Now the dust has settled after the election, it is worth pausing to reflect on where we are. There is no doubt that Jeremy and the Labour party did much better than expected at the start of the campaign, but of course they came nowhere near winning. Nearly 60 seats behind means there is still a lot to do and it would be very unwise to assume one more heave would bring in a Labour majority next time.
The really good thing is that May lost her majority and cannot proceed with her hard Brexit which would do great damage to the British economy and to many people. It is worth remembering that the minority Callaghan government lasted quite some time with the help of an understanding with the Ulster Unionists and others. It is therefore unwise to assume that another election will come soon. Brexit will be the focus of parliamentary activity and on this Labour has got away with fudge so far. I believe they need to go much more firmly for a soft Brexit, which means a long transition, primarily to protect the economy but it would also have the effect of making it more likely that Labour will keep the votes of the Remainers who were repulsed by May’s hard Brexit.
I think it unfortunate that Jeremy hasn’t done more to reunite the party to go forward strongly. I fear the big achievement of the election has created too much euphoria.
But certainly there is a new mood and much more hostility to austerity and politics has become much more interesting.
Photo credit: Andy Thornley