British General Election Long Overdue

By Patrick Brogan

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced what has been called a sudden or shock election for the 8th June this year. This election has been long overdue as not one vote has been cast in her name as either Prime Minister or indeed as leader of the Conservative Party, and this at the most important time politically and culturally Britain has faced this century.

Many are focusing on Britain leaving the European Union, but there are other factors many British people are worried about, the privatisation of one of the island nation’s most beloved institutions, the NHS, is one that always pops up. It appears that Theresa May wants to truncate the health service and then sell it off. This is bad news for those in the lower wage brackets.

Does she have a chance of winning? According to the polls, she should walk it. Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats said; “Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.” The polls suggest that the Tories will still be ahead of a Labour and Liberal coalition and still have a bit to spare. But, polls, particularly in Britain, have been very unreliable as of late.

Most people are not giving Corbyn a chance, but, there was a huge movement, especially amongst younger voters, to get behind him as Labour leader, these figures don’t match up to the negative poll numbers. One thing he has to be to get elected is be clear about his stance on Europe. He gave the EU 7/10 in the build up to the European Referendum. How much does he want Britain to be involved in an European institution he has admitted is far from perfect?

Theresa May on the face of it looks likely to be elected, but her time at the tiller is far from perfect. Nagging doubts about Scotland’s future in the UK are lingering on and this will be a factor in this election. The narrow victory margin for the Leave side also means there is a massive number of people in the UK that want to be closer to Europe, these people must be appeased. Plus, her stance on human rights leaves a lot to be desired. Turning her back on the European Court of Human Rights has concerned many and there is also her infamous “Snoopers’ Charter” which will erode personal privacy.

The media may be on her side, but I sincerely doubt the majority of British people are hungry for Conservative rule. The question is, can the opposition take advantage? There are numerous factors leading into this election and it will be a lot closer than people think.


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