Hello again. I promised a more regular update as we move into the final straight of the election campaign. Also the first week buzz is still driving me on, I'm pleased to say I've "hit the ground running" (© T. Blair, 1997) so time for a quick word.
First, update on Number Ten. Whenever I've told anyone in the app business that I'm working on a game, their first piece of advice has been, "Don't make your first app project too big! You'll never finish it." So, in typical rookie fashion, I've promptly gone ahead and ignored. I also know that in the world of IT projects, 6 man months doesn't stretch very far. "Build an app?!! You'd be lucky to get a PowerPoint deck for that where I work!" was one memorable reaction I've had.
So this week is all about mobilisation, getting into good habits and planning. I have to admit I'm loving the (lack of) commute, and my MacBook Pro is a dream to work on compared to the ThinkPad my old employer gave me (now presumably on its way to the V&A). The office is nice and quiet too, with only one other freelancer who pops in from time to time (let's see if my wife really does read these blogs as she claims...).
In the real world, Donald Trump cut short his visit to London for the NATO summit, with rumours circulating that he was upset after discovering some of the other leaders, including Boris Johnson, joking about the US President behind his back. From the election perspective Johnson must be quietly delighted to be caught on camera distancing himself from the deeply-unpopular Trump.
As for Jeremy Corbyn, "sorry" has seemed to be the hardest word for him to say over the on-going anti-Semitism allegations bedevilling Labour, but he finally managed to do so yesterday, and he will hope this overdue apology boosts his campaign. Not since Ted Heath in 1970 has anyone lost a General Election before becoming PM for the first time, and a defeat next Thursday would surely spell the end of his reign as Labour leader.
Can Corbyn win? Almost certainly not. The polls would have to be incorrect to a historically huge extent, or swing dramatically in the next eight days, if he is to secure an outright majority. However he may take heart from Trump's own last-ditch victory in the 2016 US elections, where pollsters also gave the outsider little chance of success.
And for an omen from the British past he can look back to the last time Britain held a December General Election, in 1923. Then, as now, a Conservative PM had only recently taken office, and pushed for an election to secure a stronger mandate for government. In 1923 Stanley Baldwin's Conservatives were by far the largest party, but the election failed to give them an overall majority, and it was Ramsay Macdonald's Labour Party who, with the support of the Liberals, voted down the King's Speech and eventually formed the new government, despite having 67 fewer seats than the Tories. Could history repeat itself? We will find out soon enough...