Theresa May alone made the decision to call this election, she is 100% to blame for surrendering the conservative majority.
This was a disastrous campaign and a missed opportunity. Theresa May came in a few months ago looking like a strong decisive leader. During the course of this election she has been found out as the emperor with no clothes on. I cannot see how she can now continue as leader of the conservative party. Let us remember that the conservatives started this campaign with a 20 point lead in the polls. Theresa May must now resign, the conservatives must elect a new leader and go for another election in the winter.
Here are some of the problems Theresa May and the country now face after this disastrous election.
The biggest calamity of this election is that given article 50 has already been triggered, unless we can agree an extension with the EU on exit date (It is not in their interests to give this to us) we are in serious danger of crashing out with no deal. They will be looking at Theresa May in Brussels and not see a “strong and stable” leader, instead they will see a weak leader who can be pushed around.
This entire election was called with the express purpose of strengthening May’s hand in the Brexit negotiations, instead the opposite has been achieved.
Leading the Conservative Party
Already she is facing demands from various sections of her own party and her wider stakeholders. Former cabinet minister and MP for Broxtowe Anna Soubry was the first to say May should “consider her position”. Ruth Davidson, the heroine of the night for conservatives has asked for reassurances around LGBT rights before any deal with the DUP. The DUP themselves will have their own demands. She will also find it extremely difficult now to manage the socially liberal and socially conservative wings of her party.
A Deal with the DUP
Talking of the DUP, they are to put it bluntly hard right lunatics. Amongst other things they are opposed to same sex marriage and opposed to abortion. Indeed, they one of the reasons progress has been so slow in Northern Ireland. They will be needed now to get the conservatives over the line for a commons majority. There cannot however be a formal agreement between the two parties. A formal agreement will cause dissent amongst conservative party members and elected officials.
The other problem with a deal with the DUP is the impact on the Northern Ireland peace process. The Northern Ireland assemble has collapsed. It is now incumbent on the UK government to mediate the dispute. How can the prime minister remain neutral here when she is being propped up by one side?
The legitimisation of Jeremy Corbyn
Make no mistake Jeremy Corbyn is now in total control of the Labour party. The Labour moderates have been destroyed. Some of them do not realise it yet but they have been sent to Siberia. It is my understanding now that a left-wing successor will now have the numbers in the parliamentary Labour party to get onto the ballot paper when Corbyn does decide to stand down.
I wrote ahead of the election that a Labour victory under Corbyn would be a catastrophe for this country. This remains the case. The Labour party at this moment has no economic credibility. One of the biggest mistakes of this election was not being tough enough on Labours spending plans. There was far too much focus on Corbyn’s historic links with the IRA and Islamist groups. Not enough criticism was given to the impact on employment, on inflation and on economic growth of Labours plans today.
May has done what Corbyn has failed to do in the past couple of years and unified the Labour party. There is now a serious possibility that come the next election Corbyn and his cronies could come into government.
At a time of national importance this election has left the country in a perilous position. Though I am saddened for May personally, in my view the only way out of this mess is for May to resign and for a another election to be called in the winter with a new leader.