The United Kingdom’s 2017 Snap General Election is over… and politics is once again in turmoil. It’s time for TNAC’s take on where we began, what happened throughout and where we are now.


The time was 9:58pm on the evening of June 8th. Bedecked in my Labour attire, the full t-shirt, wristband, badge and rosette combination, I was waiting outside of the count hall in my constituency. There was a bustle of Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem and Green activists, councillors and candidates and there was a tense atmosphere which lay thick upon the reception in which we were amassed.

9:59pm.

My palms were become quite sweaty and my body was trembling slightly. I shifted on my feet, back and forth, as I glanced, perhaps somewhat erratically around the crowd, catching the colours of yellow and green ribbons from the opposing parties.

10:00pm.

The polls close across the United Kingdom. All votes to be cast, have been cast: the future merely awaits to be counted across 650 Parliamentary constituencies across the UK. Without a TV or my phone available, I had to wait for the news to filter through. It would be a minute or so, before the exit poll, presented by David Dimbleby on the BBC News, would by typed and put online. I was biting my fingernails, holding my hands to my face, praying to Tony Benn, Clement Attlee, Nye Bevan, Keir Hardie, Harold Wilson et. al. that the electorate would look kindly upon us.

10:01pm.

Our campaign organiser has the exit poll. For all that has happened in the campaign, for every leaflet pushed through a letter box, every conversation on the street, every door knocked, every chat with citizens on the doorstep, every insult, every poll prediction, every Tweet or Facebook post, every step walked on the trail – it all came down to this. Hands shaking yet more and ears pricked, I leaned in. The result was…

Well, shouldn’t we find out how we got here first?

Part 1: The Brexit Behemoth and Cameron’s Collapse

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David Cameron announces the result of the EU Referendum and his subsequent resignation thus triggering a Conservative Party leadership contest (Credit: Number 10 under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The root cause of this election can be traced to little over a year ago, when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Having unexpectedly won the 2015 General Election with a slight majority of 12 David Cameron had to fulfil a key election promise: a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, a policy mainly adopted to placate his Party’s rowdy, Eurosceptic backbenchers but also to quell the threat from the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) which was eating into Labour and Conservative votes across the country, having increased their percentage nationally by 9.5% to become the third most popular party in terms of vote share, replacing the crushed Liberal Democrats.

Without delving into the minutiae of the Referendum campaign, it can be said that the result was unexpected, to say the least. Polling up until the Referendum largely placed Remain ahead and with the backing of all major party leaders, the British Government and a plethora of celebrities, it was presumed that the status-quo would win out over what was being touted as an unforeseen leap into the abyss. It was obvious that despite the Prime Minister stating that he would see through the Government until 2020, even if the vote was for Leave, that he would either resign or be forced out. On the morning of June 24th, Cameron did what was expected and quit.

This of course, caused a small amount of chaos. After the greatest political upheaval in recent memory, the country was drifting, listless, without a leader. The Conservatives had to choose a new leader who would become the new Prime Minister. Five names put themselves forward to be crowned PM by the Conservative Parliamentary Party: Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary; Stephen Crabb, Work and Pensions Secretary; Andrea Leadsom, Minister of Energy and Climate Change; Michael Gove, who had stabbed his key ally in the Leave campaign, Boris Johnson, in the back to get on the ballot; and Home Secretary, Theresa May.

After a brief campaign, in which Fox and Gove were eliminated, Crabb dropped out and Leadsom withdrew, amidst a controversy surrounding claiming May could not be Prime Minister because of her inability to have children, Theresa May was eventually proclaimed new Conservative leader and took office as Prime Minister on 13th July 2016 promising to ‘build a better Britain’ in the spirit of One-Nation Conservatism.

