I voted conservative. I didn’t like the candidate (Mark Field), I didn’t like the campaign and I didn’t like myself . I simply felt no confidence in other options.
Now, like many who lay dazed from exit poll to the announcement a few minutes ago that parliament will be hung, I have only a mug of coffee for consolation.
That is not quite true. I am consoled that my friends, Andrew Young, Andrew Tarrant, Gregg McClymont, Con Keating, Hilary Salt , my son and even angry Colin Meach are vindicated for standing up for hope.
There is no doubt that the better campaign won and that the Conservatives are in everything other than seats, the losers. Here is Lord Turnbull on Theresa May
She’s made an absolute catastrophic mistake – two mistakes. One, she calls an election – a snap election – for which she’s unprepared. Two, she runs it in a poor way and what is looking like an easy win, she turns into a minor defeat.”
The question now is whether her party consider her broken goods, the Conservatives are pitiless, May will go, but maybe not immediately.
On Coalition – and Tory self-destruction
The ruthless despatch of the Liberals once the Tories got their majority in 2015 is not forgotten. There aren’t many good things happening for the Liberals put the prospect of putting two fingers up to the Tories is one of them. The Lib-Lab pact is a possibility (but a remote one). My conversations with Gregg McClymont suggest that there is little love lost between Labour and SNP. I do not see how the mechanics of a minority government would work for Corbyn. But having abandoned hope for pragmatism once, I am not best placed to speculate!
The prospects of a Tory/UDP alliance look more realistic. Without Sinn Fein taking its place in the house, such an alliance could limp along for a bit, till we had another election. And – unless there is yet another U-turn in Tory ranks, the Tories probably think that they would win an autumn election.
There is little grounds for this , unless they think that Johnson could bluster his party across the line. The Tory party is a party of entitlement and its self-confidence will not be dented by this setback. May will be blamed, sacked and the Tories will go again.
In the meantime, I hope that Labour will prepare a coherent economic plan. My objection to Labour politics is not one of self-interest. I am happy to pay higher taxes (much higher taxes in my case), so long as the money is invested in Britain’s future. What I don’t want is a half-cocked mis-managed labour administration where the money is wasted. This is how I see the Labour administration leading up to 2010.
I suspect that rather than a coalition, the Labour party hangs fire and allows the Tory party to destroy itself over the summer. It is quite capable of doing so.
There are several positives to come out of this General Election. I am pleased to see Caroline Lucas returned to Parliament and for her green voice to be heard.
I am pleased that Labour has mobilised the youth vote. For the first time in a long-time more than half the 18-24s have voted.
I am pleased that the SNP’s wings have been clipped. There is such a thing as too good a mandate and Mrs Crankie had it. I am sorry to see Alex Salmond out of parliament, but like Nick Clegg he may be able to do much good from the touchline.
There is one potential positive that I cannot fully grasp, the capacity of a revitalised Labour party to fulfil on its economic promise by driving Britain forward fearlessly.
Loathsome as Trump is, he has shown that he can galvanise large parts of America who felt they had no hope and Corbyn is doing the same for parts of Britain who have scorned politics.
Trump is a fake, Corbyn is not. Corbyn is not ready for power yet- I am sure of that, that is why I voted Tory.
But he is the leader in waiting.
As John Piennar puts it
The Labour party will be considering its future, which now looks so very different.
We have had a realignment of British politics overnight, and that’s not overstating it.
I hated voting Tory, I walked out of the polling station and felt like crap.
I am not happy about chaos. We have to start negotiating Brexit in a couple of weeks and this is the worst possible way of negotiating!
I feel totally let down by the Conservative party and the way it conducted the election. I am appalled that on the one issue of principle in its shoddy manifesto, it did not have the guts to stand its ground (the abolition of the Dilnot cap on long-term care).
I wanted to see a Tory Government that had the strength to deal with the big issues surrounding later life and to ensure that generations that come behind me are treated fairly. Instead we got the politics of expediency that owe more to Machiavelli than any fixed ideas.
Most of all, I feel remorse for putting my trust in Theresa May’s promise to help those just getting by. In the end, she showed she was more interested in helping herself. That betrayal is unforgivable.
I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of the general election, an election that has diverted me and most of us, from getting on with business as usual.
Now it is back to business – let the Tories sort out the mess they have made.