As most of you know, Theresa May — the most spectacularly inept Tory Prime Minister since David Cameron — squandered her majority. I would assume that the Conservatives will be (barely) able to form a government, but I’ll let Dave game all that out. Just a few observations:
- Picking candidates on “electability” is not only problematic not only because the effect of candidates can be overstated but because who will campaign well is unpredictable.
- One of the hidden undemocratic features of the United States is the refusal to increase the size of Congress. One of the reasons that Corbyn’s strong campaign and Labour’s (deservedly) popular manfiesto was able to transform the campaign was because the UK has more legislative seats with a much smaller population. This creates more potential swing seats and increases turnout. And American vote suppression makes mobilizing youth turnout, which is critical, more difficult.
- Nick Clegg LOL.
- The damage inflicted by the dementia tax is an excellent example of how to mobilize bad policy against incumbents Democrats need to be paying attention to.
- This is, overall, a very encouraging result. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the work to be done. Labour greatly exceeding expectations is important, and I absolutely think that the platform Labour ran on can be the basis of a majority, and Corbyn may well be able to head that majority. But despite May running a catastrophically bad campaign and Corbyn running an excellent one, Labour still lost. It’s hard for progressive parties to win! And I hope Americans on the left (justly) celebrating tonight’s results will be similarly attentive to structural difficulties in the American context.
- But, that caveat aside, this is a remarkable result, a major upset and an encouraging one. And if it stalls Brexit all the better.