Election Outcome '17
At 10pm on election night you could hear the sound of jaws dropping onto the floor all over Britain. The election that was designed to produce a larger Conservative majority, served up a smaller one. A disastrous campaign and a shock outcome.
So where do we go from here? My first question is always:what is in the national interest?
We now need a period of stability. I support Theresa May remaining in office. During the past 10 months she demonstrated that she is a very capable Prime Minister, but sadly during the election campaign we learned that she is a poor campaigner. However, now that she is doing the day jobagain there is no reason to suppose she will not do it excellently. Two very different skill-sets.
She addressed the Conservative Parliamentary Party earlier this week and demonstrated humanity and contrition. “I got us into this mess and I will get us out of it,” she said. She recognised the mistakes made during the campaign. I believe she can gradually recover lost authority and govern.
The arrangement with the DUP is not a full blown coalitionagreement as we had with the Lib Dems, but a deal for them to support us on major votes – the Queen’s speech, the budget and any confidence motions. It is hard to see this lasting for 4 or 5 years, but no reason it cannot last for two years. This should get us through the Brexit negotiations.
As I said in my acceptance speech the power lies with the people. Not for the first time, they stubbornly refused to do as they were told! Shocking. We did not help by producing a manifesto that took support away from the very people who were keen to vote for us. We also failed to set out a positive vision for the country and underestimated our opponents; a series of a school-boy errors.
Unexpectedly, we are back to two party politics with 85% of the vote shared between red and blue.
But we remain the largest party and with DUP support we have an overall majority. We have talented, experienced people leading us and a clear approach to maintaining our economy and getting a good deal for Britain out of Brexit.
I will play my part to help us to maintain stability and go forwards as a country, whilst continuing to do my best for the people of South West Devon.