Saturday, 22 April 2017

General Election 2017: Predicted winners and losers

Theresa May has called a general election for 8 June 2017. Here is who I predict will be the biggest winners and losers coming out of that.

Labour leader: Jeremy Corbyn
Lots of Labour MPs are say they are not standing for re-election, Jeremy Corbyn still struggles to control the Parliamentary Labour Party, and the party, in general, has been looking unelectable for the past few years now. This disarray adds up to electoral failure. The Fabian Society says the best-case scenario is a loss of 40 seats however that number could be much higher and MPs are considering possibilities from 20-100 losses.

The Liberal Democrats only have nine MPs so they don’t have much to lose. Whether they will win back the trust of young people after they raised tuition fees last time they were in government is something that I am curious about. They are currently selling themselves as the soft Brexit party; they have said that they want Britain to remain in the single market so it is likely that the Lib Dems will hoover up votes from many die-hard remainers.

The figurehead of UKIP Nigel Farage resigned as leader, their only MP Douglas Carswell said that he is standing down and would be voting Conservative, and their current leader Paul Nuttall failed to win the Stoke by-election earlier this year. UKIP’s main purpose was to get Britain out of the European Union and now that’s happening, UKIP’s place in British politics is uncertain. They received 12.6% of the popular vote in the 2015 general election and I think they would be very lucky to get anywhere near that amount of support this June.

Some generous estimates say that the Conservatives might win another 150 seats this June. More sensible predictions consider seats that they’re likely to lose to the Lib Dems and say their gains to be closer to 80 seats. Editor of The Spectator Fraser Nelson says that the election will have been worth it for Theresa May if the Conservatives win at least a further 50 seats. Regardless of how big their majority is going to be, one thing is almost for certain: they are going to win. In the popular vote, they are currently polling at twice that of the Labour party and Theresa May is making stability a key theme of her campaign - something which the Conservatives claim to be good at.

In 2015, the Scottish National Party won all but three seats in Scotland so they have a lot at stake. For the past two years, the SNP have presented themselves as a stronger, Scottish alternative to the Labour party. Nicola Sturgeon is a commendable leader and MPs such as Mhairi Black have offered the media emotive sound bites in the House of Commons. However, the EU referendum might have changed attitudes in Scotland and there have been reports of bullying and intimidation from the power-obsessed SNP. Whether the Scottish Conservatives manage to snatch any seats from the SNP will be something to look out for.