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I live in Canterbury, where the Labour MP Rosie Duffield increased her slim majority tenfold in the general election. Given Labour’s defeat in almost all of the rest of the UK, it’s worth considering why this happened,.

我住在坎特伯雷,这里的工党议员罗西·达菲尔德(Rosie Duffield)在大选中把她微弱优势提高了10倍。如果联系到工党在英国几乎所有地方的失利,这就值得思考的为什么它会发生。

A prime reason Duffield retained her seat is that that Labour had the support of a rickety but effective anti-Tory common front that counter-balanced the negative factors which were sinking its hopes elsewhere. The Lib Dem candidate unilaterally stood down and endorsed Duffield so as not to split the Remain vote, though he was promptly replaced by the Lib Dem leadership.


The Greens, meanwhile, did not stand – and a booth in Canterbury high street was selling blue badges with the message “Tories for Rosie.”


When Duffield, a former assistant teacher and single mother, first won the seat by 187 votes in 2017, ending no less than 185 years of uninterrupted Tory representation, the Tories and the media blamed the student vote.


But while the city does have two big universities and the campus of a third, this has been true for decades.


I asked Mike Bland, campaign coordinator for Duffield, why she had won when so many of her fellow Labour MPs had lost. He said that Labour had lost support in the Leave-voting estates, but “voters stayed home and did not switch to the Tories.”


Duffield is popular and had distanced herself from Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership – distanced herself so far as to attract furious denunciations from some leaders of the local party.


In the constituency there had been a small Remain majority in the referendum, and Duffield was vocally pro-Remain. This was important because in other constituencies, Labour’s suicidal policy of being somewhere in the middle between Leave and Remain managed to alienate both sides, as it was always likely to do.


More Labour voters switched to the other Remain parties – often in Leave majority areas – than Labour Leave voters switched to the Tories. For all Boris Johnson’s triumphalism, the overall Tory share of the vote only increased by two per cent.

更多的工党选民转向其他留任党(通常是在左翼占多数的地区),而不是工党的左翼选民转向保守党。尽管鲍里斯·约翰逊(Boris Johnson)的胜利主义者众多,但保守党在总选票中所占份额仅增加了2%。

Of course, it’s easy to say what the Labour party should have done if it was less divided. Its ambivalent Brexit policy was a compromise between factions, however toxic it was likely to prove to the electorate as a whole. But the divisions were real, so the only real solution for Labour was to avoid a general election until Brexit was decided one way or another.


Numerous Labour and Lib Dem leaders are now saying how much they opposed a general election, but their opposition, if it existed at the time, was largely invisible.


Jeremy Corbyn is not often compared to Hillary Clinton, but some of their mistakes were similar. Both wasted the energies of enthusiastic supporters trying to win opposition-held constituencies and states when they should have been fighting desperately to defend their own political bases.


Populist nationalist leaders are popping up all over the world. Johnson is only the British iteration of this global trend. All have authoritarian instincts to which they give rein as far as political circumstances allow.


Ominously for Britain, the populist nationalist wave is not receding. And once they’ve won it, few, if any, of these leaders have lost their grip on power.