Part 2: The Cult of May

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Prime Minister Theresa May giving a speech at Lancaster House, January 17th 2017, outlining her plans for Brexit – in face of the opposition, lead by Jeremy Corbyn, May styled herself as a strong leader, similar to that of Margaret Thatcher (Credit: Number 10 under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Once May had become Prime Minister, things became apparent that it would not be the status-quo of Cameron. From a Home Secretary who had supported the Remain campaign, albeit, it is worth noting, with a great deal of modesty, the Government aligned itself with a distinctly hard flavour of Brexit in January 2017 which included a commitment for the United Kingdom to reduce net migration, a keen idea of May’s since her time at the Home Office, the conditional guarantee of the rights of EU citizens, leaving the European Single Market, and, worrying for a considerable number of Remain voters, the belief that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

The Prime Minister was promising a Brexit of epic proportions, but during this time, it can be said that there was little opposition to truly stand up. The Labour Party was in the tumultuous backwash of a second leadership contest in as many years, which resulted in the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn, popular with his grassroots members, but not with his Parliamentary Party nor with the public at large, which placed his approval net -35 in January 2017 compared with the Prime Minister on +17. Corbyn’s performances in the Commons were at times risible and the continuous murmurs from his centrists backbenchers, made for an uneasy Party, un-unified and unable to mount scathing attacks against the Government. The Party of Europe, the Liberal Democrats, too suffered from an inability to respond to the Government, partly due to their dull leadership under Tim Farron and partly due to their almost hilariously small number of seats – just 9 at the end of the 2015-17 Parliament.

Theresa May was in a position of dominance and went about strengthening her hand, mainly through the establishment of herself as a Prime Ministerial figure of authority, often placing the Conservative Party as the second item in her repertoire. This had a three-fold importance:  it played against the perceived personal weaknesses of Jeremy Corbyn, constantly slated as a pacifistic, limp, protester rather than a man capable of being Premier; it played to the tune of the tabloid media which has consistently emphasised elections as a contest for leaders rather than policy; and it gave voters a chance to vote for the traditionally toxic Tory brand in working-class areas, due to the painting of support for the Conservatives being an effective proxy for Theresa May and her Brexit mandate. The extent to which this paid off was evident in polling just before the announcement of a Snap Election on 18th April, when a ICM-Guardian Poll, have the Conservatives a 18% lead, by 44% to 26% in the polls, enough to secure a significant majority in a Commons in which murmurs were apparent due to a number of proposed amendments to the Article 50 Notification Bill, which was making its way through the House at the time. Despite claims of opposition interference however, the Government was not defeated on a single vote during the process.

Part 3: The Crunch

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Strong and stable leadership – Theresa May went to the British people to ask for a greater majority for her Government, warning against voting for Jeremy Corbyn, risking a ‘coalition of chaos’ (Credit: Conservative Party)

On April 18th, as the morning progressed, news filtered through that the Prime Minister was planning a press conference outside of Downing Street, following a Cabinet meeting. As we presumed no new wars were being announced, it was thought that a snap election, or a resignation would be on the way. The former was the case – despite the fact that she had denied that she would call a snap election on at least five occasions preceding.

In her speech to the British people, Theresa May clearly outlined her plan for the future and why the election had to take place:

“The country is coming together but Westminster is not. Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach. The Lib Dems have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. Unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.”

Despite this not being entirely the case, the Prime Minister had clearly set the boundaries on which she would fight the election – giving her a personal mandate and a large majority in the Commons to execute Brexit as she saw fit, ‘in the national interest’. This attitude is best summed up by the headline in The Daily Mail of the 19th April, the day after the announcement, which stated that the Prime Minister wished to: “Crush the Saboteurs.” It was clear what was at stake – the authority and power of the Prime Minister.

On the 19th April, due to the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 requiring for a 2/3 majority in the House of Commons being required before a General Election is called, Parliament met. The necessary number of votes were 434 MP’s – a super-majority of the House. The motion passed: 532 votes for, 13 against. The die was cast for what may be the most pivotal election since the end of WW2.

