Strong and stable. That was the mantra from the Conservative party ahead of the June 2017 UK General Election. Yet after a disasterous campaign, a couple of major policy u-turns, and a hung parliament, the reality looks much more like ‘weak and wobbly’. The Prime Minister had hoped for a landslide victory to give her a strong mandate ahead of the Brexit negotiations and instead she’s lost David Cameron’s majority.

Theresa May has been described as a ‘dead woman walking’ leading a ‘zombie government’. Nevertheless, her position in the short term looks (perversely) quite healthy, simply because the Tories are now terrified of a resurgent Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. She has defied political gravity and clung on, despite even her much-criticised response to the Grenfell Tower disaster. But for how long can she stay in power?

We had a comment from Catherine, who thinks “there will have to be another vote in the Autumn”. Is that likely? To get a response, we put her comment to Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London and Director of the UK in a Changing Europe. What would he say?

Well, if I’ve learnt anything about politics in the last year, it’s that I’m not going to do predictions anymore. But what I will say is that it’s perfectly possible. What it ultimately depends on is what Conservative MPs think. My own feeling is that Theresa May is so weak that they’ll probably decide to keep her for a while because they can’t decide who would replace her and the government is unstable because it doesn’t have a majority. My guess is that if the election had lead to a Conservative majority of 15 or so, she’d be gone and we’d have a new leader. At the moment, it suits them to keep her there, and the question is how long it does suit them. The one thing I think is clear is that we will have a new Conservative leader before we have a new election. They’re not going to let Theresa May lead them into a new election, I think.

We also had a comment from Rosy, who belives one consequence of the vote is that there is now no mandate for ‘Hard Brexit’ anymore. Is she right?

The problem with the referendum, politically, is that there isn’t a majority for anything. There’s no majority for staying in the European Union. There’s no majority for a ‘Soft Brexit’ and there’s no majority for a Hard Brexit. And that’s why Brexit is going to be fundamentally very, very divisive. Now, in Parliament, a lot of people have said we now have a Soft Brexit majority. That may or may not be the case. That depends on how Parliament votes. If you remember our referendum, straight after our referendum loads of commentators were saying that they voted to Leave but there’s a massive majority in the House of Commons against Brexit, so they’ll block it. And the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to trigger Article 50. So, we don’t know what there’s a majority for until they’re called to vote and we know the politics. So, it’s far too soon to say that even in Parliament there’s a strong majority for Brexit.

Should Britain have another election? Is a new government better than a weak government? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStockPhoto – terry bouch

33 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Daniel Leu

    It is irrelevant what the eu says. Stop f***ing with democracy. Deal with it.

  2. Daniel Leu

    It is irrelevant what the eu says. Stop fucking with democracy. Deal with it.

  3. Răzvan Corneliu Vilt

    You can’t keep holding elections until you like the results. You have to do with what you have. Minority governments work everywhere and they are no shame. The government needs to work more with the legislature, but work can be accomplished.
    Having a minority government is authentic representative democracy.

  4. Yordan Vasilev

    I think no, because if Teresa May would hold a new election it would have been a crush for her party; and a new referendum is impossible because both conservatives and labourists are for the Brexite.

  5. Enric Mestres Girbal

    Why are you so interested in Britain changing its mind?. Other countries should be as inteligent and leave the group.

  6. Tom Kuilder

    Another election, then another election and if the result still isn’t what you europhiles desire, just hold another election.

  7. EU Reform- Proactive

    One unfortunately can sense the “Schadenfreude” of fellow EU politicians, together with a sprouting opportunism growing stronger within the never say stop “Eurozone enlargement” believers. The past election was however ill conceived and void of good judgement. Rub it in- foster anti UK- pro EU propaganda- for how long- for ever?

  8. catherine benning

    Should Britain hold a new election?


    How many votes did Merkal get? Her %? How many votes did the short Frenchman get? % of vote? Are you asking them to re-run their elections?

    You have no idea how the huge swing of the population in this country, other than London dwellers, not in touch with the majority citizens of this island, as they are immigrants, want out of the EU and fast. Everything you are doing and saying in this matter is driving them further away and making them very angry indeed.

    However, if you believe that trying to imply some kind of ‘punishment’ for voting out is going to get you one shred of unity for staying in, then you have miscalculated the natural English mindset.

    We voted for out and as a side bar, Corbyn wants as much out as any one of us. So hanging your hat up to him is wrong footed. Here is his idol and mentor telling all about what being part of European dictatorship means.

    You are panicking. And you need to.

    And the great man just before he died at Oxford University

    And here is a man to the right of the Commons (the other guy, Tony Benn, was hard left) who, with good fortune, will be our next Prime Minister. Either this man or David Davies.

  9. Sari Bruno

    New elections; no. It has no sense at this point. Many British are ready to leave the EU.

  10. Karolina

    It will probably be forced to when the government fails to get legislation through parliament. The latest election result is just another indication of the deepening divisions in British society and the overall decline of political life in the UK. It’s bound to happen when you have a weak democracy that allows for changes in the nature of the state and removal of citizen rights on the back of a slight swing of public opinion. The problems have always been there. They have just been exposed now due to the difficulty of the times and the overall crisis that Europe is going through. The nonexistent opposition also contributed to the decline. British democracy has not exactly been water-tight… Others, like France, are riding the storm. It depends on your constitution.

  11. Jokera Jokerov

    It is for Britain to decide. Should the EP have elections for the Euro commissionaires with at least 2 people running for one position, not like in SOVIET TIMES.

  12. Kevin Radcliffe

    The country is split down the middle the UK and the EU are split a full agreement will not be made before the clock runs out and we will crash out and trade on WTO rules

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