Hung, Drawn and Quartered: UK General Election 2017


So, the results are in and Theresa May is looking slightly less smug than in her past months of Corbyn-bashing and soundbite spewing. May, who seemed ready to be handed back her position as Prime Minister, was not only left without a majority win and a loss of thirteen seats, but with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gaining thirty-two seats, with a lot of help from young voters - a hung parliament.

It was only back in April, when May surprised the country with a snap general election. She hoped to gain a larger majority, to strengthen the UK’s hand in Brexit talks, as there would be less Labour, SNP and Liberal Democratic seats. May feared they would ‘destabilise’ and ‘frustrate’ the process, and it seems they did exactly that. Rather than ousting opposing parties from parliament as planned, May’s decision has not only increased their credibility, most notably Jeremy Corbyn’s, but lost herself thirteen MPs - even though early polls suggested a potential 20% Conservative lead.

So, what created this surge of Labour support? Most namely, young people. Not only did 250,000 young people register to vote, an increase of around 29% from 2015, 63% cast their vote for Labour. This rise in youth voter turnout meant Corbyn had 40.2% of the vote share, up nearly 10% from Ed Miliband’s in 2015. Not bad for a guy who started his campaign trailing far behind the current PM, who already had a vote of no confidence from his own party. However, the celebration of more Labour seats is bittersweet. With the Tories needing eight seats for a majority, it has got them calling on some unknown political figures for help. One party, which took ten seats in Northern Ireland and holds Conservative values, albeit slightly twisted, is the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The DUP have been in negotiations with Theresa May, in the hope of forming a coalition government. The coalition of chaos May talked of throughout her campaign, seems to be one of the only things manifesting.

Although it seems very likely that the Conservatives and the DUP will form a coalition, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign was still hugely successful. Yes, we might still have Theresa May dragging us through Brexit talks, yes, the DUP are probably going to become more involved than we would like, and I’m sure this means we are going to continue to hear the words, ‘strong and stable’, just because May isn’t programmed with anything new, yet. However, it does mean that finally, Jeremy Corbyn is not seen as weak; it means that there are now thirty-two more Labour MPs opposing conservative ideologies, and most importantly, it means that young people got their voices heard.

Emily Fortune