United Kingdom General Election
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United Kingdom General Election

Jeremy Corbyn's Victorious Defeat

United Kingdom General Election
Brighton and Hove News

On April 18,2017, Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election for the United Kingdom, as the next election would not be until 2020. After she came to power after Cameron's resignation, she realized she needed a stronger mandate in order to handle Brexit negotiations to ensure a "strong and stable" Brexit, so she called an election to make that happen.

However, much like how Cameron's Brexit gamble failed him, May's gamble failed her. Even though Labour didn't win a majority, or even a plurality, of seats, this election was a victory for the Labour Party. Despite opposition from within his own party, Jeremy Corbyn pulled off a massive electoral upset. Many people in the centrist, Blairite wing of the party thought that Corbyn would lead Labour into irrelevance with his more left-wing agenda, but instead he gained 30 seats and prevented the Tories from keeping the majority they won in 2015. This was much better than anyone, from the media, to the Blairites, to the Tories, expected, despite the attempts to paint him as a terrorist sympathizing anti-Semitic communist. Unfortunately for him, however, it was not enough for the Labour Party to secure a minority government coalition with other parties, but it was enough to show that Jeremy Corbyn and a leftist Labour Party are "strong and stable".

While Corbyn has called for things like increased funding to the NHS and re-nationalizing the rails, Theresa May's campaign appeared incredibly elitist. In addition to decreased funding to social services, including the NHS, May took a bold stance in her desire to bring back fox hunting. Additionally, she faced a great deal of trouble after the attacks in Manchester and London. In response to the attacks, Theresa May stated that any human rights laws that "got in the way" of tackling terrorism need to be repealed. However, her critics, chiefly Corbyn, pointed out that it was her cuts to police as Home Secretary, and general Tory, and Blairite, aggression abroad that made this attacks possible.

At first, as no one had received a majority and no clear coalitions were forming, the UK almost devolved into a hung parliament. As a result, the Tories must make a pact, which is less tight than a coalition, with the Democratic Unionist Party in order to form a majority, albeit by 2 seats. The DUP is a far-right Unionist. In UK politics, a Unionist is someone who wants Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK, rather than Irish unification. The party has been deemed as "populist radical right" as it is anti-immigrant, anti-Irish, and British nationalist (bordering on ethno-nationalism), but they also support social welfare like pensions and Winter Fuel Payments for heating. Additionally, as a heavily Protestant-influenced party, it is anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion.

Now that Theresa May has lost 13 seats, her majority, and her mandate, many people, including Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, and even some within the Tories, are calling for Theresa May to resign. However, May has decided to stay on as Prime Minister. As Brexit looms, talks and negotiations need to be handled by someone with a strong mandate. Whether the party or parliament will force May to leave remains to be seen.

In other news from the election, UKIP lost its only seat and its leader, Paul Nuttall, has resigned. The SNP lost several seats to the Tories, Labor, and even to the LibDems, which leaves people wondering if there will be another Scottish independence referendum, especially with Brexit looming.

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