by Graham Pierrepoint
Anyone resident in the UK right about now will already know that a momentous general election has just unfolded – and, once again, it’s a big vote that near enough nobody could have predicted.
Theresa May, Prime Minister, had called an impromptu snap election arguably to help strengthen the Conservative Party government – and, at the time of calling the election, she held a very healthy majority in Parliament (determined by the number of seats, or constituencies, the party held). She also held a more than hopeful polling average – to the point where it appeared she was ahead by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn by up to 20 points at one stage. This, at least, made it seem that Corbyn’s chances of denting the Conservative stronghold were all but lost.
However, this has been no ordinary campaign – and it has resulted, initially, in a Hung Parliament – this is where no party has been able to find enough seats to pass the threshold of 326, seen as the majority. Despite May’s big lead at the start of campaigning, Labour managed to pull back over thirty seats to draw the government behind the threshold – a move which is being attributed to a rise in youth engagement via Corbyn’s policies, and as a result of a number of poor decisions made with regard to May’s campaign.
Despite the results, Theresa May has endeavored to cling to her leadership – despite alleged dissent growing – and has done a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland to take her majority over the threshold. The DUP, in return, will likely ask for certain rights – and it will remain to be seen just how well this coalition of sorts can carry forward.
At the time of writing, many are still claiming that May should step aside as a result of what some UK media outlets are branding one of the most disastrous political campaigns in modern history (with even Conservative loyalists The Sun and Daily Mail opting to highlight the chaos on their front pages). May seems to be steadfast in that she won’t be resigning – but just how well will the DUP work with the Conservatives? And what next for Labour? For now, it seems, Theresa May has retained her spot as British Prime Minister – but at a cost of credibility in both the press and in her peers. It will be interesting to see if she can turn matters around before long.