Today, June 8, 2017 voters in the United Kingdom go to the polls in the second general election in two years. In 2015, the Conservative party won a small majority and formed a government. Of course, this time last year voters in the United Kingdom were voting in the referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the European Union. As we now know, a small majority voted for “Brexit,” and that result led to the resignation of Conservative party leader David Cameron. Theresa May replaced Cameron, and as the leader of the party of government, she became prime Minister.
Theresa May called a snap general election, ostensibly to secure a mandate to negotiate the United Kingdom’s exit from the union. When she called the general election, the polls were telling May that she had a 25-point lead on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. Since the election was called the polls have narrowed dramatically, and some are suggesting that the United Kingdom could be headed for a “hung parliament.”
A “hung parliament” means that no party can command an overall majority, meaning that the largest party will either have to go into coalition with another party or form a minority government. A minority government will have difficulty implementing its policy, because opposition parties can vote it down.
In short, the United Kingdom general election could throw up a huge surprise, and U.S. President Donald Trump may be one of the factors responsible.
Much is made of the so-called “special relationship” between the U.K. and the U.S., and Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit Donald Trump after his inauguration. The United Kingdom’s Conservative party shares many values with Trump’s republicans, Corbyn’s Labour party do not. Where Theresa May has remained largely silent over Trump’s Twitter outbursts Mt Corbyn has not. As reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, senior Labour party officials, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, want Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom canceled.
How Donald Trump Could Affect The United Kingdom General Election
Make no mistake, Donald Trump is not popular in the U.K., a petition to block Trump’s state visit was signed by almost two-million people, before it was closed because of the general election campaign. Just last month Jeremy Corbyn said that Trump was guilty of making the world a “more dangerous place.” According to the Independent, Corbyn claims that Trump is “reckless,” his unilateral strikes on Syria, escalating conflict with North Korea and opposing the Iran nuclear arms deal, are all cited as examples of Trump endangering the world.
Jeremy Corbyn has been fiercely critical of Trump. As reported by the BBC, last November Corbyn went on record saying that Trump should “grow up.” Earlier this week Corbyn said that, if he wins the general election, he will write to tell Trump that he is wrong on a whole range of issues. Trump’s ill-judged attack, on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in the wake of last weekend’s terrorist attack, withdrawal from the Paris climate deal, and Trump’s proposed travel ban, are all subjects where the U.K. is at odds with President Trump.
The people of the United Kingdom are a long way from anti-American, but many are anti-Trump. Earlier this week, the Guardian said that Trump is a “big box of crazy,” and as reported by Forbes there are calls in the U.K. parliament for the government to distance itself from Trump, especially over his policy in the middle-east.
Anti-Trump sentiment is strongest amongst supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, and many believe that the U.K. will indeed distance itself from Trump, should Corbyn win the general election. Theresa May has been criticized for being a Trump sycophant, and many believe that Trump could drag the U.K. into another unwinnable war in the middle-east.
The difference between the U.K.’s leaders could not be more stark, when it comes to Donald Trump. Theresa May wants the U.K. electorate to concentrate of the relationship with Europe, but many voters are just as concerned with the U.K.’s relationship with the USA, and with Donald Trump in particular. Trump’s election in the U.S. was a major surprise, so was the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union. If Jeremy Corbyn can mobilize the anti-Trump sentiment, then he may just deliver the third major election shock in the last year.
Donald Trump could just have a major effect on the United Kingdom General Election.
[Featured Image by Frank Augstein/AP Images]