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UK election: Tories humiliated as millions vote for Corbyn and real change

June 9, 2017

The election result is a shattering disaster for the Tories and Theresa May, and a triumph for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. This is a great boost to everyone on the left, and all who campaigned against austerity and racism, to kick the Tories out and to back Corbyn.

Labour has won the biggest increase in popular support during a campaign in British electoral history. Virtually all the polls and the modelling missed this process, most of them completely.

May, who made the decision to hold the election and began with an opinion poll lead of more than 20 percent, must go. She has no mandate to stay. She needs to be forced out, and there will be protests today.

May called the election expecting to steamroller any opposition—in particular Labour—and gain a huge majority. She had the unwavering backing of almost all the media. Rupert Murdoch reportedly stormed out of the Times newspaper election party when the exit poll showed the Tories losing.

May’s illusion of a majority of more than 100 has crumbled to dust. Her evasive campaign, the disastrous manifesto centred on the dementia tax, and her cynical attempts to use the attacks in Manchester and London have led to humiliating failure.

This is not the “revenge of the Remainers” as some have suggested—the Lib Dems would have done much better if that were true. It’s about austerity and the deep anger against the rich.

It seems that the Tories will have the largest number of seats but will fall short of a majority. The one certainty is that any Tory government will be far from strong and stable. It could possibly form a government with the right wing Democratic Unionist Party but it would be a coalition of chaos.

It is highly likely that another election could be held before the end of the year because no secure coalition is possible for any party. There are bitter recriminations among the Tories after May’s opportunist move backfired. Former chancellor George Osborne said, “The worst thing she's done in her life is no longer running through a wheat field”. Several top Tories have already implied she has to go.


Labour has won seats across Britain. This would not have happened without a radical manifesto from Labour and a mass-based, outward-looking campaign led by Corbyn. He was right to say, “Politics has changed and it isn't going back into the box it was before”.

In an era when people are utterly disenchanted with the political elite and austerity, Corbyn offered the hope of real change, and millions responded to his message. Mass rallies and policies such as taxing the rich, abolishing tuition fees, a £10 an hour minimum wage and more money for the NHS and education created genuine enthusiasm. They motivated tens of thousands to campaign and millions to vote—particularly young people.

The Labour right who have never accepted Corbyn as leader and said he was useless have been utterly discredited. They may say a right wing leader could have done even better. But as Ed Miliband showed, uninspiring messages do not work. Labour MP John Woodcock who had said Labour was heading for catastrophic defeat said this morning he “had no idea” what was going on. “I don’t know what is happening in British politics,” he said.


The extraordinary results included a Labour win in Canterbury, which the Tories have held since 1918. Conservative housing minister Gavin Barwell lost his Croydon seat. Ben Gummer, who compiled the Tory manifesto, was defeated in Ipswich and home secretary Amber Rudd only just survived.

Labour’s projected share of the vote is around 40 percent. That would be far more than Labour won in 2015 under Miliband, in 2010 under Gordon Brown or in 2005 under Tony Blair. It is the same as Blair took in 2001. Blairism is firmly dead and Corbyn’s position is unassailable.

The Ukip vote collapsed. Paul Nuttall was a distant third in Boston and Skegness where the Ukip vote fell 26 percent. The Lib Dems have increased their seats, but former leader Nick Clegg lost. In Scotland the Scottish National Party is still be the biggest party, but has lost many seats to Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems. It is projected to fall from 56 seats to 33. Those ejected included the party’s former leader Alex Salmond and the present deputy leader Angus Robertson.

Labour’s success is more significant than a single election result. Yesterday showed that Britain is not a right wing country, quite contrary to what most analysts and politicians said after the EU referendum result. There is a mass feeling against austerity, racism and war. Twelve million have rejected the Tories and their fellow-travellers.

That needs to be mobilised in the streets and the workplaces because we still have a Tory regime in place. We need to step up the resistance.

This is shared from Socialist Worker (UK)

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