UK election result and the musical chairs of power and Brexit
When the UK election results started trickling in early morning, I had a roller coaster ride watching them. Labour party started with a lead. Exit polls before that predicted a hung parliament with conservatives emerging as the single largest party. As the polls closed by mid morning the picture is clear. As predicted in exit polls the Conservatives emerged as single largest party in a hung parliament. UK has 650 seats and 326 is the majority figure. Conservatives ended 8 short of it at 318 followed by Labour party with 261. Scottish nationalist party came 3rd with 35 seats. Liberal democrats came 4th with 12 seats and DUP a friendly party of conservatives came 5th with 10 seats. Others have got 13. So conservatives will hold power with the support of 10 seats from DUP the total goes upto 328 which is just 2 seats more than the required majority. Its wafer thin.
Why did Theresa May order polls when she still had 3 years time?
Parliamentary elections happen once every 5 years in UK but the party in power has the liberty to dissolve the house whenever it feels so. In many instances in the past when things were favourable ruling party called for elections in 4 years but never after just 2 years. What is the reason? Conservatives are centre-right in their political ideology. As a right leaning centrist party Conservatives opposed the continuance of UK in European Union. Party called for a referendum and people voted for Brexit were 52% and against 48%. So Brexit went through and it was a victory for the conservatives. But not all Tories were supporting Brexit. Prime minister of the day David Cameroon was against Brexit. So after Brexit happened, he took up the moral responsibility and resigned. He was replaced by Theresa May, who always supported Brexit. But the process was not that easy. Step by step she faced lot of difficulties and doubts on the brexit. So, she decided to plunge in and dissolve the parliament and went for fresh polls. When she dissolved the parliament Tories had 330 seats and she expected that the brexit wave will take her beyond 350. Such a overwhelming majority will make it easier for her to push through brexit.
But what went wrong?
Citizens of UK are a divided lot. For years together UK and EU are stuck and the growth is suffering. They are in a dilemma. There is a section of UK citizens who feel that being with EU would help UK. Most of them live in cities and are youngsters below 40 years. But there is a large section of British population that believes that the growth of UK is when Britain will look inward and develop its economy rather than depend on the collective power of EU. That percentage is more as the average age of UK is 43 years and many of them have seen the prosperity of UK in their early days. Added to them are the citizens living in interiors who were traditional Tory voters. Theresa May calculated all these and expected 350. But terrorist attacks in the last few days and the fear of isolation at the time of crisis has pushed many working class Britons to vote for Labour party. Labour party follows democratic socialism that appeals to many urban Britons. So last minute scales tilted and many voters in Urban UK switched over to Labour party. Result is Labour increased their tally by 30 plus seats and stood at 261. But this might not be enough. Conservatives have enough in them to form the next govt with the support of friendly parties like DUP.
What will happen to Brexit and Theresa May?
Theresa May has considerably weakened as she couldn’t increase the tally of Tories. She staked a claim to form the govt again but faces opposition from within. UK is not like India where leader is supreme. In UK every MP has equal power and the one who can command the majority of the MPs can become the Prime Minister. The defeat of Tories has weakened May and might face challenge from many. That would put Brexit in the back seat. Even if she becomes PM she will not have the free hand to push through things as she would have hoped for. What this result has done is it made UK even more divided and indecisive. This is not what it needs. It needs a strong and powerful leader who can take decisions and create jobs and provide financial stability to its citizens. But as of now, this scenario looks pretty bleak. Lets hope for the best, and see what this weekend unfolds!!