I know nothing about politics. I predicted a win for Remain in the referendum on EU membership. I thought Hillary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump in the US presidential election. And I believed that Marine Le Pen would win more than 40% of the vote in the second round of the French presidential election. Clearly, I was wrong about all of these elections just as I was wrong to predict a big majority for Theresa May in the general election on Thursday. I’m still going to have a go at predicting what happens next though (spoiler alert – chaos).I think that Theresa May’s days as Prime Minister are numbered. The people who run the Conservative party will not allow her to lead them into another election. May performed badly in the election and her two signal policies – a return to fox hunting and taking away old people’s houses – were clear vote losers. She refused to debate with anyone and has the charisma of a plank of wood. The Conservatives are ruthless with failed or failing leaders. They overthrew Margaret Thatcher when she became a liability despite her winning three elections and they didn’t even allow the hapless Iain Duncan-Smith to fight one. They did allow John Major to fight a second election after his surprise win in 1992 but that didn’t work out so well for them.
When Theresa May is forced out, who will replace her? After being muzzled for most of this election campaign, I think Boris Johnson will become the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister. Personally, I can’t stand Johnson – a buffoon pretending to be a buffoon – but his inexplicable popularity did allow him to win two mayoral elections in the Labour-voting city of London. I would expect Johnson to be Prime Minister before Christmas 2017.
Whoever replaces May as Prime Minister it is clear that the current parliament will not run to five years. The alliance between the Conservatives and the DUP can muster 328 votes in the Commons. All the other parties (excluding Sinn Fein) can gather 315. Therefore the DUP can hold the government to ransom or May can be defeated by the defection of only seven of her MPs. Think back to the slow torture of John Major’s government in the mid-1990s if you believe that May can last until 2022.
Jeremy Corbyn has been strengthened by this result and I’m sure that lots of the Blairites who predicted disaster under his leadership will come crawling back to his frontbench. Hopefully, one of them will appointed Shadow Home Secretary in place of the woeful Diane Abbott. Corbyn’s success in this election shows that voters want a genuine left-wing alternative to the orthodoxy of neoliberalism that has dominated British politics since 1976. If someone in the Labour party – probably not Corbyn – can ditch the identity politics and end the slavish worship of the EU, then they would have a good chance of winning the next election. I’m pretty sure that a Bennite like Corbyn is opposed to the EU and the fact that more UKIP votes seem to have gone to Labour than to the Conservatives shows that there is a large number of left-wing voters who want out of the EU. Red Brexit anyone?
The alliance between the DUP and the Conservatives is already under strain as shown by the attack from the leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson on the DUP’s anti-gay marriage stance. Interestingly, the DUP want to end the BBC licence fee so hopefully something good will come of this unholy alliance. And talking about Scotland, the best part of this election was the loathsome Alex Salmond losing his seat so he can spend more time with his fridge. And the second best part was the leader of the Scottish County Council and Fuehrer of the Scottish Nazi Party, Nicola Sturgeon, struggling to put a positive spin on the Tartan fascists losing nearly 40% of their seats.
So, chaos all round. After four major elections in four years, I’m pretty sure that the UK is set for a fifth, possibly before Christmas.