Disclaimer: these are the views of TalkPolitics’ Managing Director and not of TalkPolitics as an organisation.
By Managing Director Matt Gillow
What a night.
For many, this is a fantastic result. Britain went to the polls yesterday morning with the muddled choice between nationalism and nationalisation – between intervention and intervention. They chose neither. Whilst they will be delighted with their gains when some predicted they would collapse, the Liberal Democrats have missed the biggest open goal in (very) recent memory. When thousands wanted a strong, liberal alternative, they failed to provide it.
The politically sensible will be delighted, waking up on the 9th June. May’s slim majority means continued Conservative leadership and not the dramatic shake-up of Corbyn’s red-in-tooth-and-claw Socialism. A progressive alliance would be strong enough to put a brake on the harshest aspects of May-ism. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is proving themselves to be a strong opposition against all the odds – absolutely essential for a Parliamentary Democracy. The Liberal centre has survived. Voter turnout was up.
But for those who will overstate the results from May’s foolish gamble – there are some important points we must remember. Jeremy Corbyn has strengthened Labour’s hand, and dramatically improved his credibility; we must give credit where it is due – but he and his Party still lost this election by nearly the same margin as in 2015. Indeed, Remainers who think that a decrease in Conservative presence in the Commons must remember that 80%+ voters cast a ballot for parties who (now) support Brexit.
There are a few, immediate lessons we can take from the result. One is that it is time for reform of our voting system. The dangers of two-party politics are that many are left disillusioned, and discourse through debate is smothered. The other, is that the electorate do not want ‘more of the same – a ‘strong and stable’ government. In Scotland, in Wales, and in many parts of England, people voted for change. Socialism must not be that change. It is on the Liberal centre/right to provide it.