Coming back after a month’s absence we find that the British political map has been redrawn. Now many of the changes were widely predicted – or at least hoped for – but perhaps few thought that so many would be realised so swiftly.
The Labour Party were shown to have fallen for their own spin that the traditionally industrial regions would always vote for them no matter how little notice had been taken of their opinions. In the real world seats like Bolsover were full of voters fed up with the Islington doctrines. One typical result being that Dennis Skinner was ousted after 49 years of being the MP for this rock-solid labour constituency.
And many of those MPs that had pushed their own agendas, rather than serve the people that they were elected to represent, got what they deserved. They wont be amongst those being sworn in to the new parliament next week.
Meanwhile the Brexit Party failed to get any of their candidates past the post in first place. This is not what many had hoped for – yet their effect on the result was far greater than either Labour or Conservative supporters – and the BBC – would admit.
Take our own constituency. The Conservative vote was up by less than 1.5% yet the well-liked sitting Labour candidate had a vote fall-off of almost 18%. Why? Because the Brexit Party took almost 14% of the vote. Not enough to do better than third overall but enough to sink Labour. So much for people who voted to leave the EU in 2016 having changed their mind, having died off or having been replaced by more intelligent first time Labour / Remain voters.
What next? A Conservative government with 162 more MPs than a leaderless Labour opposition certainly changes the game plan – especially after replacing dissident Conservative MPs with loyal party supporters and getting a new Speaker. Changes that should remove many of the obstacles to progress. And ones that will have already been noted by our European partners.
The May-Robbins-Johnson treaty with the EU is far from ideal – or even being desirable – but in practice the WTO option for leaving looks as dead as remaining. So neither side of the EU membership debate actually gets a clear victory. The outcome is coloured neither blue nor red but a muddy brown shade of compromise. Typical!