The Transom, Ben Domenech, June 9, 2017
The Tories lose their majority. http://vlt.tc/2vtv “British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday resisted opposition calls to resign, swiftly moving to form a new government after voters unexpectedly denied her Conservatives a parliamentary majority.
“In a stunning turn, Mrs. May’s decision to call an early election in a bid to increase her party’s majority and strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations backfired. Voters dealt her a harsh rebuke and left her short of the 326 seats needed to win a majority in Britain’s 650-seat Parliament.
“The result leaves her in a weakened position, putting her leadership of her party in question and raising the possibility that talks to extricate the U.K. from the EU after 44 years—already on a tight timetable—could become more complicated.
“Mrs. May said her government would work with the Democratic Unionist Party, a small Northern Irish party whose 10 seats are enough to give her and her Conservatives, who won 318 seats with one district still to declare, a majority.”
Why Theresa May Flopped. http://vlt.tc/2vtt “How could May, thought a shoo-in to win a landslide only a month ago, flop so resoundingly against an opponent so weak? As with Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump, it took some effort. May, like Clinton, played a safe campaign, in which she didn’t seem comfortable, while Corbyn relished interactions with voters and constituents. Her campaign manifesto prompted a U-turn from the prime minister mere days after its launch, angering traditional Conservative supporters and giving the party a bumbling appearance, at a time when May had promised to provide strong and stable leadership.
“There were other factors, too. In the wake of last year’s referendum to exit the European Union, the UK Independence Party vote collapsed. It appears some working-class voters who voted UKIP at the last election shifted back to Labour instead of voting Conservative. Turnout rose in newly won Labour areas, suggesting Corbyn’s brand of hardcore socialism and “pork-barrel politics”—including pledges to abolish tuition fees—motivated young people to turn out. And as Harold Macmillan famously warned, “Events, dear boy, events” may have conspired against the prime minister. The terror attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, coupled with Trump’s tweets against London Mayor Sadiq Khan, may have played a role in the campaign’s final days.”