“By calling this General Election, Theresa May has committed the biggest act of self-sabotage in British political history”
As the dust settles on yet another national vote in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Prime Minister Theresa May has committed the biggest act of self-sabotage in British political history. She called the general election based on a seemingly unassailable lead in the polls, only to wake up this morning to her ruling Conservative Party losing their overall majority in the House of Commons and the Labour Party on the march.
The results thus far (with one seat still to declare at the time of publication) show that the Conservatives are still set to be the largest party with 318 seats, which is 8 short of an overall majority. However, this is not a crushing defeat in terms of actual votes cast. The Conservatives increased their share of the vote by 5.5% since 2015, boasting a massive 13.6 million votes – one of the largest votes for a single party in British history. However, the Labour Party also made significant gains in terms of votes, if not seats. They increased their share of the vote by a greater amount (9.5%) than at any election since 1945, gaining 12.8 million votes which would usually be enough to propel a party into government.
Due to the distribution of these increases, we find our selves in the increasingly familiar position of dealing with a hung parliament. In rural areas, the Conservative Party increased their share of the vote (in seats which they already held), particularly in places where UKIP didn’t stand a candidate. However, the Labour Party increased their share of the vote in their traditional ‘northern heartlands’, as well as in the inner cities – where much of their core vote consists of students and foreigners – whilst both main parties took seats of the Scottish separatists north of the border.
The Conservative Party will now rely on the case-by-case support of the Democratic Unionist Party (10 seats, Northern Ireland only) in order to run a working majority in the House of Commons. This will provide them with a slim majority, but also ensures they will have to make concessions to the DUP on some issues, as well as take more notice of the right of the Conservative Party, particularly those in favour of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
However, this alliance between the Tories and the DUP has its critics within the Conservative Party. Those on the more liberal wing of the party are highly critical of the DUP’s stance on gay rights, for instance, as well as their scepticism on the issue of man-made climate change. This could pave the way for a handful or so of liberal Tories to be cross the floor so to speak, and vote with the Labour Party and the SNP on certain issues to defeat the government – thus, we see the perils of such a small majority.
Of course, those ‘liberal Tories’ should simply resign and join the Liberal Democrats if they do not wish to stick to the socially conservative principles their party has historically stood for.
However, this could work in our favour. For instance, the DUP’s traditional stances on marriage, the family and gender roles more broadly will be something of a breath of fresh air for rural conservatives in England. For years, the Conservative Party has been beholden to upper-middle-class homosexuals who have pushed a socially degenerate agenda, something which has alienated many lower-middle-class English voters. Whilst a return to more socially conservative values may alienate the more metropolitan Tories, this is not something that many of us would shed a tear over.
But, this is merely hypothesis combined with a dash of wishful thinking.
What really happens next…
A more likely outcome of this fiasco is that there will be another General Election by the end of the year. Theresa May went to the country explicitly to seek a strong mandate, and the country said no. At no time in British political history has a minority government of any party survived more than a few months. In 1974, a similar situation occurred whereby then-Prime Minister Edward Heath went to the country to increase his majority, only to find the electorate returned a minority Labour government. This only survived 7 months until Prime Minister Harold Wilson called another election to get the majority he needed.
The likelihood is that this situation will follow a similar pattern. There must be another General Election before the year is out so that the Conservative Party can gain the mandate it has failed to be given this time around. This of course will have ramifications on many other political battlefields too.
For instance, the pro-European elements of British politics are hailing this result as a “rejection of Theresa May’s hard Brexit agenda”. Of course, it was nothing of the sort; this election was fought on issues such as the National Health Service and austerity, as both main parties had already committed to leaving the European Union. Nevertheless, this election result will be used by the opposition, along with liberal Tories, to sabotage the Brexit process. It is now in question what sort of exit we will be looking at, therefore the Conservatives will need to go to the country again in order to clarify the issue and gain a mandate for the sort of divorce with the EU that they want.
In terms of next steps for activists of the sort who frequent this website, there is really not much to be done. We wait. The somewhat esoteric concepts of nationalism that we seek to bring to the fore are simply not on the table in the current political climate. The left have managed to bring very specific socio-economic issues to the foreground, thereby relegating the issues of Euroscepticism, anti-immigration and nationalism to the very back of the queue. This is evident by the total collapse of the UKIP vote.
However, that’s not to say that these issues won’t become important in the months and years to come. As the political instability grows, gaps will appear and doors will open. It is crucial that when they do, nationalist concepts are ready to take advantage. Too many times in the past, the goal has been wide open, yet nationalism has failed to simply put the ball in the net. This must change if we are to really make any significant impact in the years to come.
Whatever happens, this is a period of great excitement for politics aficionados. The various battlegrounds of political ideas are now wide open and the growing engagement and politicisation of the youth vote in particular is something to be celebrated, despite the fact they often appear to be brainwashed leftists – every mind is there to be persuaded. No story is ever finished. Every active mind is open to new ideas and concepts. It is time to stop lamenting the situation in which we find ourselves, but instead seek to capitalise in the minutest as well as the most grandiose of political theatres of battle.