I remember thinking when Theresa May called early elections, “Don’t get cocky, kid” and “Leave well enough alone”. But the lure of polls predicting a supermajority must have been irresistible as the dread Emperor Mong (or his civilian avatar, the Good Idea At The Time Fairy) whispered in her ear. The apparent complete descent into lunacy of Labour under [expletives deleted] Jeremy Corbyn must have made a Tory victory seem inevitable.
So she couldn’t leave well enough alone, and plunged ahead. Now the results are essentially complete, and she has… a hung parliament. [Full data here]
Counterintuitive as this seems: despite gaining 5.6% of the votes, her party saw a net loss of 13 seats (19 gained, 32 lost). (Sounds familiar?)
Labour gained a whopping 9.6%, though
much a quarter of its actual gain of 31 seats came at the expense of the equally-looney left SNP (which lost 19 seats).
The UK Independence Party (formerly the 3rd largest party) was nearly wiped off the electoral map, dropping from 12.7 to 1.9%. Its number of seats in Parliament stayed unchanged: zero. (Such are the vagaries of first-past-the-post constituency voting: the Scottish National Party commanded a mere 4.8% of the vote in the previous election but returned 54 seats — as it is regionally dominant.) Presumably, many of the UKIP voters defected to the Tories or staid home, but in the age of chaos, nothing is impossible, not even defection to Labour 😉
The current 3rd largest party Liberal Democrats lost 0.4% of the vote and increased their parliamentary representation from 8 to 12.
Northern Ireland/Ulster returned 10 Democratic Unionists (=Protestants) and 7 Sinn Fein (=Irish Republicans), while Plaid Cymru (Welsh separatists) have 4 seats. The Greens have one seat, plus there is one seat listed as “Other”.
“Masgramondou” just drew my attention to this: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/…/scotland-bright-spot…/
“Amongst the many sentences I never thought I would type, I can add this: Scotland is the only bright spot for the Tories. The great Scottish Conservative comeback is underway.”
We are living in the year of Kek, the Age of Chaos, or [my preferred term] Heinlein’s “Crazy Years”.
UPDATE: now with just 4 seats left (Kensington +3 in Cornwall, all previously Tory) we are at:
35 Scottish National Party
12 Liberal Democrats
23 “Others”, of which 18 in Northern Ireland (10 Protestant Unionists, 7 Irish Republicans, and 1 Independent), 4 Welsh separatists in Wales, and 1 Green in Brighton. The Unionists might be a viable partner for the Tories.
UPDATE 2: only 1 constituency left, Kensington: just 35 votes separate the Tory and the Labourite. A
secondthird recount is to take place, probably on Saturday. Full results of 649 out of 650 constituencies via BBC:
318 Conservative (-12)
261 Labour (+29)
35 Scottish National Party (-21)
12 Liberal Democrats (+4)
10 Democratic Unionists (+2) [=Northern Irish Protestants]
7 Sinn Fein (+3) [=Northern Irish Catholics/Republicans]
4 Plaid Cymru (+1) [=Welsh separatists]
1 Green [in Brighton]
1 Independent [in the North Down constituency in Northern Ireland]
Parties exiting Parliament: In England, UKIP [-1]; in Northern Ireland, SDLP [-3] and Ulster Unionist Party [-2].
UPDATE 3: it is quite revealing to break down gains and losses by the constituent countries of the United Kingdom:
England: Tories -21; Labour +20; LibDem +2; UKIP -1
Scotland: SNP -21; Tories +12; Labour +6; LibDem +3
Wales: Tories -3; Labour +3; LibDem -1; Plaid Cymru [=Welsh separatists] +1;
N. Ireland: Democratic Unionist Party +2 and Ulster Unionist Party -2 — these are two rival Protestant parties which now effectively continue as one; SDLP’s remaining 3 seats went to Sinn Fein (=Irish Republicans); Independent MP Lady Sylvia Hermon (ex-UUP) retains her North Down seat.
UPDATE 4: Labour got the Kensington seat on 3rd recount, with a margin of 20 (twenty) votes.
And if “Theresa Mayday”s troubles weren’t big enough: Ruth Davidson, the head of the Scottish Tories and flush from her resounding victory in Scotland, is now threatening to separate the Scottish party from the English one if the mulled coalition with the DUP goes through. The latter are socially conservative and specifically opposed to “same-sex marriage”, while Ruth Davidson is openly lesbian and engaged to another woman. Then again, if the DUP and Sinn Fein (once literally mortal enemies) can have have a good working relationship, agreeing to disagree on traditional marriage seems quite small potatoes in comparison…