I stayed up all night to watch the Election coverage, and what a night it was. The UK is still in political turmoil, with the nation undecided between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Let’s look at the flesh on the bones of last night. Mrs May called the election in the hope of substantially increasing her Commons majority and to firmly put Jeremy Corbyn in his place. Seven weeks ago, the Conservatives had a lead of 20 points over Labour. In the bag, you would think.
Wrong. Never underestimate the power of the UK electorate. Over the last seven weeks, the 20 point lead has been whittled away. Reason? In my opinion, Mrs May’s campaign was frankly appalling, praying on division and fear and offering very little to hardcore Conservative voters and floating ones. The Dementia Tax, a dreadfully ill conceived idea where a person suffering from dementia would have to pay for their care, irrespective of how bad the illness has taken over, caused gasps of horror from elderly Conservative voters up and down the UK. As quickly as the weather turns, Theresa May performed a u-turn that would have done a taxi driver proud. Damage was done though.
Mrs May was absent in the key political debates and her crushing blandness turned off the electorate in their droves. Jeremy Corbyn, much vilified and scorned in the press and on all forms of media, went out and took his message to the people, especially the scrapping of tuition fees to university students. A simple idea that captured the imagination of the youth vote. The youngsters fell in behind Mr. Corbyn. Corbyn’s integrity, dignity and straightforwardness compared favourably with Mrs May’s unwillingness to come up with anything credible. Arrogance and contempt for the voters on a grand scale.
Even so, I was less than enthused by Mr. Corbyn. He is a little too far to the left of centre for me, but all credit to the man, he has energised a very bored public to come out in his favour. The results last night were absolutely staggering, especially in very safe Conservative seats. The swing to the Labour Party was better than in Tony Blair’s inauguration in 1997. It was fantastic to watch these great islands wielding their voting power. Democracy in action.
But a note of caution. The Conservatives didn’t win, they were the largest overall party. Labour didn’t win either. Where does this leave us? Up a gumtree it seems. Now Theresa May will have to strike a deal with one of the minority parties from Northern Ireland to form a lame duck administration. Mrs May rolled the dice, hoping she would strike lucky. The gamble backfired in the most spectacular fashion imaginable.
The new administration will limp on. But there may well be a second election later this year. A lot of sitting MP’s have very wafer thin majorities, on both sides of the fence. Could Mr. Corbyn push on, carry on getting the big swings to Labour to pull off a stunning triumph? I’m still not sure to be honest. But I will tell you, it will be enormous fun watching it all unravel.
Just the best fun watching the results come in and enjoying the power of one of the best democracies in the world. Never, never underestimate the people. Theresa May did, and lost. The UK is divided and the mess created by last night’s result will continue.
Allen Brooks xx