Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
In an ever increasing trend that nobody understands, the polls were wrong again. The problem is, pollsters treat the polls sort of like American federal judges and politicians treat the U.S. Constitution. They know the answer they want, so rather than use reality to find out if that answer is correct, they seek to adjust the polls to fit the answer they want.
The polls were wrong about the British election. It turns out Prime Minister Theresa May's "Conservative Party" (which is not really that conservative compared to the standards of conservatism in our neck of the woods) lost seats, and so keeping her seat may be in jeopardy. In Britain's parliamentarian system (known as the Westminster system) it is her colleagues in parliament who get to choose who gets the prime minister seat. Normally, if one party has a majority, the leader of the party will become Prime Minister. But, if the number of seats is close, coalitions will need to be built to still secure the seat.
While Theresa May has still pledged to stay for five more years, the loss of seats by the Conservative Party puts them in a position where they may be too weak to fend off rivals. Fellow Conservative Party colleagues are also taking a stab at her position, including, Philip Hammond, a candidate that more closely resembles American Tea Party values.
Mrs. May has said Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon - five favorites to replace her as leader - will keep their jobs. She has no choice. With the loss of seats, her party is too weak to get rid of them and be sure to replace them with other members of her party.
The Labour Party, a far left party the American Democrats are more akin to, took many of the seats lost by the Conservative Party.
Mrs. May was the one who called this snap election, an early version of what would have been a general election in 2020, because she believed her party was destined to gain a "large" majority.
The polls were wrong, and their judgment of the voting public was wrong. They had the same thoughts the Hillary Clinton cartel had, positive she was a shoe-in, and surprised when things went the other way.
I suppose it is another way of saying, "Things aren't always what they seem."
She was apologetic for her haste. "I am sorry for those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren't successful but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs or ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn't deserve to lose their seats."
Brexit has now also become a more difficult river to navigate. Former Chancellor George Osborne said, "Hard Brexit went in the rubbish bin last night."
Senior MPs such as Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan have openly called for Mrs. May to step aside - with the latter suggesting she should go within 'weeks or months' because her credibility is shot.
One senior Tory MP (Tory is another named used by the British to describe the Conservative Party; an old party in British History; the Tory nickname is an old Irish Gaelic word tóraidhe, meaning outlaw) told ITV News: "We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us."
Any hope May has of hanging on to her position relies on a possible alliance with a small band of Northern Ireland unionists in Parliament.
New meetings will also help determine if she stays in power, including one where she will need to explain to her angry allies how she lost a 20 point lead to lead them to a electoral disaster. That said, the Scottish National party lost big, as well, sending a message to those willing to break up the union of kingdoms, even though many saw the Labour Party gains as a sign Hard Brexit was in danger.
Even her own party could oust her. Under the rules of the Conservative Party, if 15% of Conservative MPs send a letter to the Graham Brady, chairman of ‘the 22’, demanding she goes then a vote will be called, and then she could be ousted as their leader.
This means just 48 MPs would be able to trigger a vote of no confidence and potentially remove May from the Prime Minister position.
There is another way, too, that could jeopardize her position. May also needs to get the Queen's speech passed at the end of June. The Queen's speech is her party's legislative plan and requires a vote of confidence for the administration. If there is not enough support for the legislative plan, the next party in line is invited to offer their list of bills they would like to pass. If the Queen's speech fails to garner enough support, the PM has to resign and Mr. Corbyn would be invited to form a government and try to become the new Prime Minister.
The madness also has Nigel Farage talking about running the UKIP again.
In short, chaos, with a blurring vision of what may be in the future for Great Britain, is at hand.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary