In a recent article on this website we explained how a British Prime Minister has the power to call a general election at any time (within five years). We also argued that Theresa May, leader of the UK’s Conservative Party and David Cameron’s successor as Prime Minister, has gambled that she will win a substantially larger House of Commons majority by setting an early election.
The UK’s general election is now set for June 8th but as it happened, local elections were due yesterday and offered a voters’ signpost for the big one. Yesterday’s local elections in England, Wales and Scotland, took place mostly for County Council seats in rural areas and for mayors of some large cities.
Traditionally, rural seats have been favorable ground for the Conservative and LibDem parties. Labour Party and Far-Left strongholds are in big cities, and especially those with an industrial base or history. Consequently, yesterday’s elections were always going to include a tough test for the Labour Party.
However, when allowances are made for this and other considerations, the results are bad news for all the political parties except May’s Conservatives. Labour had a disastrous day in the counties, losing more than a quarter of their voters. The LibDems lost some ground and yesterday’s vote confirmed their journey to the margins of power.
The Party that suffered most, however, was the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which simply disappeared. UKIP, even in its heyday, never made inroads into Parliament – thanks partly to a system which favors two big parties – but it had made quite an impact at the local level in some regions. Yesterday’s voting and losses confirmed that the party is finished. It will not fare better in next year’s urban elections.
May’s Conservatives regained support that had long been lost in Scotland and Wales, and everywhere added about 25% to its local government tally. This suggests that in June the Conservative Party will dominate the House of Commons, and May will be a powerful leader of a powerful party – and a very secure Prime Minister, for she is bound to be re-elected leader by the Conservatives in Westminster.
After Cameron’s resignation in the face of his narrow Brexit defeat, May’s pitch for the anti-EU movement can now be seen as a master-piece of opportunism. She had never been an anti-EU campaigner and the Parliamentary Conservative Party generally leaned to the EU and globalism. Yet she instantly committed to honoring the Brexit vote and the Conservative Party now seems to have greatly benefitted from this at the polls. This suggests that Brexit has gained significant support among voters.
The LibDems, always slavishly committed to the EU and globalism, might have expected to make a come-back as the sole political voice for the continental union but, if so, they must now be demoralized. As a party of the extreme social-issues Left it has failed to take significant advantage of the Labour Party’s problems.
At the forefront of May’s calculation when calling a general election for June, was the poor condition of the Labour Party. It is always dangerous to draw comparisons between the US and UK, but Britain’s Labour Party has experienced some of trends similar to those of the Democrat Party.
Like the Democrat Party, the Labour Party has been steadily moving Left for decades. Its embrace of anti-Christian moral issues has reflected its changing membership at the grass roots. It is now the Party of government employees, college lecturers and students, immigrants, White snowflakes, disaffected urban thugs, the intolerant and extreme. Its connections with, and concerns for, the native working class have substantially withered.
Just as Bill Clinton’s nimble posturing masked the Democrat’s extremism, so Tony Blair’s smooth tongue masked the Labour Party’s fractured roots with White working people. When Blair departed as leader, he was replaced first by a Far-Leftist of Revolutionary International Socialism and then by Jeremy Corbyn who is a cross between Bernie Sanders and Squaw Elizabeth Warren. Corbyn is popular with the Labour rank-and-file but not with the careerists of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
May’s Conservatives punished the Labour Party, but it has certainly buried UKIP. On this website, we have always pointed out that UKIP, as a one-issue party, was lightweight and never seriously Nationalist. Furthermore, it never sank roots as an organization. With May effectively leading the anti-EU movement from the front, there is no role for UKIP.
Barring unforeseen events, May should emerge after June 8th as a strong Prime Minister with a very solid majority in Parliament and a bickering and divided opposition. How far she will embrace Nationalist policies remains to be seen. EU hostility may drive her to the Right-wing, President Trump, and the USA.
UK politics are complicated by Scottish (SNP) and Welsh Nationalism (Plaid Cymru) (not Nationalist at all, but Far-Left!) and Ulster’s instability, but England’s voters dominate the British governing system.
The collapse of UKIP will offer another opportunity to the real Nationalist activists in the much-persecuted and shriveled BNP, but only if an educated, charismatic (and courageous) leader emerges.