Recently, Theresa May announced her plans to initiate a General Election, enabling the British public to either elect her as Prime Minister outright, and extend her tenure as leader, or vote for an alternative, perhaps driving Britain down a fresh, innovative path. At face value, this announcement suggests she may be striving to reinforce her position as leader, as winning the election may elevate her influence yet, perhaps more importantly, the declaration may suggest she is respecting public opinion; she may be aiming to honour their wishes by propositioning an election, enabling a leader to be appointed who has been voted for and thus represents the population. Ultimately though, whatever May’s intentions, this election may provide an opportunity for all parties, and politicians, to attain potential votes, utilising particular philosophies in order to elevate their chances of becoming leader.
After the EU referendum, and David Cameron’s resignation, May rapidly seemed to become the frontrunner to replace him, focussing on her longevity as a representative of Maidenhead and her extensive experience as a politician to attain support, yet in essence emerged as a candidate, and ultimately entered number 10, solely due to her position as a member of the Conservative Party. Whilst she might have proven her credentials, with her initiation of Britain’s exit from the EU perhaps showcasing her strength as a leader, her headship seemed to occur by default, and as such her speech shows she might be listening to public opinion, whilst ultimately motivating her to elevate her performance as leader; if she wins the election, it may prove the success of her Brexit stance and policies, continuing to enable Britain to be driven in the direction the public desire.
The Conservatives may be in a superior position, both due to their dominance in recent elections and the lead they have seemingly attained versus their rivals; May leads Corbyn by 35%, suggesting she may be deemed the favourite to continue her tenure as Prime Minister, and ultimately may be superiorly equipped to boast the role. Yet, these statistics may productively impact Corbyn, and the Labour Party itself, as they may be striving to improve on this. In order to achieve the influx of votes necessary, Labour may be aiming to reemphasise previous successful policies, as balancing this with announcing innovative goals may provide the public with an insight into the benefits a Labour government may provide. The most notable example of this may be Corbyn’s reiteration of his free school meals intention, as, in striving to provide equality for all, he may appeal to a wider range of voters, from a variety of backgrounds.
The reception of the population as such seems to have been positive, with the general consensus seemingly suggesting the public have been placed in a position where their influence has increased. The parties are striving to appeal in contrasting ways, with the Conservatives highlighting the perceived successes of Theresa May’s leadership, and Cameron’s tenure prior, whereas Labour may alternatively focus on innovation. Yet, this may also signal an opportunity for other parties to achieve notoriety, and advance their positions; UKIP may aim to capitalise on the recent wave of nationalism which seems to have occurred across Britain, whilst the Liberal Democrats may be looking to gain voters from Labour with their forbearing stance.
With the election confirmed for 8th June, there seems to be ample time for all involved politicians, and parties, to enhance their repertoires and further appeal to the public. Whilst this period may provide an opportunity for the opposition parties to attain support, and for the Conservatives to reiterate their dominant position, it ultimately may impact the British public superiorly, as in order to do this the parties may need to announce improved policies to attract support, and thus the people’s position of power may be enhanced. Yet, perhaps the most pivotal policy contributing to increasing support may be surrounding foreign policy, and more specifically Brexit, as providing Britain with an opportunity to vote on the leader may ultimately lead to a smoother, post-EU society, with everyone united under a common cause.
How may the British public utilise the election to influence Brexit proceedings?