Our thinking

2017 General Election - May's gamble fails

The 2017 General Election will go down as one of the greatest errors of judgment in British political history.

Theresa May sprung an election to strengthen her personal mandate, and then contrived to blow a 20 point lead in the polls against an opponent whose parliamentary colleagues deemed him to be unfit for office. Moreover, May’s Conservatives trounced Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in local elections five weeks ago. But instead of the great victory that was anticipated, the Conservatives have lost ground and Britain has ended up with a hung parliament.

The narrative was that the Conservatives would make big gains across Labour’s traditional heartlands in the Midlands and the North East of England. But this wave did not materialise as many UKIP and Labour voters rallied to Jeremy Corbyn (whose position is totally secure). Labour increased its vote share sharply in these areas and easily repulsed the Tory advance.