CHARLES GRAHAM - Where do nation’s politics head next?

The vote count at Robin Park Arena
The vote count at Robin Park Arena

This time last week Wiganers were at the polls for the most important general election in generations.

It really would have been unwise to bet my house on predicting the outcome but as the date neared, I did begin to suspect that, despite all the negative stories and blunders that would have brought down more conventional figures, Johnson would win and, possibly, win handsomely.

The election before last I raised the issue of an English tradition of people - including celebrities - happily and loudly throwing their weight behind left-wing agendas and politicians while those tempted to vote Tory tended to be rather quieter about it (embarrassed when they see so many cool slebs, dramas and comedies favouring left-liberal ideas and sticking the boot into Tories).

And when the crunch came, more people again voted blue than for any other party.

And they did so to get this Brexit trauma over ASAP; because Jeremy Corbyn was far too equivocal for most folk’s liking on Brexit; because of Corbyn’s handling of anti-semitism in his party; and maybe because people were more fearful of a Marxist revolution in British politics than lurching further right.

On that last issue, it is possible that Johnson, now with a decent majority, won’t turn out to be as far right as some think now he’s not in hock to the Rees-Mogg types. But there are big trust issues around him which one day might actually strike more serious blows than they have so far.

As for Labour, it is now at another fork in the road.

Corbyn loyalists exclusively blame Brexit, suggesting that once it’s done, all the life-long Labour supporters who voted Tory for the first time this time will switch back come the next poll - in which case another person from the harder left would be a good replacement.

Others fear that there was a lot more to it than just Brexit, and indeed Corbyn’s personality, to blame and there needs to be a re-centering.

At this stage it’s tricky to tell which would work better.

One thing is for sure: politics needs strong opposition to hold the ruling party to account.

Another thing is also for sure: a lot of people who voted “remain” at the referendum have been calling for a second poll (in the hope it would reverse the first one).

Well, I’d say that this election result was, all but in name, the poll they wanted.

And, unfortunately for them, it delivered a far more resounding “leave” message than the first one.