5 politicians who end 2017 in a much weaker position

Theresa May

This year has been great for Jeremy Corbyn, but who has been damaged over the year?

1. Nicola Sturgeon

Sturgeon’s position as first minister of Scotland remains secure, but 2017 has been deeply damaging for her. She was forced to back down over her plans for a second independence referendum, and her party suffered a humiliating set-back at the general election. Yes, the SNP won the most seats, but there was a unionist vote share majority, her party won less than 40% of the vote and won just 35 seats – down from 56 just two years previously.

Her position is secure for now, but it is looking less and less likely that she will deliver independence.

2. Theresa May

2017 was meant to be Theresa May’s year. She was meant to romp home with large majority and crush Labour all in one swift action. But the success of Corbyn, Labour’s manifesto, the dementia tax U-turn, the un-costed manifesto and her lack of appearance in the TV debates compounded to result in a humiliating outcome at the election. Had May not gone to the polls, she would have had another two and a half years with a stable majority.

3. Alex Salmond

After stepping down from the Office of First Minister, Salmond won the Westminster seat of Gordon from the Liberal Democrats at the 2015 election, entering parliament as one of the 56. Two years later, Salmond was knocked from his perch in the Tory surge in the North East, resulting in a humiliating defeat for the former first minister.

But is Salmond’s political career over? I doubt it.

4. Tim Farron

Labour’s left currently has such a tight grip on the party, Jeremy Corbyn will go when he wants to go. For now at least, there is no likelihood of a change in leader, especially if Corbyn goes on to become prime minister.

Nonetheless, the top two favourites to succeed Corbyn are female.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner, who recently appeared on Have I Got News For You, is currently the betting markets’ second favourite to replace Corybn, Tim Farron led his party to win an extra four seats at the 2017 election, however, the party’s election campaign was interrupted by questions on Farron’s views on homosexuality, sin and his Christian faith. The questions undoubtedly distracted from the Liberal Democrat message and badly damaged Farron’s reputation. After the vote, Farron resigned, and while he remains an MP, 2017 has done him no favours.

5. Nick Clegg

The other Liberal Democrat to suffer a significant blow in 2017 was the former deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg. After clinging on to his seat in 2015, probably with the help of Conservative voters wanting another coalition, Clegg lost his seat to Jared O’Mara, who is now suspended from the Labour party. Clegg has still made his mark this year on issues such as Brexit, but going from deputy PM to opposition MP to being replaced by an inexperienced Labour politician has evidently damaged him.

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