UK General Election: A Brief American View

I truly see how “Keep Calm and Carry On” fits Britain’s personality. On June 8, 2017, UK citizens set out to vote in their early “snap” election, but you wouldn’t really know that traveling through the streets of London. I was walking about in Central London seeking opinions about the election, and yet nothing in the air, or on the buses, or on the street posters indicated it was Election Day. To the plain eye, it was just another ordinary day of keeping calm and carrying on.

I make this observation because the United States treats elections very differently. News stations are on non-stop cycles, political commercials are still running on TV, and social media is buzzing with “I Voted” stickers and posts. You would need to be dead or asleep to escape the mayhem.

Brexit-Theresa-May-cartoon

 

Election Day

Nathan, who works at a post office, said he was going to vote Labour. “Labour feels like the lesser of two evils at this point, especially for the working class.” 

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Chris, from North England, also said he would vote Labour because that’s what he’s always done. “Theresa May has made a big mistake, especially with what she’s said about the recent attacks. She’s been putting out these popular policies in hopes of gaining the majority vote, but people are starting to see her failed promises.” 

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Imogen from Richmond is voting Liberal Democrat. “The media tends to portray either the Conservative or Labour party, but there are many more parties. I prefer the candidates in the Liberal Democrat constituency because they are essentially representing me. For me, it’s not about the overall politics in the country at the moment. I just want to feel represented.”

Post Election Day: Hung Parliament

Both major parties (Conservative and Labour) failed to win the majority of seats in Parliament. Theresa May has been given the chance to win the conservative majority by forming a new government through the coalition of smaller parties. If she fails to do this, James Corbyn, the Labour candidate, will be given the same chance. If both fail to gain the majority, another general election will need to be held. (source)

If anything positive has come out of this election, it’s that some people feel like they can create more change now than they ever could.

A woman who asked not to be identified said this:

“It was an enormous change because the young voted. It has become possible to think that we don’t have to be extremely right-wing. The left-wing doesn’t have to be right-wing in order to get elected, so I’m in favor of James Corbyn.”

There are 650 seats in Parliament, and 325 are needed for a majority win. Labour gained 9.5 % of seats from the 2015 election to make 262 seats, and Conservatives gained 5.5 % to make 318. 46,843,896 votes were casted across the U.K. which amounts to 68.7% of eligible voters. (source)

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For more information about the 2017 general election, click here: What You Need To Know

For more information about parliament and British government, click here: UK Parliament

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