Matthew Goodwin has emerged since the 2019 U.K. general election as one of the few political scientists who interpret the ongoing realignment of British politics in ways favorable to the Right. Most members of the commentariat draw different lessons from this realignment, both because they’re liberals or progressives themselves and because its first results are likely to be an anti-Tory landslide and a Labour government with a large majority—and that’s their preferred outcome. At the same time few of them seem to be looking forward to a Labour government with any real optimism. And the internal collapse of the Tories has opened up for both Right and Left the real possibility that the Tories might be replaced as the main party of the Right by a more populist movement.

As often happens in major social crises or regime change, people discover that what they think turns out to be quite different to what they thought they thought. Some then head for the airport. In Britain’s gentler democratic crisis, many on the moderate Left suddenly are realizing that the Tories are not the worst possible kind of opponent they could have—that would be Nigel Farage. Indeed, since 2010 the two major parties have found agreement on the progressive side of such issues as zeroing out greenhouse gases (Net Zero), the COVID lockdown, and (for some) Brexit. That alone explains the Tories’

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