I freely admit that I don’t understand politics, but after the many unpredictable results in recent elections internationally I don’t know if anyone does. In the days following the British election I have mostly seen headlines saying that Labour won, but did they really?
Labour have some reason to celebrate because they gained 30 seats compared to the last election, and the Conservatives lost 13. That gave them respectively 262 and 318 seats out of 650. None of them have majority and consequently none can govern without support from another party, but Labour is farther from achieving that than the Tories. So I ask myself, if Theresa May had resgined, as the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded, what would happen?
Jeremy Corbyn argued that if Theresa May left office “the country would get a government that would be truly representative of the people of this country”. I come from a country where it’s hard to get a majority government, and the solution Theresa May is going for is what we have had in Norway the last four years. She aims to govern with the support of ten seats from the Democratic Unionist Party, but as I understand it the party from Northern Ireland won’t be a part of the government. They are just going to vote together in parliament without having a coalition.
This reminds me of the situation in 2010. David Cameron and Gordon Brown did worse than Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, but the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition in the interest of stablity. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn won only four more seat than Gordon Brown seven years ago, and Theresa May won 12 more seats than David Cameron, so I don’t see how Corbyn can claim to represent a much vaster segment of the population than Theresa May.
Jeremy Corbyn has had a rather turbulent time as the leader of Labour. His leadership has been questioned by segments of his own party. There are many in his own party that feel he has taken the party too much to the left. In other words, the party has become Labour again. Many of his critics feel that he is unelectable, and maybe they are correct. After all, this election has been hailed as a huge success for Labour, but after a very good campaign against a candidate that didn’t really campaign at all, he was only four seats up from Gordon Brown’s result seven years ago. A leftwing politician may very well be unelectable. I wonder what he would do with his critics if he moved into Downing Street. Would there be a constant struggle with unpredictable votes in parliament?
I think the only alternative to the Conservatives would be a new election and I am not sure that Jerermy Corbyn, with actual socialist politics, would be more electable in the second round. No matter what happens this time, Corbyn probably had enough success to get another attempt at number 10.
I don’t know if the Labour Party in Norway is representative, but the experiences we have in Norway make me skeptical. They claim to be on the side of poor people, but in reality they make it just as hard to be poor as the Conservatives. I don’t need another blue party.