Friday, June 09, 2017

UK General Election 2017: The Exit Poll

Well. The notorious BBC exit poll has been published. Exit polls are no more a result than any other poll. But these BBC exit polls tend to be accurate.
So. First. Wow. Blimey. I was wrong with my prediction. But. At least I was on the right side of wrong. I wasn’t one of those predicting a May majority of 100, even 80.
That said. This is a victory for Labour. A disaster for May. A goodish result for the Liberal Democrats. And the beginning of the end for the Scottish National Party.
Ok. What next? And let me give you a hint. There are next to no experts on the British Constitution among the British media. Absolutely none in the US. So. Pay no attention to them.
As a consequence of the rules agreed to after the General Election of 2010, when there was also a Hung Parliament, rules drafted by the then Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, the Queen will call on the Leader of the largest Party to attempt to form a government.
May’s only real chance of a government is in coalition with the Democratic Unionists and the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats won’t. The DUP probably won't be enough. In my opinion, therefore, and if the exit poll figures hold true, May will probably fail to form a government that commands a natural majority in the House of Commons.
She may try to govern without a majority. If I were Jeremy Corbyn, I would not give her the chance. Screw all the nonsense about Brexit negotiations beginning in 11 days time. The British government will tell the EU to wait.
The Constitution requires that May be given a chance. But there is no written Constitution as such. It is all conventions, wisdom, paying attention to the voice of the people, sticking a finger in the wind.
And the bottom line is this. Two months ago, Theresa May had a polling lead averaging about 20%. The British public have utterly rejected her. More than this, they have voted positively for Jeremy Corbyn and his program. This will be especially true if the Labour vote turns put to be larger than in 2015.
It matters not what anyone says about the SNP voting on English matters. We are still one country, called Great Britain. And Great Britain handed a success to Jeremy Corbyn. He went up. Theresa May went down.
The result allows May to have her chance. But only a limited one. Corbyn’s success allows him to be hard-headed. But within reason. And it allows him to govern with the tacit support of the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green MP, the Liberal Democrats and like-minded parties from Northern Ireland.
If May stays as Prime Minister, she will not be challenged as Leader of the Conservative Party until after the Brexit negotiations have concluded.
The Brits take this whole Queen thing seriously. The Prime Minister is the Queen’s Prime Minister, not Parliament’s.
The Queen calls on a Member of Parliament to form a government. Parliament does not choose that person.
If the Queen calls on May to form a government. Then it will be May forming that government for the Conservatives. Not another Conservative.
There is just a chance that the Conservatives, desperate to hang onto power, may demand that May step aside, in favor of another Conservative MP, who might gain the backing of Parliament.
I think that unlikely. May is stubborn. And Corbyn could turn around and say, convention requires I give May a chance. But not any other Conservative. They lost this election. They went entirely the wrong way. By bucketloads. Why should I stand aside?
I can’t say as I’d disagree.
If I had to put money on it. If this exit poll is correct. Corbyn will be Prime Minister within two weeks.
But how did this happen? Well, those polls which were showing this to be a close election were correct. And those fashioning those polls said that their models were different because they were factoring in a large turnout of young people. So. I’m guessing young people (18-25) made the difference.
Whoever becomes Prime Minister, tactics with regards to the Brexit negotiations will now change.
Theresa May was playing hardball because she said she had the country behind her. The country is likely still pretty much Brexit. But not hard Brexit.
Besides, those doing the negotiating for the EU are going to be the ones playing hardball now.
What else? Oh yes. Once the Brexit negotiations are concluded, May will be gone. Unless she resigns before the end of this coming weekend. And. She won't be getting a bust in the Carlton Club.
Even if Corbyn does not become Prime Minister, he’s not going anywhere. He now has the opportunity to choose his preferred successor.
The Liberal Democrats will be reasonable happy. Provided the exit poll works out. And gives them a few extra seats.
The SNP are finished. This was a bad result. They are not now going to get a second independence referendum. Labour won’t give them one.
Labour will be taking the view that, once Brexit is done, once folk realize there isn’t going to be a second referendum, those folk will abandon the SNP as a one issue party. Just as UKIP proved to be. At which point, Labour will be expecting to get back their voters.
Um. That's it. Until we get some actual results. May. 100 seat majority. Wipe away the tears of mirth. Never a dull moment in the UK, eh?

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