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Can The Tories Last Another Ten Years?
Next week will be a decade since the Conservatives came to power in the UK. It was in the general election of 6 May 2010 that, since 1974 we had a hung parliament, with the Tories that took power together with the Liberal Democrats.
It was clear from the start that it was David Cameron the senior partner having secured 306 seats, while deputy PM Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems that had 58.
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Cameron’s Self-Inflict Blow
Cameron should have taken a comfortable majority against an unpopular Labour government who was in power for 13 years. The fact that he didn’t, surely can be recorded as a major blow for Cameron. But Cameron’s years in Downing Street were very stable as the Lib Dems never caused too many problems with the rather spineless Clegg that went along with Cameron’s decisions and with George Osborne’s radical austerity plan.
The 2014 Scottish referendum for independence was a lot closer than expected and has left somehow open the door for another one in the next decade. In the 2015 elections, Cameron managed to win the majority with the Lib Dems that only got a total of eight seats. Only a year later though, that victory was swept away by the defeat in the Brexit referendum that condemned Cameron to eternal political ignominy.
How will Theresa May be judged?
The history for Cameron’s successor Theresa May wasn’t kinder as, after a strong start in the summer of 2016, she made a big error by holding the third general election of the Tory decade the next spring. May lost her majority on that occasion and failed to get her Brexit plan approved by Westminster. She was undermined by figures in her party, especially by Boris Johnson who was the foreign secretary. The latter also resigned in protest at May’s Brexit deal, while planning his own ascent to the job.
Will we have ten more years of Tory?
Johnson won the leadership contest and took the party to its biggest success for more than 30 years in the last December. Johnson said that he wanted 10 years in power and undoubtedly the number that he has makes this claim very credible. But the new decade has started in a very unpredictable way, and the way he will be able to respond to this crisis and the Brexit will probably define his premiership and also the outcome of the next general elections. So far so good for the PM as he the Tories have 17 points ahead of Labour and are gaining more support.
We can see it from the betting as the Tories can be backed at 8/11 while Labours at 11/8. The hung parliament is at 7/4, so it is clear that punters are not impressed by this outcome. Even if ten years ago Cameron failed to get the majority, the following elections have shown that the Tories know how to pull together when it more matters. After all, they have ruled Britain for 18 years under Thatcher and John Major from 1979 to 1997, and we cannot underestimate them to surpass this record this time around.
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