What Britain’s General Election Result Means

London England
View of the Houses of Parliament from Whitehall in London, England (Shutterstock/Alan Copson)

Britain’s ruling Conservatives are projected to lose control of Parliament. The exit poll for Thursday’s election shows them falling from 330 to 314 seats. Twelve more are needed for a majority.

Assuming the exit poll isn’t too far off, what does this mean for Britain’s next government, its major political parties and the process of divorcing the United Kingdom from the EU? Read more “What Britain’s General Election Result Means”

Conservatives Lose Majority in British Election

  • Britain’s ruling Conservatives have lost their majority in parliamentary elections, but they remain the largest party with 317 out of 650 seats.
  • They can probably stay in power with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which has ten seats.
  • Labour won 40 percent support nationwide and 261 seats, up 29. Read more “Conservatives Lose Majority in British Election”

Reasons to Doubt Labour’s Poll Surge Will Last

Robert Fico Bohuslav Sobotka Sergei Stanishev Sigmar Gabriel Jeremy Corbyn
Social democratic leaders Robert Fico, Bohuslav Sobotka, Sergei Stanishev, Sigmar Gabriel and Jeremy Corbyn meet in Prague, December 2, 2016 (PES)

Britain’s Labour Party has narrowed the gap with the ruling Conservatives in the polls, going up from an average of 25 percent support when Prime Minister Theresa May called an election last month to nearly 35 percent.

Support for May’s Conservatives hasn’t come down from 45 percent. They are still expected to prevail, but with a smaller majority than seemed likely a few weeks ago.

Labour’s surge has come at the expense of the Greens and Liberal Democrats, who are both polling in the single digits. Read more “Reasons to Doubt Labour’s Poll Surge Will Last”

Parties Can’t Wait Out the Insurgency

Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Mainstream Labour politicians in the United Kingdom and sensible Republicans in the United States have adopted the same strategy to cope with the attempted hostile takeovers of their parties: wait out the insurgency and hope that things return to normal after what can only be a crushing defeat for Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump, respectively.

There is of course little the far-left Corbyn and the right-wing nationalist Trump have in common, except that they are each remarking their parties in their own image.

And therein lies the danger for non-Corbyn Labour and the anti-Trump Republicans: the longer these men serve as their leaders, the less control they have over their destiny. Read more “Parties Can’t Wait Out the Insurgency”

Jeremy Corbyn: Radical Chic for Those Who Can Afford It

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a conference of European socialist parties in Paris, France, July 8
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a conference of European socialist parties in Paris, France, July 8 (PES)

Sarah Ditum explains in the New Statesman why Jeremy Corbyn is a risk only middle-class voters can take.

“I want Labour to have power,” she writes. Under Corbyn, it never will. His purist, “heirloom leftism,” as Ditum puts it, is simply not appealing to voters. It is a “luxury good” for those can afford life under perpetual Tory government. Read more “Jeremy Corbyn: Radical Chic for Those Who Can Afford It”

Sanders Supporters Shouldn’t Sympathize with Corbyn

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn talks with reporters outside Parliament in London, England, June 11, 2008
The British Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn talks with reporters outside Parliament in London, England, June 11, 2008 (Flickr/Jasn)

As Americans try to make sense of what is happening in British politics, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is sometimes compared for convenience with Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders, another leftwinger.

There are similarities. Both are old men who appeal mostly to disillusioned millennials. Both are to the left of their parties. And both are refusing to give up when it’s obvious to everyone else that they’ve lost.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find significant differences that should give Bernie Sanders’ supporters pause. Read more “Sanders Supporters Shouldn’t Sympathize with Corbyn”

Corbyn Could Leave Britain Without Opposition

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech in the House of Commons in London, March 16
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech in the House of Commons in London, March 16 (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

If Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn continues to stay put despite losing the support of his lawmakers, he not only risks splitting his party; he could leave the United Kingdom without an effective opposition for months.

Corbyn, an unreformed socialist, won his party’s leadership election last year with almost no support from his parliamentary colleagues.

His failure to persuade a larger share of Labour voters to follow the party line and vote “remain” in last week’s European Union referendum was the final straw for lawmakers who rightly fear they are doomed if Corbyn stays on as leader. Polls predict an historic defeat. Read more “Corbyn Could Leave Britain Without Opposition”

Labour Party Leader Likens Israel to Islamic Extremists

The British Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech in Aberdeen, Scotland
The British Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech in Aberdeen, Scotland (PA)

Britain’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has once again put his foot in his mouth when talking about antisemitism.

This time, he compared the state of Israel to Muslim fanatics.

Speaking at the presentation of a report about antisemitism in his party, Corbyn failed to condemn Jew-hatred in isolation, as he has so consistently failed to do. Whenever antisemitism comes up, Corbyn must lecture against all forms of racism.

But he did one worse on Thursday, saying, “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations.”

If you’re not sure why that’s such an offensive statement, consider if he’d said, “Our American friends are no more responsible for the actions of the United States or Donald Trump’s campaign than are our German friends for those of the Nazis.” Read more “Labour Party Leader Likens Israel to Islamic Extremists”

British Parties Seek New Leaders After Vote to Leave EU

London England
View of the Houses of Parliament from Whitehall in London, England (Shutterstock/Alan Copson)
  • The contest to replace David Cameron as Conservative Party leader and prime minister starts today.
  • Stephen Crabb, the up-and-coming work and pensions secretary, has declared he will stand. So have John Baron and Liam Fox, two Euroskeptics.
  • Boris Johnson and Theresa May are expected to enter the contest today. Read more “British Parties Seek New Leaders After Vote to Leave EU”

Vote to Leave EU Throws British Labour Party in Crisis

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech in Aberdeen, Scotland
The British Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech in Aberdeen, Scotland (PA)
  • Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has lost the support of many of his lawmakers in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
  • Angela Eagle is expected to challenge Corbyn. Coming from the soft left of the party, she could be a unifying figure.
  • The Conservatives are looking for a new leader of their own after David Cameron announced he is stepping down as prime minister. Read more “Vote to Leave EU Throws British Labour Party in Crisis”