Part 4: Leading up to Local Elections

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Holding Britain back – Labour focused their campaign on the failures of the Tory Government whilst proposing an alternate plan for Government, For the Many, Not the Few (Credit: Labour Party)

The election began in somewhat interesting circumstances – namely the fact that during the build-up to election day, set as the 8th June, on the 4th May, there would be local elections up-and-down the country. With this in mind and the thought that local elections would be somewhat of a predictor of what would happen at the ballot box on June 8th.

The Conservative election started off on the same basic principles that Prime Minister May had outlined in her speech: supporting the Prime Minister on her Brexit negotiations, protecting against a ‘coalition of chaos’ with Jeremy Corbyn and keeping taxes low. However, a few wobbles were apparent from the offset – particularly noticeable were the promise to allow a free vote on the repeal of the fox-hunting ban, despite a majority of the public in all areas, rural and urban supporting its maintenance; the promise to cap energy bills, a pledge stolen from the Labour Party’s manifesto of 2015, previously labelled as Marxist by the Tories; and the news that. after the Tories were fined £70,000 by the Electoral Commission in March, despite charges being dropped against election expenses for the Battle Bus, which may have swung marginal constituencies, the candidate standing for the seat of South Thanet, Chris MacKinlay, was still under investigation for electoral fraud. But despite this, the polls still held well for the Tories and a Tory majority was all but the most likely outcome.

For Labour, the start of the election gave a chance to reinvigorate and rebuild what had been a Labour Party which had been seemingly quiet in Opposition. The Party began to campaign on the simple campaign message of: “For the Many, Not the Few.” The Party began to lay out a platform of socialist, populist policies: from promising four new national bank holidays for each patron saint of the UK; pledged an extra 10,000 Police officers to mitigate cuts made by Theresa May when she served as Home Secretary (which was somewhat overshadowed by Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, getting some of her arithmetic wrong); and a ‘Jobs-First Brexit’ which pledged tariff-free access to the European Single Market, whilst allowing the UK to control immigration once more. The Party was clearly aligning itself in a far more radical direction than had been seen under Ed Miliband. Whereas the Conservatives, or rather Theresa May, were campaigning under the banner of Brexit, the Labour Party would be campaigning on a broad anti-establishment programme.

The first indication however of where these campaigns might be headed and how successful they might be, came in the local elections of the 4th May. The results were not good reading for the Labour Party and were a boon to the Tories. Labour lost control of 7 councils, shedding some 382 councillors, whilst the Tories gained an astonishing 563 councillors and took control of 11 councils. Bad news also followed for the Liberal Democrats, who saw their seats decrease by 42, suggesting that the predicted Lib-Dem surge at the General Election, due to the party’s policy on holding a finalising Brexit referendum, would not materialise. Even worse were the results for UKIP, who gained just 1 council seat during the night and losing 145 councillors. A collapse in the UKIP vote was predicted only to help one party – a Tory Party which had aligned itself with the Hard Brexit-mantra. At the same time, the election of several so-called ‘Metro Mayors’ with direct responsibility over newly designated metropolitan jurisdictions produced a better result for the Conservatives than expected, narrowly pipping Labour to the post in elections in the Tees Valley and West Midlands. Surely, little could change in the next month, when the Tories had seemingly already outdone the Opposition?

Part 5: The Manifestos and Mistakes

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The crowd awaiting a speech by Jeremy Corbyn in York – Across the country the policies put forward by Labour attracted crowds of hundreds or even thousands across marginals and safe seats of both parties (Credit: Own Image)

