Well how about that, then? What was long predicted to be a potential landslide in the General Election for the Conservatives turned out to actually be nothing of the sort. In fact, Labour massively outperformed expectations by offering a message of ‘hope’ to younger voters, who in turn delivered one of the greatest shocks in UK electoral history.
It hasn’t quite been enough to get a majority of 326 seats and the Conservatives, who also fell short, will go into cahoots with the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland to make a shaky coalition.
But ultimately, right now, there are some serious positives for voters to take from the election, despite the Conservative ‘win’.
Youth turnout was way up
An official figure hasn’t been confirmed just yet, but NME’s exit poll suggested that 56% of 18-24 year olds went and voted polling stations across the nation, and another unconfirmed poll suggested it could be as high as 72%.
If it is indeed the latter, that’s a 7% increase on last year’s EU Referendum, and 14% on the 2010 election. Basically, young people heard the call and took it upon themselves to go out and actually vote, triggering a ‘youth-quake’ across the country. Nice one.
Labour’s performance is an astonishing triumph
The party were expecting losses in seats prior to the vote and as the exit poll came in, it suggested that it’d actually gone the other way – that the party would increase their share of seats. As pointed out by Fraser Nelson, Corbyn has increased Labour’s share of the vote more than any leader since 1945 and Clement Attlee.
It could change everything about Brexit
Theresa May campaigned on being the only voice who could carry out the Brexit negotiations with the EU, but the dramatic loss of seats could perhaps throw her negotiating tactics out of the window. A “clean cut” with the European Union in regards with the Single Market and Customs Union were May’s big selling points on the trail, but last night Brexit Minister David Davis seemed to admit that they may have to concede certain issues in the negotiating period considering.
In the short-term, it’s hard to know exactly what effect it’ll have – but consider this; the chances of May’s desired ‘hard Brexit’ are looking increasingly slim following last night’s shocking results.
UKIP are back to being a periphery party
UKIP’s sole reason for existence up until last year’s EU Referendum was for taking the Britain out of the European Union – and they got what they wanted. So going into this election under the leadership of serial liar Paul Nuttall, the group were expecting major losses, with their estimated vote share predicted to be around 4%.
As results trickled in, it became clear that UKIP voters were leaving the party in droves, with Conservatives and Labour mopping up the votes across the country. At the 2015 Election they were heralded as turning the political map on its head after they achieved a record 3,881,099 votes. This time round? Their share is down 10.8% with 593,852 votes, putting the party back where they belong – on the outskirts of British politics.