Another year… Another shock political outcome as PM Theresa May failed to secure her parliamentary majority following the shock results of the 2017 UK Snap Election (8 June).
SBC’s Bookies’ Corner’gauges the impact of the Snap Election results on the UK political landscape, as Theresa May handles a fragile government ahead of entering Brexit negotiations, while opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn appears to have ‘come back from the dead’…
SBC: Has Jeremy Corbyn’s election performance been overstated? The Labour party still lost and only slightly outperformed Gordon Brown’s 2010 loss in terms of seats gained?
Matthew Shaddick (Ladbrokes Head of Politics): Compared to pre-match expectations, no. Remember that at the start of the campaign, 150 seats was the sort of line that the betting markets were setting, so to get over 100 more than that is a huge achievement.
Maybe a different sort of Labour leader might have done even better – they would probably have been in a more promising starting position. You could have got 50/1 about Labour achieving over 40% of the GB vote when the election was called, so it’s hard to understate just how well Corbyn did; they are now in a far stronger position to win any future election.
SBC: In a multi-party electorate system such as the UK, is the new political reality that it will be harder for any party to gain a majority government?
Joe Lee (Senior Trader Paddy Power): Despite what many are calling a disastrous election for May and the Conservatives, they did, in fact, increase their share of the overall vote to 42% (up five points on 2015). That would have led to a commanding majority in elections past.
The Labour vote also increased, resulting in a 10 point gain in their share of the vote.
It was the youth who dictated the pace, with that demographic motivated enough by the Labour social media angle. Not too dissimilar from the first Obama campaign in the US, UK Election exit polls suggest ‘Under 35 Turnout’ rose by 12 points when compared with 2015.
The above would suggest that the future ebb and flow of elections will be movement between Tory and Labour rather than a splintering to smaller parties. While Lib Dems made gains, the likes of SNP and UKIP took heavy hits.
These smaller parties can potentially be king makers in the medium term, but that usually doesn’t end well for the smaller partners in government.”
SBC: Can the Conservative Government really afford to replace Theresa May, short of starting Brexit negotiations with the European Union? Furthermore, would any new leader need to call a further General Election re-run?
Benjamin Cronin (Content Editor Pinnacle): Regardless of your political disposition, both Theresa May and the Conservative party she leads (if in name only) are in a difficult position ahead of the impending Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
The Prime Minister promised “strong and stable” leadership and although she may claim to have the strength to carry on, it is the stability that will most likely be tested during those crucial EU negotiations and by the growing demands for a softer stance on Brexit from within the Tory ranks.
If May were to be replaced by a new Conservative leader, whoever fills her kitten shoes would need their own mandate from the British people in order to hold a strong hand in the Brexit negotiations. That, however, would risk the ire of Brenda from Bristol as another General Election – which would be the third in two years – would be needed.
Given the surprise results from June 8th, and the Conservative chaos that has followed, this scenario seems extremely unlikely. In short, the Conservatives are between a rock and a hard Brexit, but reeling from such a catastrophic fall from grace in the Election they are likely to hunker down and ride things out…. At least for now.