The Danish General Election on 5 June resulted in a defeat for the ‘blue bloc’, the centre-right governing alliance that had been in office since 2015, and a victory for the ‘red bloc’, the centre-left parties.
By Robin Jackson
The failure of Scottish Labour to match the spectacular General Election advance of Corbyn’s Labour in England and Wales allowed the Tories to benefit from a sharp fall in support for the SNP. The 12 new seats that the Tories won in Scotland were the margin which has allowed Theresa May to project a putative House of Commons majority in alliance with the DUP, rather than be forced to handover to Corbyn or call a new General Election. Although Scottish Labour made some small recovery over 2015, it nonetheless polled less than the Tories and the SNP, meaning Labour came third in vote share for the first time in a general election in Scotland since 1918.
The 2017 British General Election was of course most spectacularly marked by the advance of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and the loss of the Tories’ overall majority. But it also saw a shift to the left of the main part of the political spectrum and an increased polarisation with a decline of forces outside the two main left (Labour) and right (Tory) political parties. Votes for the main centre party (Liberal Democrats) continued to decline.
The following article by Tom O’Leary, on Labour’s General Election campaign, was previously published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.
Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership the Labour Party has staged a stunning revival, prevented Theresa May achieving a landslide which she would have claimed as a mandate for ‘Hard Brexit’ and has caused a crisis of Tory government which will make it harder to make new cuts in public spending, apart from rising inflation. None of Corbyn’s opponents could have possibly achieved that outcome.
The final results of the general election campaign are not yet known but it is already clear that Labour’s campaign in 2017 is vastly more effective than in 2015. This is accepted even by non-Corbynites such as John Prescott.
By Ian Richardson
One of the clearest examples of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ so far in the British election campaign has been the media’s flagging of the Tory manifesto as stealing moderate Labour’s clothes by ‘abandoning Thatcherism’ and instead pitching ‘for the centre ground’, allegedly abandoned by Corbyn’s Labour. In reality May’s Tory manifesto is the most right wing Tory manifesto since the Second World War, going way beyond Thatcher in its proposals to deepen the attack on the welfare state, extending austerity’s scope to both the very young – ending free school lunches – and to the elderly with the ending of winter fuel payments except to the very poor and a ‘solution’ to the social care crisis of making those needing it pay for it themselves from the value of their homes.