So, Theresa May and the Conservatives miss a wide-open goal.
May and her team – Nick Timothy, Fiona Hill, Sir Lynton and others – have achieved almost the opposite of what they sought to do by calling a General Election. They should depart as soon as possible.
If it were not for the sterling efforts of Ruth Davidson north of the border, Britons would be watching the nightmare scenario this morning – Corbyn and his rabble strolling into Downing Street. May’s lack of a skillset – her fallibility – have been brutally exposed during the campaign.
It will be a Conservative Government. A Minority Conservative Government. Labour are fifty seats behind the Tories and whatever their deluded followers claim, they are still a long, long way away from government.
May promised strength and stability at a time when Britain faces upheaval from Brexit. Her authority is now shot. The strong and stable next step for her is to unite David Davis, Sir Michael Fallon, Amber Rudd and other potential leadership candidates around election-winning Boris Johnson as a Tory coronation for Prime Minister. The Tories know how to unite, whatever the circumstance.
The Europeans detest Boris Johnson – detesting your negotiating partner is mostly a weakness.
Calling another election would be a terrible error – there have been too many hung parliaments of late and calling a new election could well end up with the same result. May should immediately line up the Unionists in Northern Ireland as allies to ensure a majority. Then go.
The really disappointing aspect of this General Election was that there were so many votes for Labour. Labour still exists. It is still the main party of opposition, despite the campaign of facts directed against it. Hopes of a Labour annihilation have proven themselves too optimistic – this time round.
Yesterday Corbyn had a 1 in 10 chance of becoming Prime Minister. Let us dwell on that.
In other words, Britain had a 1 in 10 chance of self-destruction. At 2am this morning it felt more like a 50/50 chance. Sane Britons aged. Theresa May put Britons through that hell by performing so badly in the election campaign – May’s presidential, leaden and wooden behaviour and the seat-losing manifesto writer, Ben Gummer, have shown both of them do not have what it takes.
The Labour Party convinced the vulnerable with its socialism. Too many young Brits have swallowed Corbyn’s lies. Too many disabled believed in Corbyn’s magic money tree. Too many public servants believed Corbyn when he said that their pay freezes were down to Tory ideology and not the recovery from the hospital pass Labour handed the coalition government in 2010.
Tomorrow is the start of a journey along a road with significant bumps on it. Brexit will be a cat-fight. A restructuring of the British economy will have its winners and losers. The population is greying and the NHS requires a rebalancing. Terrorism requires direct confrontation. Britain’s place in the world calls out for intelligent and buccaneering readjustment. Sturgeon’s misdirection play in Scotland needs exposing and defeating in spite of SNP losses above the border.
In so many ways this was an election that nobody won.
Nonetheless, it is time to dust ourselves off and march on. Think pragmatically and without recent hubris.
If we fail to extend the odds of a horror, leftist premiership, we risk a century’s progress being undone. Thank you, those UKIP voters and others who voted Conservative for a strong Brexit and to keep the jackals out. Thank you the majority of voters for showing sense, pragmatism and sagacity – not voting in Corbyn.
Unnecessarily interesting times.