Ok, so my first reaction was raucous laughter but that’s not actually helpful. I was honestly expecting to wake up to a Conservative landslide so you can forgive me for indulging in a good chuckle. Here’s a quick first assessment of the things we now know about this election:
- Theresa May called this vanity election purely for her own selfish gains and has wasted our time and money and actually destabilised this country’s position in Brexit negotiations. Her own supporters should be fuming.
- Never take the public for granted. The 20-point lead the Conservatives enjoyed in the polls has been squandered to a lead of just 2 points since the election was called. You cannot run a campaign based entirely on unfounded smears and expect the public to back you, we’re fed up with it.
- This election was all about May vs. Corbyn and the minority parties (Greens & UKIP) have been crushed as a result. The Greens deserved to make gains, at least in Bristol West, where they threw the kitchen sink at it. But many green-leaning people (myself included) wanted to throw their weight behind Labour to stop a Tory landslide. We’ll survive, UKIP won’t.
- The SNP were always going to get fewer seats than last time (56/59 is unsustainable) but they took a massive unexpected blow in this election losing 21 seats. However, 35 out of 59 is still a landslide by most standards and in many of the seats snatched by the Tories the combined left-wing vote would have defeated them. The Conservatives can absolutely not take Scotland for granted.
- The polls have been all over the place in this election, but Survation called it with three separate polls predicting a ~1 point lead in the last week. Well done you guys. If we can ever trust polls again, the pollsters are going to have to start reading the mood of the nation properly instead of lumping people into lazy, ill-defined groups.
- Labour absolutely must back proportional representation. They got 40% of the vote, and 40% of the seats, which is quite amazing for FPTP voting. However the Conservatives, have 48% of the seats on 42% of the vote. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but the likely outcome is now a CON-DUP coalition, which would have been numerically impossible if the seats were fairly distributed.
At the time of writing the total seats are as follows:
CON 315, LAB 261, SNP 35, LD 12, DUP 10, SF 7, PC 4, GRN 1
when under Party-list PR or AMS the results could be:
CON 276 (-39), LAB 261 (-), SNP 20 (-15), LD 47 (+35), DUP 6 (-4), SF 5 (-2), PC 3 (-1), GRN 10 (+9), UKIP 12 (+12), SDLP 2 (+2), UUP 2 (+2), OTH 6 (+6).
It doesn’t take a maths whiz to figure out that under PR we’d be seeing either a minority-right wing or minority-left wing government with confidence and supply from the Liberal Democrats.
To anyone who hates the idea of disorder that may sound like a nightmare, but it’s better for democracy if parties have to reach a compromise to push their agenda through parliament. One of the reasons we British are so fed up with politics is that we have yo-yo governments who lurch from left to right forcing a hardened agenda on a population that doesn’t fully support it.
- Even with a possible right-wing, hard Brexit coalition of the Conservatives and the DUP, Theresa May is now extremely unlikely to be able to force through her most unpopular and damaging policies. Unless there is an election re-run, you can hopefully kiss goodbye to a free vote on the return of fox hunting, draconian internet regulation and repeal of our fundamental human rights.
- In Kingswood, our hard work paid off a little but not enough (I was backing Labour rather than the Greens this time around). Sadly Mhairi Threlfall couldn’t take away Chris Skidmore’s seat, but we did boost Labour’s vote share and I’d like to think we helped the Labour surge at a national level.
- Finally, I know Labour hasn’t exactly won this election, but it feels like a victory for the left after two years of non-stop smears from the press. Some of the coverage of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn has bordered on incitement to hatred and I take great pleasure in seeing the stranglehold of the tabloids slowly weakening. Also, huge belly-laughs to all those right-wing blowhards swaggering about saying “Labour and the left are finished forever”. Mate, we’ve only just started.