IN the end Boris Johnson’s blue bulldozer didn’t just crack Labour’s “Red Wall” in the North and Midlands – it smashed it to smithereens.
The Conservative strategy of targeting previously safe Labour, but Leave-voting, seats stretching in a ribbon from north Wales, through Lancashire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and up into Geordie-land, was a brilliantly executed masterstroke.
I must admit I had my doubts. I understood the level of white-hot anger in these areas at a political establishment that was intent on thwarting the results of the 2016 referendum.
That was crystal clear to any sane person – although it appears to have come as a total surprise to the London-centric Labour and Lib Dem leaderships trapped as they are in their Westminster bubble. But I thought that, in the privacy of the polling booth, the old tribal loyalties would still kick in, and people would vote Labour because “granddad always voted Labour”.
I was wrong. They didn’t and once again in our history this country owes a massive debt to the working classes who have not only saved us from anti-Semitic ‘extremists’, but have also prevented the hell of a second referendum that would have caused even more bitterness and division and which could have put our very democracy at risk.
But the Conservatives should be on a warning – these votes have been loaned, not given unconditionally. For the Tories to become the true party of the working class they have to deliver on their promises to help the “left-behind” areas of our nation become more prosperous and productive.
That will entail large-scale investment – most significantly on transport improvements, but also in education and training and housing – to unleash the potential of the North.
One of the most heartening aspects of the election is that Labour’s patronising policy of handing out lots of “free stuff” in return for votes was rejected emphatically.
People in the North are not interested in mythical “free stuff”, just a more level playing field with decently paid jobs, a good school for your children, an effective health service and a train that will get you to work on time.
If the Tories deliver on that, they could be in power for a generation. If not, those borrowed votes will eventually drift away to other parties. The good news is that Johnson and his team seem to understand that and are approaching the task with energy and determination.
As for Labour they are fighting like ferrets in a sack, but there is little sign they have learned the lessons of this humiliating and historic defeat. So far they have blamed the weather, the Russians, Facebook, the BBC, Laura Kuenssberg, The Guardian, Israel and the “Zionists” (there’s a depressing inevitability about the last two).
Most of all though, according to lefty Remainers, it is all your fault. Yes, you, the idiot voters. For three years they have created the erroneous impression that you are all stupid, racist scumbags – and still you won’t vote for them! Perhaps heaping vile insults on your potential supporters isn’t such a clever election strategy after all. Now who could have predicted that?
Definitely not to blame, according to deluded Corbynistas, is the party leadership that was solely responsible for this disastrous campaign. Jeremy Corbyn even made the utterly ludicrous claim that despite the worst election performance since 1935, Labour had somehow “won the argument”.
With comic talents such as this surely a season in panto can’t be far behind for the Magic Grandpa – perhaps alongside John “Orderrrr!” Bercow as Widow Twanky.
This was an important election – possibly the most important in my lifetime – for two reasons. First it was necessary to defeat the left-wing extremists who would have brought economic ruin that would have hurt the most vulnerable in our society.
But equally important was that ordinary voters routed an attempt by elite Remainers to subvert our entire democratic system simply because they didn’t like the result of a legitimate referendum vote.
It was, in short, a famous and era-defining victory for democracy. Now both dangers have been averted perhaps our divided country can come together to forge a bright new future as a free, independent, self-governing democracy once again.