The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Hung UK Parliament

The final results are 318 for the Conservatives, 262 for Labour, 35 for the SNP (Scottish), 12 for the Liberal Democrats, 10 for DUP (Democratic Unionist) and 13 “Other.”

There are 650 seats total, meaning 326 are needed for a majority.

DUP is who the Conservatives will govern with, and they are the Protestant Unionists in Northern Ireland. Not very nice people and associated with violence carried out on behalf of staying in the UK.

Labour will not be forming the government, odds are, but this is a victory for Labour in that the Conservatives’ majority is reduced to a minority.

72 percent of 18-24 year olds voted, which is unprecedented to my knowledge.

The takeaway is simple: Left-wing neoliberalism is dying (and with luck is dead), in England. A straight up message of nationalizing railroads and energy, of free tuition, of building homes, did far better than the neoliberals have done in years.

This was a two party election–third parties shed followers.

Corbyn outperformed massively, which is the risk of demonizing one’s enemies. Having screamed about how terrible he was, Blairites are reduced to saying, “Anyone else would have done better, May was awful.” After they’ve lost two elections to Corbyn and been wrong about him three times, this sounds weak.

Center-right parties are dying or reinventing themselves. There is no appetite for mealy-mouthed neoliberalism. Go all right, or go what passes these days for hard-left. The demographics are 100 percent on the left’s side: The younger people are, the more left-wing they are, and now, they’re even voting when offered politics which appeal to them.

I mean, given the university loans crisis, it seems like basic, no-brainer politics to offer them debt-forgiveness and free tuition.

In more immediate terms, the question is whether May will survive. Boris Johnson is likely sharpening his knife collection as we speak: She didn’t have to call this election and she lost her majority in it, after a terrible personal performance in which she appeared scared to be in the same room as Corbyn.

The second issue is when the next election will be. Is a coalition with the DUP in the works? Is it a strong coalition? It wouldn’t take much for the Conservatives to lose a vote of no-confidence and be back at the polling booths, though other parties will be reluctant to knock them out–and with good reason, fearing that Britons will punish them for having to go back to the polls so immediately.

A new election may be necessary, soon, and accepted as such, if the Conservatives find themselves unable to effectively negotiate Brexit.

I shall be interested to see if Labour MPs, who still hate Corbyn, launch another attack. There have been gestures of peace, but many will never give Corbyn credit for anything, and genuinely do disagree with his politics. I assume, however, that they will at least wait a while, while continuing to snipe and leak in hopes of weakening him.

We shall see.

Overall, I’m very happy with this result. I expect(ed) the realignment to take till 2020/24 for demographic reasons, but this is an early earthquake sign of better politics to come.

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The Labour Surge in Britain (Election Day Thread)


A Time of Hope


  1. V. Arnold

    …and been wrong about him 3 times, sounds week.

    Don’t you mean weak?

  2. Reagan is worship by people in big houses – and it seemed sensible to them to knock over little houses.

  3. Ian Welsh

    Yes, thanks V.

  4. Brian

    An encouraging sign. Let’s hope Corbyn’s Labour continues to chip away at both the Tories and the Blairites.

    I quite liked this ad:

    Simple, direct, forceful and moral. More please, especially on the other side of the pond.

  5. highrpm

    I mean, given the university loans crisis, it seems like basic politics to offer them debt-forgiveness and free tuition. governments in crisis because they won’t face some basic truths. one is policy compassion: being sensitive to distress with the commitment to try to reduce it. something the privatization/ reaganites don’t get. and don’t ever want to get.

  6. Whim

    As an American, it’s been a lot of fun watching Corbyn climb his way to the top. While my knowledge of British politics is rudimentary at best, I’ve been doing some catching up on it as it’s caught my interest. One interesting scruple that has arisen is that Sinn Feun is now claiming that any Tory/DUP coalition would violate the Good Friday agreement. With no Northern Irish government at the moment, Westminster is the de facto ruler until a government can be formed. And since the Good Friday agreement asserts that the U.K. government can’t take sides between the nationalists and the unionists, and the Tories are attempting to form a government with one of those sides… it could be highly problematic. Probably an understatement.

    So, in order to stave that off, they’d need to convince the LibDems to join, which is likely a no go. That could portend another election coming down the line, which would be a bloodbath.

  7. Whim:
    You’re right, especially about the GFA. Being the former Home Secretary, May had to know she was on shaky ground trying to coalition with the DUP. Strong and stable my ass. It’s only a matter of time before Corbyn becomes PM. Labour and Momentum smell the blood in the water now. May has shown how weak and pathetic she really is. Her days are numbered.

  8. Mallam

    I’ve seen it posted that there are 60 seats not held by Labour where Tories hold majorities of 3000 votes or less. That’s the path to a majority right there. Organize the young people in those areas, Labour wins. Also I’ve seen that 72% figure but without any verification, and others have questioned its veracity. Nonetheless, youth turnout was clearly the key (we always knew it was), question was getting them out. The old boy did it — just as Bernie would have.

  9. “Nothing Has Changed!”

    The London Time is the center of the deep conflict on the Tory side-of the aisle.

    They want change – with the Tories in charge.

  10. StewartM

    I am delighted at Corbyn’s surge too. My biggest fear, however, is that we have allowed our rich to become so powerful it would not surprise me for them to do whatever they could to throw the British economy (or wherever else real reformers get a chance) into turmoil; a deliberate act of sabotage to ‘prove’ that “see, ‘socialism’ doesn’t work”.

    That is why bailing out the elites in 2008-2009 was such a terrible idea, not only in the short run, but in the long run too.

  11. The Stephen Miller Band

    Meanwhile, The Rich get richer.

  12. Oaktown Girl

    Ian – the tag for this post currently says “2027 British Election”. Typo?

    @StewartM – a reasonable fear. There are a whole lot of houses the rich can burn down before they themselves ever feel the heat. And they have no compunction about doing so.

  13. V. Arnold

    It appears the UK deep state is in panic mode with Corbyn’s excellent showing; brings a smile to my face; the Brits finally got something right; now, what will they do with it?
    The mind-dead Usians haven’t quite figured it out yet; probably never will…

  14. How long does this hung together?
    (Jokes implied)

  15. Git-mo

    “It appears the UK deep state is in panic mode with Corbyn’s excellent showing; brings a smile to my face; the Brits finally got something right; now, what will they do with it?

    The mind-dead Usians haven’t quite figured it out yet; probably never will…”

    So, you’re happy the Brits participated in an election and the results were to you liking? That’s pretty rich considering you’re the wanker who’s been bleating on about “meaningless elections” for years.

    Americans haven’t quite figured things out just yet but they’re working on it. No thanks to old farts stroking their balls in Thailand, that bastion of liberty.

  16. V. Arnold

    Oh my, another bloody troll…

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