique.
Now we have an excellent working majority thanks to the inroads made in the North. Tony Blair, Andy Burnham, Tom Watson (although a midlands one), all of these people would have lost their seats to Conservatives this election if they were still contesting them. Alongside the likes of veteran Socialist and Miner Dennis Skinner the ‘Beast of Bolsover’ who would have been Father of the House after almost 50 years in the seat, and so-called ‘rising star’ Laura Pidcock who said she could never be friends with a Tory – well now she’s represented by one in parliament. It’s quite telling that the seats lost by the Conservatives were to Labour and a Liberal Democrat in London while this was happening.
All Conservatives whether grassroots activists, careerist Tory boys and future leaders should remember this. We live in an age of protest, the voiceless refuse to be voiceless any longer and they’ve proven what they’re capable of. Don’t abuse this trust bestowed upon the party, don’t think you can coattail this and claim this as a victory for your wet Metropolitan liberalism and revert to those ways because let me say if seats like Blythe Valley, Bolton and Grimsby can turf out their Labour MPs for being so out of touch then they’ll make a much easier job of doing it to their Tory MPs for the same neglect. The North truly remembers.