No one wants to reform this

At the risk of jumping the gun and making a premature prediction, the Reform Party will flop. 

The Chester by-election in which the Reform party obtained 2.7% of the total vote was an incredibly poor performance for a party that had been hyping up defections from sitting Conservative MPs in recent weeks. Laughable if we are being honest. Those defections will never happen and any media outlet wasting their column inches about them isn’t worth subscribing to. Subscribe to Inflamer Media instead.

The Conservative vote dropped by 15.9% with the Labour Party picking up 11.6%, whilst the Richard Tice led party picked up only 0.2%. This is, of course, only one by-election, in a constituency that was Conservative throughout the 1900s, until Labour took the seat in 1997, holding it until 2010 when the Conservatives narrowly took it back but it returned to Labour in 2015 and has been since.

Reforms candidate was, I’m sure, a perfectly nice woman by the name of Jeanie Barton. Nice doesn’t win elections however, and if this video is anything to go by, she wasn’t the strongest of candidates. A 30-second clip on BBC News and she decides to talk about the deficit, who cares given everything else that is going on?

The Reform Party have been the recipient of some fawning media coverage lately, whether that is in the Telegraph, GB News or Talk TV. They are seen as a genuine threat to the Conservative Party, I’m not convinced.

Their performance this week gives us an insight into how successful a campaign the Reform Party is running. It’s clear most of those who voted Conservative at the last election in this seat have migrated back to Labour, and whilst Reform are somewhat rallying against the two-party system; they are primarily focused on destroying and replacing the Conservative Party. Therefore the base of the Conservatives is who Reform is appealing. Appealing to the base is a risky strategy, the base is loyal. The base is unlikely to budge, ensuring Reforms efforts are in vain. So perhaps they should be aiming to target those who switched from Labour to Conservative in the 2019 election. If they have switched once, they are much more likely to switch again. But are those voters being enticed by the Reform platform. No. 

Is anyone really being enticed by the Reform platform? As far as I can tell no. I was pointed to a poll that has them on 9% if a general election was held, but that doesn’t really matter. An election is two years out, but in the 2015 election, UKIP received 4 million votes in their best performance at a general election. They achieved 12.6% of the total national vote. Does anyone seriously think Reform holds a candle to UKIP and its message at the time?

In Chester, UKIP managed 8.1% of the vote in 2015. A far cry from Reforms 2.7%. Is it more likely than not that people will vote in more significant numbers for a smaller party at the general election than they do for a by-election? I would have thought they’d be more inclined to vote for a smaller party at a by-election, given there is a chance to make limited/targeted political upset. Think Douglas Carswell in the 2014 Claction by-election. But I will leave that to more informed election watchers. 

The turnout for the by-election was 41.2%, at the last election in 2019 it was 71.7%. The low turnout, of course, isn’t Reforms fault, but if they can’t even get out voters to vote because they hate the other party, then they will need a mighty strong message and campaign to get them to vote FOR Reform rather than AGAINST the Conservatives. If you ask why people support Reform, many will say because they believe the Conservatives have betrayed them and wish to see them lose. However, if your goal is to punish the Conservatives, how much better could you get than wiping them out by voting for a massive Labour majority rather than voting for Reform? Humans are naturally vengeful after all.

There is a wider message in Britain however, that is never expressed in the media and by politicians.

No one wants to reform a system this corrupt and broken.

UKIP achieved 4 million votes because it promised something radical, and revolutionary. Reform is promising the Conservatives if they were somewhat conservative. They won’t beat the Conservatives using this message, how could they?

I’m going to have to disagree with many commentators who think that running on immigration is the great strategy they believe it is. Immigration is important, yes, but it shouldn’t be the number one issue, perhaps number three or two. Immigration should be wrapped up in the wider message of decline, hence reform.

I’ll keep repeating this is only a single by-election but I believe there are lessons to be learnt, Reform is running a bad campaign and they need to decide what voters they are targeting and they also need to decide on a message. That message cannot be Brexit or involve Brexit. They will lose.

What message should they be focusing on? Well, when you are good at something never do it for free, but I will give them some free advice as I’m feeling charitable. Lean into the reform message, you are called Reform but voters have no idea what you actually want to reform. Stop talking about Brexit, stop talking about the WEF, stop talking about digital currencies, stop talking about BBC bias. You cannot out conservative the Conservative Party.

In an alternative universe, when Reform win a substantial number of seats and wipes out the Conservatives, what would happen? With a party filled with mediocrity and media personalities, the party would soon falter. I have been reading back Dominic Cummings blogs on his time working on the Vote Leave campaign in which he mentions various figures and their actions as well as attitudes. I will post a segment below but to sum up, the people who will be a part of the Reform Party are lazy, incompetent and more interested in appearing on the television than they are governing, managing, and campaigning.

Segment from Cummings blog which I have linked.

You will have possibly read Reforms new slogan which they plaster on every piece of media, ‘Let’s Make Britain Great’. I have no idea who came up with this slogan but if anyone at Reform is reading this, kill it. Reads like a sad Trump tribute act, means nothing and is unremarkable.

Let’s move on to another alternative universe, Reform has a shock win in the general election, they are now the party of the British government. But don’t be mistaken, nothing will change. If you think the entrenched British state, institutions, and media will allow them to ‘reform’ the system, then you aren’t being properly informed by the news you are consuming. Just a few weeks ago, ultra-libertarian Liz Truss wanted to return Britain’s tax burden back to around 2010 levels, the entire weight of the British court came down upon her and she was swept away. They will not allow Reform to implement their agenda, and Reform won’t have the people, or willpower to achieve it either. They do not have the capabilities or knowledge to control the state, media commentators and culture warriors are good for video clips, not so good for running a country.

Large organisations, such as the British state, cannot reform, they will obstruct, delay, and ignore. The only solution is to destroy and replace them with something new.

Whilst Reform can make some changes, the idea that they will replace the Conservatives is wishful thinking. Expanding on my point earlier, no one wants to reform a system this corrupt and broken, they want to see it all burnt to the ground.

Revolution is inevitable. Only meritocracy is acceptable.

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