The Well Hung British Parliament

The losers are the winners and vice versa in Britain's election - or so some would have you believe. Parliament hangs in the balance.

If anything, Great Britain’s elections are a source of great entertainment. They prove that winning or losing elections is just a matter of perspective.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, called for his political opponent, Theresa May to resign, stating she had lost the moral authority. And, he added:

In the interests of the country we are willing to form a government – a minority government – to put forward a programme, a Queen’s speech, as well as an alternative budget and an alternative programme for the Brexit negotiations

It’s rather like the silver medalist of an Olympic race turning up to the gold medalist and saying: “You have no right to get the Gold!”

Sadly, for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party, the election arithmetic does not add up to their rhetoric.

Of the 650 seats in Parliament, Labour won only 262 seats, coming second in the race. Even if they had struck a deal with the Scottish Nationalist Party, The Liberal Democrats and the “others” they would still not be able to match up to their competitors – The Conservatives. The Labour party, once the most popular party, is unable to rein in its own members. In the run-up to the campaign, some Labour party candidates saw their leader Jeremy Corbyn as unfit to lead and distanced themselves from him.

The Conservatives won 318 seats and claimed the lead. However, the Conservatives did not have the numbers to form the majority Government. It was a hung Parliament. Instead of comfortably winning more seats to form a working majority that could carry on Brexit negotiations unhindered, they lost the majority they already had. From 330 seats in previous parliamentary elections, they slid down to 318. So, to make up for their losses, the Conservatives have had to make a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party. Some have dubbed this to be a deal with the Devil.

However, the irony is in the rhetoric that surrounds election results. Instead of accepting defeat and introspecting about what went wrong, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seemed elated in his numerous TV appearances, claiming that “People have voted for hope”. On being asked if they lost the election, Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Secretary of the Labour party, said:

No, I don’t think that we did. I think that we did extraordinarily well … But what’s clear from our side is that we have a surge of support for our manifesto and for our alternative vision of what Britain can be like – and we have a much stronger mandate for that than, frankly, the Tories do.

Sadly, this rhetoric falls flat on its face. In comparison to previous election results, Labour had an increase in the vote share and Conservatives had a decrease in the vote share. Yet, Labour have lost the election. They are second in the race – and far behind the Conservatives.

In his election campaigns Jeremy Corbyn, in his rather characteristic manner, said: “We are many, they are few”! The hard numbers prove that the Conservatives are many and Labour are few in the British Parliament.

The mainstream media in Britain, so-called ‘left-liberal’ intellectuals, seem to have ignored this point. Most seem to jump on to the fact that Theresa May has lost her election and that the elections signal doom and gloom for Theresa May and instability of the British political landscape.

The fact that Theresa May did not have the majority she needed gave ample ammunition to her critics, such as George Osborne (who was once part of her party and got sacked by May). In his new avatar as a newsman, he appeared on a BBC chat show claiming that Theresa May is a “dead woman walking”.

There are many ways of looking at the British election results:

One: The loser claims to be the winner
Two: The winner is the loser
Three: We are many, they are few – Damn it – it turns out that they are many and we are few
Four: British politics has gone “bonkers”!

Depending on one’s political and ideological affiliations, how one looks at the British elections is purely a matter of perspective. However, we could comfortably agree with once fact: The British Parliament is WELL HUNG!


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