Strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable. It is annoying isn’t it? And I’m not the only one who thinks that as Theresa May’s gamble of a snap election to increase her majority has backfired spectacularly. For weeks we were told that in all likelihood a strong Tory majority was on the cards but now the Conservative Party have just 318 seats, 8 short of an overall majority, meaning we have a hung parliament. Considering they had 15 or so seats more than a majority prior to an election this can only be seen as a massive failure. So firstly lets have a look at what went wrong for the Tories.
Theresa May ran a terrible campaign. She broke the golden rule of messing around with social care for pensioners. Old people, like dogs, are incredibly loyal and could have sealed May the election but the U-turn and confusion over this policy was a hammer blow. Theresa May did not help herself by not bothering showing up for the debates and the endless repeating of ‘strong and stable’ turned a campaign slogan into a meme.
Labour have done rather well though. Just six weeks ago Jeremy Corbyn was being written off as a left wing idealist who was unelectable. Once he got out there campaigning however things got a lot better for Corbyn as he actually energised voters, particularly those under 30, who actually turned up and voted for him. His position as leader had always looked precarious but after last nights result don’t be surprised to see Tony Blair rocking up to your local wearing a ‘Jez we can’ t-shirt.
Even my boys the Liberal Democrats did all right. Tim Farron just about managed to retain his seat as the party increased their number of MPs by 50%, although admittedly it was from 8 to 12. Nick Clegg unfortunately lost his constituency, but I think the man needs a long holiday, while Vince Cable returned to office in Twickenham.
Scotland was arguably the most unpredictable battleground of the whole election. The SNP lost 20 seats, suggesting that perhaps the appetite for another Independence referendum just isn’t there, which is not surprising given the amount of referendums we’ve had recently. The Lib Dems and Labour made small gains north of the border with one seat being decided by just TWO votes. So don’t say your votes don’t count. The Tories actually did all right in Scotland, which is probably because Ruth Davidson (Scottish Tory leader) seems like a decent human being, not a robotic Thatcher clone liker her English counterpart.
Wales saw the Lib Dems wiped out, Labour and the Conservatives stay fairly stable and the Welsh national party (I’m not spelling it in Welsh, not because I don’t want to but because I can’t) also gained a seat. Northern Ireland saw the DUP retain their status as the biggest part while Sinn Fein gained a couple of seats as well.
Well what next? Theresa May seems to be doing an Arsene Wenger – desperately clinging onto her job despite the fact its obvious she should resign. The Tories and the DUP present the most realistic chance of forming an alliance and they have similar-ish polices, although the Tories would have to make major concessions on their proposed hard Brexit, but that’s for a different article. May is believed to be heading to the Palace (Buckingham not Crystal) at 12:30 to put this plan into place.
Whatever happens over the coming days its clear that Theresa May’s attempts to strengthen her majority have failed. If some kind of government isn’t workable then we could be facing another election before the end of the year.