The British voted twice in less than two years for their MPs. Fast forward from the last vote, May pushes for early elections to consolidate her majority and silence her critics. This would have also worked in the negotiations with the EU.
With a 20% lead in polls a month ago, May felt confident that the yesterday’s elections would cast the end of Labour’s fierce opposition. But the polls started to narrow the difference between the two main parties.
The end of may brought uncertainty to the Tory’s plan. Two terrorist attacks brought the security policy to the media spotlight. Also the leaked Tory manifesto showed that May is up to more austerity measures. These factors combined eroded the Conservatives popularity.
May took a gamble and she lost.
She lost the majority in the Parliament. Now she is forced to ally to DUP (a pro-Brexit party from Northern Ireland which many of us didn’t know until yesterday).
The polls were wrong again
No surprise here. Polls were wrong one year ago when they tried to predict the Brexit vote. Polls were wrong again this year. Why? Because of the twisted democratic system that the UK has: first past the post, or who has the most votes wins even if that person has only 30 % of the total votes in a constituency.
There is less than a million vote difference between the Conservative and the Labour or 2.45 % in terms of real votes. However, the difference of seats is 8.6 %. The Green party, for example, gained 1.6 % of the national vote but has only 1 MP elected, or 0.2 % of the seat in the entire Parliament.
Simple math and you observe that a vote given to the Greens would have less impact than a vote given to the Conservatives or Labour.
Of course, there are people who defend the electoral system. After all, Britain is the oldest democracy in the world… No lessons should be given to Britain. Maybe we shouldn’t care so much about tradition, we should care more that our electoral systems are undemocratic. The Greens will never be able to have more than 1 MP even though they have the same vote share as LibDems that got 12 seats. Isn’t this wrong?
Stay tuned for my next article on what will happen after the UK elections!