Adland Welcomes UK Election -- But Will It Give Brexit Clarity?

So it's December 12th. Another date in the Brexit diary that is supposed to answer the question of how the country reacts to a surprise -- marginal victory for the Leave campaign in 2016.

The Advertising Association certainly seems to be upbeat, issuing a statement that it welcomes the chance for an election to provide clarity over Brexit.

As for the practitioners inside the industry, it is hard to sum up digital advertising and marketing as having one voice, but I think it is fair to assume that being dominated by liberally minded professionals working and living in around London and the southeast, the likely answer is that most in adland were not Leave voters. 

That leaves many execs with the huge quandary over how not to ignore the "will of the people," which many will claim was won over by false promises in a campaign that broke spending rules, and yet still remain in the EU.

That fundamental question has left the country in political paralysis for the past three years, despite a disastrous decision by Theresa May to call an election in 2017, which -- you guessed it -- was supposed to return a Commons that would speed up a decision on Brexit.

For some reason, many politicians think another election is the answer, despite the fact that we are at the end of a decade of learning to live with coalition governments. Even before Brexit reared its ugly head, the country could not decide decisively which party should lead it.

The first half of the decade the Conservatives were supported by the Lib Dems and the past two years the DUP have helped them maintain power. Sure, there was a slim Conservative majority in 2015 but it was whittled away before the 2017 election.

The other odd factor is that Boris Johnson has gone for an election claiming that parliament had passed his deal with the EU and was at the same time blocking it. Only Boris can speak such double-talk and think people won't notice.

Only Boris could go into an election apparently not worried about several open investigations into whether his personal life affected decisions for others to offer funding and business trips offered to his close friend Jennifer Arcuri. Not to put it too lightly -- Boris has a potential scandal waiting for him in the wings.

As for Jeremy Corbyn, he must be the only politician who could try to claim victory that an election was called after it was forced on him by other opposition parties that, if he didn't join up with, would appear to be a more decision opposition than his own party.

More to the point, this is no longer 2017 when crowds sung "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" and nearly put him in power. Since then the Labour party has flipped and flopped over its stance on Brexit and has become embroiled in a bitter row over handling of complaints over anti-Semitism.

He is leading a party that is hugely divided, as are the Conservatives, into an election where his personal ratings to be the next PM are very low, compared to personal ratings for Boris.

So it's incredibly difficult to tell whether the current lead in the polls for the Conservatives will be maintained and translated into an election victory. It is highly unlikely they will win anything more than a token seat, if that, in Scotland -- and Boris has betrayed the DUP MPs from Northern Ireland by a deal that cut them off from the mainland.

So it is likely that the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), who are fiercely pro Remain, will win in Scotland and Northern Ireland will send back MPs who are not keen on Boris nor his deal. 

That leaves us with England and Wales, and there is little to suggest a huge deal has changed since last time. The interesting seats are going to be ones like my own, those true-blue home counties districts where many adland execs will catch trains home to after a hard day of work in the capital.

They have Tories sitting on massive majorities, but in areas that are pro Remain. Could the Lib Dems stage a surprise or two?

At the same time, we have Labour having to deal with new electoral boundaries that have been redrawn so some urban seats are merged to be bigger and so nearer the ratio of voters to MPs as a rural seat. That is not good news for a party that traditionally does well in cities and you can pretty much dismiss in rural English communities. 

If all this is sounding a bit undefined, a little up in the air, that's for the very good reason, that is exactly where we are. Boris is taking a big gamble and it could pay off. If his "do or die" Brexit rhetoric can swing away support from the Brexit Party, there is a chance it could pay off. But it would need to be incredibly convincing to counter the fact he needs enough English seats to win a majority in a Commons elected from all four home nations. 

That cannot be taken for granted if people feel so strongly about Remain that they are convinced to oust a Tory MP and vote Lib Dem. Or, on the other hand, if they like the sound of Labour offering a confirmatory vote or have had enough of Boris failure to deliver and vote for the Brexit Party, splitting the Leave vote.

I am no pollster or political commentator but I don't see any party winning a convincing majority here, leaving us with another hung parliament. It could be a pact between the Conservative and Brexit parties or even a strange coming together of everyone else to ensure that doesn't happen. 

Whatever the result, the chances of a decisive victory for Leave, at the risk of no deal, and Remain remain slim. That could only have been delivered by the Commons pinching their noses and passing Boris' revamped deal with the proviso of a confirmatory vote before it could be enacted.

As for an election, it's hard to see how we will get anything other than more of the same. The most dented tin in the history of cans kicked down the road has been given another boot down the alley.

The likely outcome? More of the same.

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