The first party to release their manifesto, in a way, was Labour. This was in a way, because on the 10th May the Party had its manifesto leaked. The draft document included a slew of incredibly popular policies, which dealt with issues, surely at the behest of Theresa May campaign, ranging from the adult social care and a pledge to fund the woefully underfunded system with an extra £8 billion over the next Parliament; levy higher taxes on the top 5% of earners to raise the NHS’ budget by £6 billion; and deal with the housing crisis through the pledge to construct 100,000 social and council homes per year. Other populist policies included the nationalisation of the railways, introducing an immediate ban on fracking and, importantly, striking down two of the main issues that had been levied against Corbyn’s Labour through a promise to manage migration and to keep the Trident nuclear deterrent. For the next six days, leading up to the official manifesto launch, the Labour Party lead news coverage announcing new policies such as the introduction of the Financial Transaction Tax, known as the Robin Hood Tax, to raise as much as £5.6 billion per year from internal bank transactions; and a promise to spend £37 billion on the NHS over five years, with £10 billion being spent in capital funding to improve I.T. systems following a debilitating cyber attack and to fix hospital infrastructure. When the manifesto did launch on the 16th May in Barnsley, whilst there were some minor changes, noticeably a commitment to end the UK’s participation in the free movement of the EU, what the country received was more policy for a Labour Government which continued to act on socialist principles: spending commitments of £48.6 billion to abolish university tuition fees, funding schools with a £6.3 billion budget increase, banning zero-hours contracts, re-nationalising the water, energy sectors as well as the railways and Royal Mail and creating a National Investment Bank to free up £250 billion for investment into business across the country.

Whilst Labour was basking in the glory of a successful manifesto launch and with an arsenal of popular policies ready to take to the doorstep, the Tories launched their manifesto. In Halifax on the 18th May, a provocative location to choose, as it was only marginally held by Labour’s Holly Lynch with a slim majority of 428 in 2015 and therefore would have to fall to the Tories to give May an increased majority, the Prime Minister presented her vision for Britain, which was met with a lukewarm response. There were piecemeal commitments to increasing public spending for schools and the NHS, which fell upon deaf ears in the face of more worrying policies such as ending the triple lock on pensions, scrapping free school meals for primary schools students, qualifying the Winter Fuel Allowance with a means-test and raising the threshold for assets protected for social care costs from £23,000 to £100,000, but which would now include the value of a pensioner’s house, which could then be sold after their death – nicknamed the ‘Dementia Tax’. On Brexit, there were few meaningful specifics other than a promise to leave the Customs Union and the Single Market and to cut net immigration to less than 100,000 – a figure somewhat meaningless when as Home Secretary, despite a the same promise being in place since 2010 and net migration being roughly 273,000 in 2016.

The Dementia Tax in particular damaged the Tories and Theresa, especially when it was announced that the policy would be changed and a cap added to costs, although the extent of the cap was not given. Whilst the Tories were being marred in a spiral of doubt with the Dementia Tax which was oddly hitting their core voter base, alongside the end of the Triple Lock and the cutting of Winter Fuel Allowance, Labour was quietly building support. But things would soon change and an extra dimension added to the contest on the evening of 22nd May.

Part 6: Terror Attacks and Shifting Support

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Immediately after the Manchester Arena Bombing, the UK Threat Level was raised to ‘Critical’ and Operation Temperer enacted. Here Police officers and a soldier guard the Palace of Westminster, the target of a previous terror attack in March (Credit: Katie Chan)

Personally, I remember just about to head to bed after another busy day’s campaigning in the election and just before I put my phone to sleep, a BBC News alert flashed up on my phone. It informed me that a blast had been reported at the Manchester Arena. I went to sleep after flitting through some of the early news and a sinking feeling that the blast was not an accident. In the morning, the worst fears of the nation were confirmed: a suicide bomber, the first such attack since the London Underground bombings of 7th July 2005, had blown himself up in the reception of the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert, primarily for young girls and teenagers. The brutality of the attack and the innocence of the victims stunned the nation. Campaigning was suspended nationwide for two days by the major parties.

