Oh, snap! May announces early election

It is hardly a shock that Theresa May has today announced a snap election. If anything, it’s surprising that it has taken her this long. There are, of course, many factors that have led to this decision, but it appears that the final straw was the recent YouGov poll that put the Conservatives at a huge lead with forty-six percent of the vote to Labour’s twenty-five. This election will likely have ramifications that reach far beyond 2022. The prime minister, it is evident, has a clear view for Brexit, and as such is not willing to let Parliament compromise the terms of it. An early election will weaken Labour to such an extent that any opposition they have to the hard Brexit May is set on will be significantly diminished, paving the way for the PM to a deliver hard, unforgiving Brexit. Remainers should be worried; the lack of a mandate for Theresa May’s leadership that they and many liberals decry is about to disappear.

While a huge Tory majority will be a slap in the face for those who value our EU membership, there will also be winners in the months following the 8th June. A big blue win, whilst terrible for Jeremy Corbyn, will in the long run be beneficial for the Labour party. Corbyn is not like other party leaders; he’s not one to step aside even in the face of damning polling figures and a dire referendum campaign that contributed to the potentially disastrous divorce of Britain and the European Union. The one possible thing that could remove Corbyn from his position at the top of Labour would be a crushing defeat in June. Should he resign (and it is a worrying sign that such an outcome is uncertain), the spot at the top could be filled by a politician who serves all the people of the United Kingdom. One who tries to persuade those disenfranchised by the party’s shaky history, rather than speaking almost exclusively at rallies that consist mostly of their die-hard fans, basking in the glory of another leadership election win. It is true that over 300,000 people voted for Jeremy Corbyn, but the electorate in the UK consists of over 46million, and Labour must pander to the many rather than the few. Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have been living in a fantasy world since his big win in 2015, and it’s going to come crashing down come June.

Following their staggeringly disappointing term as part of a coalition government, the Liberal Democrats were all but destroyed in the last general election. But being the only party to be adamantly pro-remain following the referendum and pushing that to the top of their agenda is appearing to work wonders. They’ve already won one by-election, and with the Manchester Gorton by-election in May very possibly going their way, the Liberal Democrats could make significant parliamentary gains in June. Tim Farron’s party is slowly replacing Labour as the party for liberals, moderates and those who are pro-EU, and on June 8th it could truly cement that title. Whilst bleak for those leaning left, a Conservative win doesn’t have to spell doom for liberalism.

Josh Kirby

[Image: International Business Times]

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