Tomorrow, June 8th, the British people will head to the polls to elect their new party and prime minister of their country. This election is vital to the future of the country when taking Brexit into account; as it will only be eleven days after the 2017 General Election that the U.K. will begin formal and officials negotiations with the European Union concerning their departure.
The Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, have held onto power since 2010 when the coalition government was formed with Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned after the U.K. voted to leave to E.U. After his resignation, the party elected former Home Secretary Theresa May- then described as a cold but pragmatic leader.
Throughout May’s ascension to power, there have been appeals from many British Citizens for a snap election. Most of those pleas were ignored by the prime minister until polls signaled a larger popularity in her party versus her opposition. On April 17 she called upon parliament to vote for a snap election.
When the vote was called, the Conservatives had a 20 point lead over the Labour party in the polls. However, that number has since narrowed to as low as only one point. Many attribute this decline to May’s record with the Police force while Home Secretary. Where, due to budget cuts, she oversaw the cut of 20,000 policemen. Jeremy Corbyn, May’s socialist opponent has highlighted this record, seizing on the recent terror attacks.
May’s campaign strategy is drawing criticism. She has declined invitations to appear on televised debate with other candidates, for example.
Some suggest her calling for the snap election was a mistake but it was done with the intention that it would strengthen her word and ability to negotiate in Brussels if she had an overt majority in parliament.
The Conservative Party manifesto, her party’s platform, contains controversial planks like the lift on the Fox hunting ban, further welfare cuts, a refusal to ban fracking etc.
The Conservative Party’s commitment to the renewal of Trident (U.K.’s nuclear deterrent system) and increase the required NATO spending while reducing net immigration numbers to less than 100,000 annually, and wagering a “No deal with the European Union, is better than a bad deal” enjoys popular support. May has also set out some goals for post-EU Britain proposals like lowering corporate tax to 17% and the passing of a Trade bill to seek partners globally.
The conservatives should increase their majority (maybe not as much as May wanted, but enough to keep her at Number 10). She has proven to be a headstrong leader in the face of adversity and terror. She has also promised to lead “a strong and stable government”.
Britain’s election results will reveal the will of the people and polling accuracy. Have the Brits had a change of heart?