Amidst the sorrow and grieving for this most despicable of terror attacks, the Prime Minister instituted Operation Temperer after the terror threat level was raised to ‘Critical’ which saw the armed forces deployed on the streets of Britain. Outwardly, this measure was instituted for public safety, but cynics, including myself, wondered whether the deployment was aimed to tie into the rhetoric of strong and decisive leadership under Theresa May which fed into the wider understanding in British politics that, typically, the Conservatives are the party strong on defence and security. This however, placed the Conservative Party under huge scrutiny when cuts to the Police service under Theresa’s watch in the Home Office were once again brought into the public eye – aforementioned were the almost  20,000 officers cut from front-line policing and almost 1,400 armed officers cut. Despite the Conservatives telling the Press that counter-terror police budgets had been protected, the underlying feeling was undoubtedly that the Tories had put our security at risk. On 31st May came a chance for the PM to defend her record in a televised debate with the major Westminster party leaders in Cambridge, but, as with every televised debate, the Prime Minister refused to turn up. For a Prime Minister fighting a self-declared election on a personal mandate and Brexit, her flat-out refusal to appear to debate with the leaders of the other parties played badly – on the doorstep it became very easy to find ways to paint the PM in a poor light. By 2nd June, it was clear that the tide was turning against the Tories – Labour was narrowing the gap, cutting the Tories lead to as little as 6 points, with Theresa May’s personal approval ratings being cut practically in half. YouGov was even predicting, shockingly, that a Hung Parliament may result from the vote – unthinkable at the start of the election.

The scrutiny on the Tories bit again when on 3rd June, just 5 days before the election, the United Kingdom fell victim to its third terror attack of the year. Just as the capital was entering what should have been a balmy, lively Summer’s night, a hired van mounted the pavement at London Bridge, struck a number of pedestrians before crashing and three men inside it, dressed in suicide vests, alighted from the vehicle and, armed with knives, headed for Borough Market – home to a number of restaurants and cafes which were packed. The three terrorists proceeded to stab over 50 people and kill seven in the eight minutes it took for the Police to arrive at the scene and shoot dead all of the perpetrators. Again the country was shocked, but perhaps more in this instance, there was concern surrounding the ability of our security services to protect us. Footage re-emerged of the Prime Minister as Home Secretary addressing the Police Federation in May 2015 that the Police were “crying wolf” over cuts to their budget, on which Jeremy Corbyn called for her resignation. On 6th June, Robert Quick, the former Head of the Government’s counter-terror chief blamed the Government’s policing cuts for damaging counter-terrorism work and still the Prime Minister was seen to be ducking questions, not being straight with the British people, whilst Corbyn, attracting crowds of hundreds or thousands of people was seen as being honest and presenting a better path in which, amongst other policies, policing did not occur “on the cheap.” 

As almost a final crushing blow to the character of the Prime Minister, which had been displayed and disliked on the One Show earlier in the campaign, compared with a genuine and likeable performance from Corbyn, a final revelation came before polling day. The Prime Minister had been consistently portrayed as distant and detached from the public, at first due to the fox-hunting issue and during the campaign notably for her attempt to look normal eating chips in Cornwall, had a chance to seem normal in her response to the question, “What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done.” Her answer? Simple.

The Prime Minister used to run through fields of wheat and annoy some farmers.

With that thought in mind, finally on 8th June, the United Kingdom went to the polls…


Our campaign organiser has the exit poll. For all that has happened in the campaign, for every leaflet pushed through a letter box, every conversation on the street, every door knocked, every chat with citizens on the doorstep, every insult, every poll prediction, every Tweet or Facebook post, every step walked on the trail – it all came down to this. Hands shaking yet more and ears pricked, I leaned in. The result was…

A hung parliament. The Tories were to lose their majority, reduced to 314 seats, Labour predicted 266 seats, an increase of 34. In the face of a seemingly destined Tory majority, We had done it – headed off Theresa May’s victory.

At first, I admit, I thought I heard 206 seats for Labour but checked with a friend and fellow campaigner. She corrected me to what I had hoped I had heard. The thrill, the electricity, the shock-wave of pure emotion and energy and bliss and hopefulness which rushed through my veins was simply amazing. Tears practically welling in my eyes I gave the most passionate hug I could reasonably give to my female associate. My excitement bubbled over upon checking with a another campaigner and I hopped and jumped around. unsteady on my feet, enraptured by the faces of the Liberal Democrats in the room who seemed less than pleased with a predicted 14 seats. At this point my candidate had not yet entered the count and so I waited around, flitting between various people, mainly the candidate’s family, with whom I had become close to during the campaign, thrilled and buzzing. When my candidate did finally enter the count, I saw him in the queue and rushed to him for a victory (or at least better than expected results) hug. “We’ve done it!” was the phrase I remember from that moment, although I can’t for the life of me remember which of us said it.

Throughout the night, whilst I was engaged in an enthralling and yet quite boring process of sampling and banter with my Labour associates and the Liberal Democrats on the table, one of whom had incredibly impressive shoes, a litany of Tories expressing doubt in the polls and Labour members looking smug, especially in the Shadow Cabinet, were paraded by on the TV.

In the count hall no phones were allowed, so by the time the main results came through, at around 2am-3am, I began to relay information back to the Labour members in the count hall from the TV in the reception. A mixed portrait was painted across the country: in some areas the Tories had impressive swings, especially in Scotland where prominent SNP MP’s such as Alex Salmond, centrepiece of the 2014 Independence Referendum, were unseated to a resurgent Conservatives under their lesbian, former army reservist leader, Ruth Davidson which altogther gained 12 MP’s to become the main opposition to the SNP ahead of the formerly dominant Scottish Labour.

However, the most astonishing and in some cases stunning results of the night were gains by the Labour Party. In Scotland, the Party managed to win back six seats, following their wipeout at the 2015 election helping to cut the SNP’s number of seats by a third and in Wales, despite grim predictions of a Tory revival which saw the Tories predicted to win 21 seats to Labour’s 15 a huge swing benefited Labour, giving it its best result in the country since 1997 in terms of vote share, winning 28 seats, winning 3 from the Tories, reducing their seats to just 8. Key results included the return of Gower to Labour and the fending off of Tory offensives in the target seats of Wrexham and Brigend which would have been necessary for May’s majority increase.

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A map of the UK’s 650 constituencies after the election on 8th June 2017 – noticeable is the two party division of Northern Ireland between the DUP and Sinn Fein and the Tory revival in Scotland.

Best of all were the English results which yielded an unexpected plethora of Labour gains and Labour defences. Seats were won in areas completely unexpected: Lincoln, Keighley, Colne Valley to name some, but most impressively were three seats which demonstrated the scale of Labour’s achievement. In Sheffield Hallam, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, unexpectedly lost his seat to Jared O Mara, who became the first ever Labour MP for the area; in Canterbury, a seat blue for over a century, a 20.5% in the Labour vote won the seat for Rosie Duffield overturning a Tory majority of over 10,000; and in Kensington, the last seat to be declared after three recounts, Labour won with just 20 votes in just about the wealthiest seat in the country. In Halifax, the marginal in which Theresa May launched her manifesto and which was expected to switch hands to her Party, Holly Lynch didn’t just defend her seat but also increased her majority to over 5,000. In Hastings & Rye, Home Secretary Amber Rudd narrowly won her seat by 346 votes thanks to an 11.1% increase in the Labour vote and Maidenhead, whilst she still won, Theresa May’s share of the vote was reduced. Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile was re-elected with a majority of over 33,000 – 73% of the vote share.

