The title of this blog was what Tim Farron described of the proposed Conservative (Tory)-DUP coalition exactly a week ago. Not exactly what everyone had hoped for following weeks of build up to a “strong and stable leadership”.
So it’s been a week, and now’s as good a time as any to follow-up on my previous blog post “Reflection on the Election”.
After being awake till the crack of dawn to watch the results for as long as possible, I eventually caved in to sleep. I didn’t surface till 12.30pm.
Turns out my home constituency (where I voted) had a margin of 300 votes! The Tories may have held onto the seat, but only by the skin of their teeth. This only echoed the overall results.
Theresa May’s gamble hadn’t payed off – BIG TIME.
The Tories may have kept their status as the largest party, with gains made across Scotland, but they lost that all-important majority that ensured little to no opposition. They were short by 8 seats of a majority of 326.
Naturally, any party would’ve leaped at the chance to gain some power, be it minute. However, the last coalition didn’t necessarily end well for the minority party.
I think Nick Clegg’s face said it all when he realised he’d lost the Lib Dem’s seat of Sheffield Hallam. The 5 year Tory-Lib Dem coalition had decimated the Lib Dems, reducing them to an insignificant political force.
No party wanted to partner with the Conservatives, for fear they gained more enemies than it’s worth.
Underlying this was Brexit, of course. A majority of the smaller parties supported remaining in the EU, and the Tories plans to leave everything we know behind was just another excuse to avoid the hand of friendship being extended.
It seemed certain May would not get her majority – uncertainty would happen, but to some it was worth it to halt the Conservative’s plans.
Step in the Democratic Unionist Party, also known as the DUP.
Mere minutes into the polls closing, the DUP flirted with the idea of a coalition with the press, but most analysts paid more attention to how much of a gain Labour would have. Hours after the results became clear, Theresa May gave a speech confirming she could form a government with the aid of the DUP.
Welcomed by some, loathed by others.
The DUP is famed for its far right wing views on abortion, LGBT+ rights, sexist comments and being the only Northern Irish party to support Brexit. As Unionists, they support Northern Ireland’s union with the rest of the UK. To me personally, this partnership is improper and should be ended immediately.
The DUP’s polices undermine much of the legislation already in place and could threaten any liberal standing within the Conservative party. Furthermore, any deal with a Northern Irish party could destabilise the already fragile government in Belfast, set up under the Good Friday Agreement.
Put simply, stability is now a pipe dream for British politics.
And to top it all off, the Tories and DUP still haven’t formalised their coalition, most likely due to disagreements in policy.
Essentially, the UK hasn’t had an actual government in a week.
Luckily, it’s not quite Lord of the Flies yet.