By Matthew Flinders, Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, University of Sheffield
This post was originally published on The Conversation on 9 June 2017.
The 2017 general election was a once-in-a-generation opportunity that the Tories fumbled and Labour exploited to remarkable effect. The Tories managed to spook older voters and thereby alienate a core constituency; Labour, meanwhile, both connected with younger people and somehow got them to actually vote in large numbers.
All political scholars should beware reaching too quickly for their pens, keyboards or quills; to adapt the old adage, “write in haste, repent at leisure”. Nonetheless, it strikes me that a seismic shift has occurred in British politics. It is now clear that Theresa May’s gamble has been a catastrophic failure. With a hung parliament, the UK’s negotiating position on Brexit looks to be in tatters. Theresa May asked the British public to show its support for a “hard” Brexit, but the public declined. Continue reading
By Matt Flinders
A shorter version of this blog post was originally published by Prospect magazine.
When is a wobble not a wobble? This might not seem the most obvious question to be asking in the context of the current General Election campaign but that’s exactly what makes it so important. Could it be that Theresa May’s recent backtracking on the costs of social care was nothing of the kind? Instead part of a more subtle game of preparing the public for tough choices that will inevitably have to be taken? Have we just witnessed the political equivalent of a footballers fake dive? Continue reading
By Felicity Matthews
At 07:20 on 24 June 2016, the result of the ‘once-in-a-generation’ referendum was announced. Little over an hour later the Prime Minister made his own announcement on the steps of Downing Street, stating that it ‘would not be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination’. Since then, one word has been on the lips of Westminster watchers. Bre… OK, not that one. Another. One beginning with ‘m’: MANDATE. Who has a mandate? To do what? By when? How? Continue reading