UK General Election: Voting For A Mandate?

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May 25, 2017 by tradersnote

The UK General Election of 2017 is one that will always excite a certain amount of controversy though whether this is justified is another matter. The reason for the controversy behind this election is that it was not supposed to happen until 2020. You may remember that in the aftermath of the voting back in 2010 the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties agreed that in future elections should be held at fixed five-year periods. Indeed this was one of the bedrock agreements behind the Coalition Government that sat in the UK from 2010 until 2015. Why then, has the Conservative Government, elected by a slim but workable majority in 2015 now decided to hold an early election? After all, up until the week before Easter of 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May was still announcing to the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties that no early election would take place. Is this snap UK General election a political stunt or is it justified considering the circumstances in which the country finds itself?

The idea that the UK General Election is being held for partisan party political reasons is likely to gain some ground; after all present opinion polls show that the Conservative government is enjoying double-digit leads over the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties. If these poll figures reflect the actual result on June the 8th then a Conservative government could be elected with a majority not seen since the days of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s government of the 1930s. The voting in that general election was heavily influenced by outside, particularly the financial disaster following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. This UK General Election of 2017 will also be influenced by events in the wider world which will have an influence on the country at large. By this, we are of course referring to the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016. In the wake of Brexit and with the Labour Party performing badly at the polls, then the calling of an early election could be seen as a political ploy, to ensure that the government acquires an increased majority and deals a voting blow to its opponents.

However, there is a less partisan reason for the calling of this early UK General Election and it also revolves around the fallout from the Brexit vote. You should remember that the Conservative Government of David Cameron was officially opposed to Brexit and campaigned against it. Indeed one of the results of the Brexit decision was Cameron’s own resignation and replacement by Theresa May, who was also a staunch opponent of Brexit. If you consider the vital nature of the Brexit negotiations then factor into that the fact that the sitting government lacks the mandate to negotiate strongly, since part of its winning platform in 2015 was to oppose the exit vote, then you might realise that an early election in 2017 would be justified. Whoever is the winner of the early UK General Election in 2017, it will have won the election on a platform that acknowledges the fact of Brexit.

 

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