Article By: George Moncaster of The Youth Journal

With the dust of the snap election finally beginning to settle, and all the calamity that has transpired since that fateful day, I feel it is an adequate time to recap and consolidate some of the outcomes and events since, while providing an outlook for what it may mean for the country.

As many of you may know, the snap election was abysmal for the Conservative party. The personal mandate that Theresa May went into with the intention of winning was thoroughly blasted out of the water.

In an almost violent hurrah, the youth voters of Britain cried out in an almost undignified voice for the socialism that Jeremy Corbyn represents. Now this resulted in a much smaller majority than originally hoped for, landing the Conservative party with a modest, but nowhere near as large as hoped for 318 seats.

For those unaccustomed to the British political system, it works on the premise of a basis of regional seats. Each seat being tied to a geographical area called a constituency. An MP (Member of Parliament) runs for the election in a constituency and once elected victorious over rival MPs, claims his/her(s) rightful place in the House of Commons. This means that 318 areas across the UK voted for a Conservative MP in that area, meaning 318 Conservative MPs will sit down in the House of Commons. Now in order to form a full government, the party needs to have a majority of the seats. This means that they would need 326 seats as opposed to 318. 

This leads to something called a minority government in which the party with the most seats can form a coalition government. Getting confusing? Good. In this case, the Conservatives chose to form a coalition with the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party, commonly referred to as the DUP. This was one of the only few options the party could take, after the results of the last coalition government led by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The first being a Conservative party leader and the latter being a Liberal Democrat. Of course a coalition with the labour party was ruled out, as the fundamental ideology of the party is too different from that of the Conservative one. This left the DUP, with there 10 seats combining with the 318 of the Conservative party to push them over the edge by 2 seats.

The DUP are historically a party of Euro-sceptic, Unionists, originally founded by the late Presbyterian minister Ian Paisley, who firmly believed in Ulster (an area of Ireland) remaining loyal and part of the United Kingdom during the height of the IRA’s attempts to form a free Ireland.

british election 2017 map

The party itself had receded from public eye since and now has many young voters asking, who are they? The little be-known party has some interesting beliefs towards differing parts of society, some of the more controversial being the pro-life stance, as well as education. Now before many of you begin to condemn I must add as a writers personal note, those of you who would be so quick to attack the party for its religious beliefs must ask yourself, if you have defended Islam and its ideals as religious beliefs, then why do you now attack a western faith for its own? Is there no hypocrisy there?

Personal opinions aside, the party also believes in digitising education, believing the system is “out of touch”. However they also believe that creationism should be taught within schools, take from that what you will. The party also supports a hard Brexit something that Theresa May has promised time and time again, however with the talks having started this week, only time will tell if she can deliver.

The Conservative party itself faced some leadership issues in the wake of an embarrassing result, with many senior members calling for the Prime Minister to resign. For a while i would have thought Boris Johnson had yet another shot after the referendum defeat that David Cameron suffered, however my hopes (like many others I am sure)were dashed when Theresa revealed she would continue to lead the party.

It is undeniable that the parties across the spectrum lack charismatic characters, Jeremy Corbyn coming the closest to a desirable figure for the left despite the internal struggle within his party. However almost as if on cue, there was a threat of dissent within the ranks when Ruth Davidson (prominent leader of the Scottish Conservatives) revealed a planned breakaway from the Conservative party after a dispute over the coalition. The cause? The DUP’s religious stance on homosexuality.

And so that leaves us here. With the dust settling, and Corbyn still lingering on the edge of the media’s attention, the coalition government is in its early stages. Much like a newborn fawn, this government must adapt quickly and adequately if it is to survive the post truth political climate of this day and age.

However if there is one thing that we can be sure of, when the young crawl out from whatever ditch, student house, or parents basement that we find ourselves in, things really do get interesting, and I can confidently say that the coming weeks, months and years will change the face of British politics for my generation, and the next.

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  1. The Conservatives and DUP haven’t formed a coalition and never intended to, that would imply sharing power in government. What is agreed is that the DUP will vote in Parliament with the Conservatives to support crucial votes that might otherwise see the Government lose and have to face another General Election (which the Conservatives might lose altogether).

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