by Mark Angelides
The Conservative party under Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to win an outright majority; this means that she has the option of either plodding along as a minority (with little hope of getting a Queen’s speech or a budget passed), or of forming a coalition. It is fairly clear that neither the Labour, Lib-Dems, or Independents are likely to get into bed with her party, so that leaves the Northern Ireland’s DUP (the Democratic Unionist Party), who won 10 seats. This would give a very slender majority (just over 326). But what price will the DUP exact for their support?
The leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster in an interview has already stated that: “It will be difficult for her to survive given that she was presumed at the start of the campaign, which seems an awfully long time ago, to come back with maybe a hundred, maybe more, in terms of her majority.” So it would seem that they would be unwilling to form a coalition with Theresa May at the helm. The DUP are real (small c) conservatives who back a Full Brexit and a return to Grammar Schools (which were one of the prime movers in social mobility until the disastrous Comprehensive system that is now in place came into being). If they were to enter into a deal, it is very likely that they would have some sway over who gets to replace Theresa May.
Boris Johnson has always had his sights on the top spot, and although he was late to the table, did at least come out and campaign for Brexit. Bookmakers already have him as the favourite to succeed May should she (inevitably) resign. He has a high-profile internationally, and despite being widely condemned by Remain voters for his “over-genorous promises” regarding the money the UK sends to the EU each year, he is well-liked by many and has little difficulty bridging the Class Divide.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, who surprised many with his successful campaign (although not quite successful enough to win), has already announced that he is ready and willing to form a government. In reality, this is just political posturing; his party would never be able to successfully govern with just over 260 seats.
Nigel Farage has already put his money down on Theresa May resigning: “She’s toast”, he said soon after the shape of Parliament began to form.
Despite all parties claiming that this election was a vindication of their policies and a denunciation of everyone else’s, this election really was about Brexit. If Britain does not have a pro-Brexit leader at the front, then the last two years will have (politically) been for nothing. If you have a suspicion about who may be the next PM, please let us know in the comments below.
by Mark Angelides