Election Blog by Ben Armstrong 

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Begin forwarded message:
From: Ben Armstrong <benarmstrong2001@icloud.com>

Date: 11 June 2017 at 18:25:42 BST

To: delvestaxis@icloud.com

Subject: Election blog

Here is my article.

Hope you think it’s good and give it a read. 

UK general election 2017 review
This will go down as an election that has further divided our nation and caused more uncertainty, not that we needed any more here in the UK. Nothing has been clarified, nothing has been definitively decided. A so called “hard Brexit” seems to be in the balance and we have a divided Tory party and a Labour Party looking stronger than ever. The polls said prior to the election that Theresa May’s Conservatives were on course for a large majority in Parliament. 
Big Ben chimed 10 and the famous 10 o’clock exit poll rocked the nation. It put the Tories on 314 seats, 12 shy of a majority they were widely expected to win easily whilst it showed Labour on 266 seats and surging in previously Conservative held seats and shoring up their Northern base the Tories had targeted. This caused quite a reaction from both senior Tory and Labour figures. The general consensus was that this exit poll can’t be believed. This had to be the right consensus, of course? The average poll of polls prior to Election Day put the Tories 8 points ahead of Labour, but they couldn’t be wrong? This was meant to be Theresa May’s personal big mandate to negotiate Brexit. 
Well they were wrong, very wrong. In fact, I’m surprised the polling industry hasn’t gone bust after this election, to be quite frank. 
Newcastle won the race for the first declaration, an unsurprising result of a thumping Labour majority. The Tory targets in the North East of Bishop Auckland and Darlington surprisingly fell to Labour which started to show which way the night was going. 
As the evening grew older, the Prime Minister’s constituency of Maidenhead was declared. She comfortably won the seat, a 26,000 majority, fending off Loony Party candidate Screaming Lord Hope and Lord Buckethead. In her acceptance speech in the convention centre, she was visibly awkward and rattled by the news that her party was on course to lose their majority in Parliament and her position was unforeseen. “Will you survive the night Prime Minister?”, one reporter impudently asked – no answer. 
Meanwhile across the rest of the UK big names such as ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond lost his seat to the Conservatives, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to the Labour candidate and Deputy SNP leader Angus Robertson lost his seat, also to the Conservatives. Despite a, so far, relatively poor showing for May in the rest of the UK, it was a different story for Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives. They gained 12 seats, leaving the SNP red faced. Davidson deserves credit for the outstanding job she has done. Those gains she has managed to make belong to her, not the Conservative Party. 
Meanwhile, back to rest of the UK where Labour owned the night, even picking up Canterbury, a solid 10% Conservative majority and Kensington – the richest constituency in the UK which was last to declare. Even Home Secretary Amber Rudd barely held on to her Hastings and Rye seat, fending off a big challenge from Labour. May’s strategy had collapsed, with many former UKIP voters choosing to return to Labour and their anti-establishment rhetoric, wooed by the fact that Labour proposed to leave the single market and end freedom of movement in their manifesto. But it wasn’t entirely sombre. The Tories picked up Walsall North, Middlesbrough South and Richmond Park from Labour, two of those seats they were thought to have little chance of winning. 
As the last few constituencies declared, it became clear that the Conservatives would have the largest number of seats and the largest number of votes meaning they were the only party in a viable position to form a government. However, they had lost their majority. The only party they could rely on to govern effectively and to command a majority in the Commons was the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) of Northern Ireland. A staunchly socially conservative anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion fundamentalist Christian party who will certainly divide opinion and cause controversy in the coming months and years. Under their leader Arlene Forster, they recorded their best ever result in Northern Ireland this time out. 
Theresa May returned to Downing Street with an “acceptance of the result” smile. “I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen, and I will now form a government”, she read. She went on to state “we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party in particular”. DUP leader Arlene Forster had earlier confirmed that her party had went into “negotiations with the Conservatives”. 
Rumours are already circulating that there will be a Tory leadership election with figures such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Chancellor Phillip Hammond favourites to take over from May if she is ousted by her party. The Prime Minister is scheduled to address members of the powerful 1922 Committee on Tuesday who have incredible power within the Conservative Party. This election has caused more uncertainty and more chaos than ever before. It truly could turn out to be a “coalition of chaos”, in Theresa May’s words. Jeremy Corbyn is still standing tall and banking on talks breaking down between the Tories and the DUP so he can step in and head a government. However, in the aftermath of this election, it is clear that the Maths doesn’t add up for Corbyn who would still fall short of the 326 seats needed to command a Commons majority. However, it can’t be denied that it is Corbyn and his supporters who are the ones feeling upbeat, confident and ready to govern in the aftermath of this election. Meanwhile the Conservatives could be about to enter a full out civil war. Labour feel like they are one step closer to overthrowing what they see to be an ignorant oligarchy. 
It is also good to see youth turnout up to record levels. Although everyone may not agree with some of the youth’s views, only an idiot would argue with someone voting for what they believe to be a better future for them and their children in the future. The youth are a large chunk of the reason why Corbyn out done his critics. Labour played a smart social media strategy and targeted young voters in swing constituencies. It payed off for them very well. 
So, what have people learned from this election? We’ve learned many things: the British media has learned never to right off a candidate and predict an election for one party before the voting has commenced. And most importantly for me, Theresa May has learned never to take the British electorate for granted, the British people know a bad campaign when they see one, they aren’t stupid. No Prime Minister will ever do that ever again.