It’s been a month since voters cast their ballots. Where are we now?
There were three main features of the general election that all show just how much can change in two years. The first was that Britain is moving towards becoming a two-party system once more, thanks to the collapse of UKIP and the stagnant performance of the Liberal Democrats. Secondly, it is getting very difficult for parties to get overall majorities, as shown with 2010 and 2017, but also with 2015 when the Conservatives just scraped together the magic-number. And thirdly, the once seemingly unstoppable SNP took a turn for the worse in Scotland, losing thirteen seats to the Conservatives and seven to Labour.
Since the election, a lot has changed.
The Conservatives now lead a minority administration, propped up by the DUP, and many of their manifesto pledges have disappeared. The deal with the DUP ensured that the pensions triple lock stays in place and that the Winter Fuel allowance remains as is. There was also no sign of plans for the controversial “dementia tax” in the Queen’s speech, according to the BBC, which wounded the Conservatives in the campaign.
In terms of key players, there was a minor reshuffle at the top-table. Most notably, Michael Gove returned to cabinet, this time as environment secretary, according to the Spectator.
On the other side of the chamber, Labour have become more confident and fierce, as shown during recent exchanges at the dispatch box in PMQs. Furthermore, in terms of polls, Labour is maintaining its place as a match for the Conservatives. A recent Survation poll put the party six points ahead of the Conservatives, cementing their place as a formidable opposition – a government in waiting perhaps? Furthermore, after briefly disappearing from the Labour campaign due to illness, Diane Abbott has made a comeback, retaking her place as shadow home secretary, according to the Guardian.
Meanwhile for UKIP, the party’s ex-leader, Nigel Farage, wrote in the Telegraph that he would not return to lead the party once more after Paul Nutall led the party into the election only to get 1.8% of the national vote. The party is currently in the process of electing its new leader.
The Liberal Democrats have also begun the process for electing a new leader after Tim Farron stepped down following the election, according to the Telegraph.
So far only one candidate has entered the leadership race, Sir Vince Cable, who was re-elected to his old seat in June.
Finally, north of the border, the SNP’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has watered-down her pledge for a second independence referendum, saying that, according to the Guardian, she would “reset” her referendum strategy.
A month can change a lot in politics - where will we be in one month's time?
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