I know. It’s British politics and not American, but last night’s snap election in the United Kingdom was an even bigger circus than the previous Brexit vote or the 2016 American election. It was C-R-A-Z-Y.
A couple of months ago when Prime Minister Theresa May called for the snap election (meaning an election that happens out of the normal schedule) the Tories (conservatives) were up by more than 20 points in the polls and it looked like they would be increasing their already secure majority in Parliament. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and the sands had shifted, with the liberal Labour Party catching up in most of the polls and the conservative majority looking to be in doubt.
If you watched the election coverage last night, you might have been confused. All of the pundits were raving about how wonderful Labour was doing and how Theresa May could lose her job because of the disastrous results for the conservatives. I say you may have been confused because you probably noticed that the conservatives were WINNING… but it was all doom and gloom from the media. That’s because the UK suffers from the same media malpractice that the US does, and the liberal media is always looking to boost the liberals while demeaning conservatives.
The simple fact is that it was a “bad” result for conservatives because they had held 330 seats in Parliament (a majority – you need 326 seats to have a majority in Parliament) and they now hold 318 (they may get to 319 as there is one seat left that hasn’t been called). This means they lost 11-12 seats and their clear majority. However, the conservatives actually increased their percentage of the vote by 5.5%, sadly the Labour Party increased their share by more than 9%. In fact, the conservatives scored about 49% of the national vote, while their closest rivals (the Labour Party) only secured about 40%.
So while the conservatives remain Britain’s most popular party (by far), they have lost the easy majority that they held before calling for the snap election. Which is why the coverage seemed so positive for the LOSING Labour party but so negative for the WINNING conservatives.
The very far-left (practically Communist) Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) bore the brunt of the losses in Parliament, while the very conservative (to the right of the Tories) Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) actually picked up a couple of seats in Northern Ireland. Because the Tories cannot form a government on their own, they will very likely need to find a partner to form a majority coalition with and the likeliest candidate is the DUP. Because the Tories NEED the DUP it means that they will likely be forced to shift to the right on several important issues like; abortion, gay marriage, immigration, and Islamic migration.
So while the election results may not be what the Tories were hoping for when they called the election, the results may actually be what is best for the United Kingdom. The far left SNP has been decimated, the conservative DUP has been elevated, and now the Tories (already the UK’s dominant center-right party) will be forced to shift to the right if they want to form a government.
Take heart conservatives, this may have all worked out for the best after all.