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Corbyn might have edged it

So, did we learn much from the election debate between Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Tory Boris Johnson?  No, of course not.  We never really do.  The spin doctors scurry around in the aftermath, trying to convince the media and press that their man won.  We won't know what impact it has if any for a few days.  In the past, the quick spin has not reflected the real impact on voters.

We go through a charade of questions which are mostly of the 'when did you stop beating your wife' kind.  They specifically cannot be answered clearly.   I think that is why they are chosen.

Broadcasters have this notion that they will get more appealing questions from 'ordinary' members of the public.  They don't.    They get simplicities thrown up by the press.

Thus the question on Prince Andrew and the Monarchy had little to no relevance to the election.  It was simply topical.   No politician trying to be elected Prime Minister is going to attack the Head of State, although Jeremy Corbyn did come up with a good answer if only I could remember what it was.

Boris Johnson blustered.  His people will be pleased because he stuck in the groove and repeated his main line of 'getting Brexit done' against more 'dither and delay'.  Safe to say, he lost no ground.

The problem for Johnson is that he has probably scooped up all the votes he is going to get.  He certainly didn't reach out beyond the issue of Brexit.  Instead, he seemed to blame Brexit for the NHS crisis.   By some miracle, the NHS will be made better if only we got Brexit out of the way.   The fact that it has been underfunded and now suffers from critical staff shortages isn't, according to Johnson, because of the Tory cuts, but because of 'not getting Brexit done.'

Boris' claim that they were building 40 new hospitals was deftly taken apart by Corbyn.

Corbyn, whilst perhaps struggling with Brexit, at least reached out across the divide.  It is a message that does have some chance.  He won the debate simply by not losing it.

The polls may begin to move more solidly in his favour.   Boris will consolidate his 40%.  Corbyn has the possibility to edge up.  If he does, we might get back into hung parliament territory.  Whatever they might feel about his Brexit position, those who want to remain in the EU will more likely see their best chance is through a second referendum, and that means a Corbyn led government.   They may yet swing behind the Labour leader.

The Tories are clearly worried about that possibility, which is why he raised the spectre of a Corbyn deal with the SNP and a Scottish Independence referendum.   This was robustly denied by Corbyn, but we shall see, or not, as the case may be.

Johnson was on the defensive against Jeremy Corbyn's charge that he will sell the NHS down the river for a US trade deal.   Corbyn was effective in waving a heavily redacted Freedom of Information obtained document setting out the current state of talks on a trade deal.  They want to be able to tender for NHS services and pharmaceutical provision.   Boris did not sound convincing in hs denial.

This is Boris Johnson's election to lose.  Corbyn's to gain.   Boris didn't do anything that would lose him the election, but Corbyn would have made some ground.    Corbyn might have edged it.  We will see.


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