After three terror attacks in the last three months, the United Kingdom is preparing to elect a new Parliament. These elections were scheduled for 2020, but Prime Minister Theresa May called for them to be held earlier to give her a mandate as the U.K. begins the “Brexit” negotiations.
Now, she may be rethinking that decision.
Naturally, national tragedies weigh on the minds of voters as they head to the ballot box. This year proved to be full of those as British citizens watched their people die at the hands of radical Islamists in Manchester and London.
Prior to the attacks, YouGov, a polling company, projected that the conservatives (aka tories) would win 308 seats. That number has changed to 305. But before any of these attacks, that number was at 330, making it a majority of Parliament.
We also have the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn – the U.K.’s Bernie Sanders. He is not popular among his own party, yet he has been a deft campaigner, turning conservative strongholds into weaknesses. After the attacks over the weekend, Corbyn was able to shift the political onus from the typically dovish leftists to the conservatives who cut funding toward national security.
Say what you will about his politics, but that’s strategically brilliant.
For a look at the respective parties’ policies, you can view those here.
In a political gamble, the Labour party decided to resume campaign activities less than one day after the attack on London bridge. Some could see this as insensitive, but it appears to be working in their favor.
It is hard to say how much all of this will matter in the wake of such an event. At times like these, pathos is a much stronger motivator than logos. And it’s not like voting patterns are that predictable anymore. But Britain is at such a turning point right now, with its security risks and the imminent Brexit, this election is a serious matter that lovers of freedom everywhere would be wise to follow.