By Josh Kennedy | UK
This week the people of the United Kingdom went to the polls to decide the fate of their country. Within the UK there are several major parties, but only two had a chance at winning the election. The election was based around electing 650 members of parliament (MP’s) into the House of Commons. The winning party must form a government with its leader becoming Prime Minister. This election was different, the last election was in 2015 and another wasn’t due until 2020. This changed after PM Theresa May called a snap election to “Strengthen her hand” in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, where she and her party advocated for a hard Brexit (No deal is better than a bad deal.)
At the start of the short campaign, Theresa May’s Conservatives had a 23% lead in polls, followed by the seemingly unelectable Jeremy Corbyn. So the question is, who were the real winners and losers of this election?
With not much surprise one of the night’s biggest winners were the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn began the campaign massively down in polls and finished in a close second with a substantial swing on the vote (Bigger than Tony Blair’s in 1997.) Jeremy Corbyn managed to gain 30 seats, something which was thought to be impossible towards the start of the campaign.
Although not gaining nearly as much as Labour, the Northern Irish party the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) were made kingmakers due to Theresa May failing to get the majority she needed in the election. Now that the DUP has confirmed a coalition with May it has put them in a powerful position and has allowed them to make many demands.
Finally the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats (also known as the Lib Dems or Liberals) were reduced to only nine seats the last election down from 57 in which they held before. This was a disaster for them after going into coalition with the Tories in 2010. With their new leader, Tim Farron, they saw gains in Scotland and many parts of England but lost former leader Nick Clegg to the Labour Party.
So who were the night’s biggest losers?
Although this is debatable, I would say the Conservatives. Beginning with a lead of 23% in polls, this would have given May a substantial majority within the HOC. But after running what has been described as an awful campaign, with several U-Turns, failing to show up at debates and only going to staged crowd events, her support plummeted. Although failing in England and Wales, it is also important to mention that the Scottish Conservatives increased their seats to 12 substantially up from 2015.
Another great loser of the night, the SNP (also known as the Scottish National Party.) In the last election, the SNP took all but three of the parliamentary seats in Scotland, almost wiping out the Labour and Liberal Democrats there. This election saw them lose 21 seats, this included their West Minster Leader, Angus Robertson, and Former Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond. Despite this, it is still safe to say the SNP still rule the roost, but for how much longer?
Finally the biggest losers, UKIP (UK Independence Party.) After Nigel Farage resigned as UKIP leader, Paul Nuttall MEP took his place. Nuttall had a big job on his plate as after the election was called UKIP’s support plummeted. Sure enough, the party lost over 90% of the support it received in the last election and only managed to get 1.8% of the vote and won no seats, which was down 10% of the popular vote from the last election. Former Leader Nigel Farage claims this is not the end for UKIP and has stated he will be making a return to UK politics after current Leader Paul Nuttall Resigned.