The independent London newspaper

Lesson of the polls: Beware the anger of the electorate

16 June, 2017

Triumphant: Emily Thornberry and Jeremy Corbyn celebrate polls victory

• I WOULD like to thank all those who voted Labour last Thursday. Jeremy Corbyn had a vote of 40,000 and Emily Thornberry had 30,000, almost a 50 per cent increase from 2015.

Although Labour managed to win 262 seats, they did not win enough to gain an overall majority of 326 seats.

In simple terms, Labour did lose the election and the Conservatives were able to hold on to power. But the election result is a lot more complex than the numbers suggest and says a lot more about the government than anything else.

In 2010, Conservatives formed a coalition with the Lib Dems, who moved from being a left-leaning, centre, Christian Democratic party to a centre-right party.

They were wiped out in the 2015 election. The electorate was sending out a clear message: they were now going to turn on liars and make them suffer.

Student fees, the promises of increased public spending and tax cuts – all Lib Dem policies that bit the dust with them.

In the 2017 election, the Tory government made two promises – one on the EU and the other on creating a better, fairer society. Both were promises Theresa May failed to keep because she was busy trying to shore up the fault line with the Far Right in her party.

She called the election expecting an ever-bigger majority. She got the opposite. Safe seat after seat had their votes cut in half or were taken out. Finally, Kensington, the safest Conservative seat in London, was won by Labour.

The electorate were now turning the screws on the Conservative government, both from the Left and the Far Right.

What we have seen is tactical voting by the Far Right to make them keep their promises on Brexit and, more significantly, voting from the Left to punish the Conservative government for the lies and false promises over the Referendum.

Remember the big bus with £350m for the NHS? Well, they then told us they never promised it.

The really important weapon was not the manifesto but the anger of the electorate that had been lied to again and again.

Labour, if it gets into power, has to remember that if it lies to the electorate on student fees or the £10 basic wage it will also face the anger of the electorate. They will be just as merciless as they have been on the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Ukip and SNP.

Labour, Clerkenwell


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