Egg on face
If all the talk this morning is about a return to two party politics, Somerset is proving something of an oddity. Yes it is two party politics, its just the wrong second party. Labour have returned to second place in Bridgwater and seen their vote rise across the county but it is still the LibDems in second place in four out of five constituencies.
but in every case the collapse of the UKIp vote has taken our county back to the sort of polarisation in politics we have not seen since the early naughties.
As to the overall outcome, I imagine the Conservatives will form the next government and can’t help but wonder if a coalition with the DUP will be their get out of jail free card? It is a long time since Northern Irish politics have played a major part in the numbers game, but back in the 1970’s when elections were wont to be a little closer the old tradition of unionism being allied to Conservatism was always part of the maths.
However with all the talk of polarisation it is worth remembering that for the first time since the 1970’s we have been in a period of 3 successive elections where parties have been left with a wafer thin, or no overall majority at all.
The biggest loser however is clearly the Prime Minister. Jeremy Corbyn may yet not be the only person calling for her resignation. She led the Conservatives into an utterly frivolous election for no good reason other than to capitalise on opinion polls swinging heavily away from Labour. Now she has sacrificed an overall majority and left the country looking as far from “strong” and “stable” as it is possible to be.
Several Conservative MPs have already expressed disquiet with her leadership and after a gaff prone 6 week campaign she does not look like the sort of leader you want to be leading negotiations with the EU trade block. That at the end of the day will leave the outcome of this election, not in doubt, but provoking many more questions than it has provided answers.
As I write this latest projections suggest