Sunday, 4 June 2017

General Election Outcomes

It may well be that we have to go to the polls in a jittery state regarding terrorist and suspected terrorist incidents. How this might affect the election is unclear: whether people run to nurse or think it is time for a longer-term fresh approach along with security resources.

So this blog entry is a 'carrying on' as indeed people must do. We have to have the election, of course, because at present all the ministers of government are operating under the monarch and need a legislature to make policy.

The polls are narrowing and the election is not the foregone conclusion once expected. The BBC Question Time non-debate showed Theresa May more continuous in talk than before and Jeremy Corbyn under intense fire, but any review of what they said finds Corbyn engaging and Theresa May almost robotic and heartless with her stock answers. And the day after the Tories were in another mess over taxation, and even if they were promising no tax rises at the top end that was only ever of appeal to the core vote, and rather confirmed what Jeremy Corbyn had been saying.

The Guardian has decided for Labour but with other oppositions to the Conservatives on a constituency by constituency basis; The Economist has decided for The Liberal Democrats. However, the popular press is entirely predictable.

There are a number of possible outcomes, especially considering the collapse of UKIP and the move to a two party system, but sometimes a different two parties in constituencies.


This was the intention of Theresa May calling the election so that she could overcome factions in her own party either for the single market/ customs union or for a complete break with the EU. I have never taken the view that she wants a 'hard exit' but the large majority would allow her to get beyond the rhetoric (UKIP might revive).

We might see some of her more social side policies, the legacy of Jospeph Chamberlain, but I wouldn't bet on it. She has already U turned on matters like workers on the boards of companies.

In this situation Jeremy Corbyn would probably have to resign but the membership is still there to find someone else similar.


This would be a Major dent in Theresa May's authority, having gone to the country to pick up a large majority and ending up with the same problem of factions that she had before. The knives might even be out for her. This would also expose her weakness in negotiating, because her own party is the problem.

Jeremy Corbyn might set up a defence of doing better than expected, but the parliamentary party might see a time window to act against him. Again their problem is the membership.


The Conservatives would have been deemed to have lost despite a greater number of seats than any other party. A support system from other parties might put Labour in, but not led by Jeremy Corbyn. The others and many in Labour won't accept him. Theresa May would have to resign, her gamble as bad as Cameron's with the referendum. If she or replacement formed a government it would be hamstrung or sensitive to others for negotiating with the EU, leading almost certainly to staying in the single market and customs union and possibly a second 'destination' referendum.

In opposition Jeremy Corbyn might well stay in leadership as he had improved Labour's performance. He would be able to choose the left wing replacement: it might matter if Labour provides the Prime Minister in the context of the still existing Fixed Term Parliament Act whilst needing other parties to make the majority.

A lot of tails would try to wag the dog, however.


Despite a fantastic result given all the expectations, the problem for Labour is that it would have to govern when some other parties will not accept Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister. If Labour plus Scottish Nationalists, SDLP and Welsh Nationalists form a majority, he might be acceptable.

In any case, he can produce a legislative package and challenge others to support it or ditch it, and many may well support some of it for a time.

Nevertheless Jeremy Corbyn would have acquired authority. Theresa May will resign instantly of course. Her gamble will have been thoroughly lost.

Again the effect would be to moderate the exit from the EU.


Jeremy Corbyn would have instant authority and there could be favourable comparisons with Clement Atlee with legislation to transform society. However, centrist Labour MPs could still give indiscipline regarding more radical legislation.

The effort would be made to have tariff free trade with the EU if not in the single market and customs union. It may well not work.

Theresa May would resign immediately with her infill Amber Rudd likely to stand in even temporarily if not to take over. The Conservatives would be in turmoil.

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