At the end of the night, the exit poll was pretty much vindicated. The new Parliament for 2017 was thus: the Tories were the leading party with 318 seats, 8 short of an outright majority, having had a net loss of 13 seats; Labour had a net gain of 30 seats to have 262 seats in the coming Parliament; with the SNP having lost 21 seats to the Tories and Labour and the Liberal Democrats putting in a paltry performance, only increasing their seats by 4, to reach 12 and losing their only Welsh seat, Ceredigion, to Plaid Cymru. Perhaps the biggest failure of the night came from Boston & Skegness, where the UKIP leader, Paul Nuttall, not only lost what was supposedly the ‘Brexit Capital’ of the UK, to the Tories, but came third, behind the Labour Party, winning only 3,308 votes – a vote share reduction of 26.1%. For the most part the performance of the Northern Irish parties were ignored – the Democratic Unionist Party won 2 seats to increase their numbers to 10, whilst Sinn Fein won 3 seats to increase their total to 10, completely eliminating the Ulster Unionist Party and the Social Democratic Labour Party from Parliament. Unbeknownst to the country, the Northern Irish results would be key.

In terms of national vote share, the night was Labour’s, but the Tories also made significant gains. Winning 42.4% of the vote, the Conservatives had increased their share by 5.5% since 2015, whereas the Labour Party managed an incredible 9.5% swing, bringing their vote to 40% of the national – less than a million votes separated the two main parties in the biggest swing to Labour since the Attlee landslide in 1945 likely thanks to a considerable turnout of 57% for the 18-19 age group, statistically most likely to vote Labour. Generally, there were two interesting trends which were seen. The first was the decimation of the UKIP vote. Having won 12.6% of the vote in 2015 to become the third party in terms of vote share, UKIP was quite literally decimated – its vote was reduced by 10.8% to just 1.8%, almost as low as the Green Party. Interestingly, this demonstrated that the UKIP vote swung both to the Conservatives (as expected due to Brexit) but also to Labour with Labour also picking up votes from the Lib-Dems, Greens, SNP as well as from the Tories. Second was the huge movement back to the two-party politics of the 1980’s with the main parties winning over 80% of the national vote share – unforeseeable even 6 months before polling in which Labour-Tory support stood at 67%.


For me, the night kept getting better. The count hall in which I was located, in which I was excitedly relaying information back and forth, covered two constituencies – one was a Labour-held Tory target seat, the other a safe Tory seat. The first result to come through was for my constituency, the safe Tory seat. With trepidation I watched my candidate walk onto the stage as the results were announced. By increasing Labour’s vote in the seat by almost 12% we had cut the Tory MP’s lead majority in half and seen off the Lib-Dems and Greens who saw their vote reduced. We were elated that we had even managed this during the campaign, winning over 21,000 votes in what we knew was an untouchable Tory seat – setting us up to win it at the next election. After, the Labour-held seat was announced. What had been treated as a marginal at the start of the campaign was not just held – the majority of the MP was tripled with the candidate winning over 34,000 votes, more than 65% of all votes and with the Lib-Dems losing their deposit by winning less than 5% of votes cast. It was glorious, for the first time since I joined, to be winning as Labour. Since 2015 Labour had lost the election, lost the EU Referendum but now, in a campaign I had been deeply involved in, we saw success and it was like a drug.

However, having stayed up, wide-awake, all night, it was time for bed. By about 5am I had crashed into bed and had to get up at about 7am. By this time the picture had become clear – the Government and the Prime Minister had been severely weakened lost her majority for seemingly no reason and the zeitgeist was behind Labour. From this point, the Prime Minister would have to rely on the Democratic Unionists and their less than palatable homophobic and ultra-conservative policies, as the UK enters into Brexit negotiations – possibly the time of greatest constitutional upheaval the country will ever face and the time with greatest need for stability – but that, considering how long this piece already is, is for another time. But what we know for sure is that the politics which has so recently been thrown into chaos, has once again been overhauled and who knows what lies in the future… (Probably another election this year.)

Thank you for reading this ungodly long piece of work which has been two weeks in the making. Next week I hope to get back on schedule and cover the aftermath of the election, the Tory-DUP deal and then, the week after, the fire at Grenfell Tower and the long-history of disasters in Britain. Thank you again and have a good week!

– TNAC

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