It’s official: Theresa May and the Conservative Party have lost their majority in Parliament. May called a snap election six weeks ago hoping to give herself a bigger mandate to negotiate Brexit, and just the opposite happened. The Tories lost about a dozen seats and will end up with fewer than 320 by the time every constituency has reported in. They need 326 for a majority. The Guardian’s numbers are below.
So what happened? Was it dementia-gate? Was Jeremy Corbyn just a terrific campaigner? Did May lose higher income voters? Did young people turn out for Corbyn in huge numbers? Did May turn off voters by refusing to debate? Or was it a more general problem of the country having second thoughts about Brexit?
Yes. It was all those things. I think. But what do I know about British politics? In any case, the whole populist tidal wave thing sure seems to be petering out. Donald Trump is sucking wind, and turning out to be an old-fashioned Republican plutocrat anyway. Emmanuel Macron won handily in France. And now the Brexit wing of British politics has taken a shellacking.
There’s chatter that Theresa May will resign tomorrow and set up yet another Conservative leadership fight. Didn’t we just have one of those? Either way, it seems likely there will be another election later this year.
Maybe. Stay tuned.