Disastrous Night For Tories In UK Elections As Labour Dominates; Possible Hung Parliament

In the UK election, exit polls, which are being confirmed by early results and now by Conservative leadership, show that the Tories will actually lose between 10 and 20 seats and that Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, will have risen like phoenix from the ashes to gain anywhere between 30 and 40 seats. This is one of the most remarkable comebacks in political history. And it is also one of the most remarkable elections collapses for any party. Remember, when Theresa May called this snap election, it was expected that the Tories could expand their majority to over 100 seats. Tonight, they will actually see that majority shrink.

Exit polls in the UK are, by and large, quite accurate. Even in 2015, probably the worst year ever for the exit polls predicting the final result, the seat differential between what the polls predicted and what actually happened was only around 35 seats. And tonight it appears that, if anyone, it will be Labour that outperforms the exit polls.

Conservatives will still hold the largest number of seats but we will have to wait for the final votes to be counted to see whether they can actually hold a majority or whether the vote will end with a hung Parliament. If the result is a hung Parliament, it will be difficult to see who can craft a working government.

In any case, Theresa May will probably not be able to survive as Conservative leader, opening the door once again for Boris Johnson. In addition, this close result may even require another election in the not too distant future and whoever leads the country will be a weak leader with a very slim majority to work with. Neither of those bode well for completing the Brexit agreement in the 2 year window that has already begun.

Finally, it must be said what a remarkable job Jeremy Corbyn has done in rebuilding the Labour party. He may be hated by the Labour MPs but he went out and found the votes needed to keep his party relevant by energizing the young and bringing those voters into the party in droves. And they turned out to vote tonight. There is now an enormous age gap in the two parties, with Labour dominating the younger voters and the Conservatives relying on older ones. That actually presents the Labour party with a strong base going forward for the next generation.

One last thought — have there ever been two more disastrous decisions that Cameron’s Brexit referendum and May’s snap election?

I’ll have more later on when more of the results become final. But there is no doubt that it is a massive win for Labour tonight and an equally massive loss for Theresa May and the Conservatives. And the continuing uncertainty and weakness of whomever becomes PM probably makes it a loss for the country as a whole.

Originally published at tidalsoundings.blogspot.com on June 9, 2017.

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