After waking to such hopeful news this morning of Tory losses, the awful realisation dawns that they will be governing with the support of a far-right party: if anything, a worse outcome than an outright Tory victory. “Sure, you can have your Dementia Tax and human rights restrictions, as long as we get to keep our homophobia and anti-abortionism.”
Maybe we’ll get a softer Brexit out of it, but who knows? The DUP heartland was the pro-Leave part of Northern Ireland.
If the Tories had won a narrow majority in their own right, we would have had a chastened government knowing that they had to soften their stance on various fronts in order to cling onto power. But a minority Tory government will be tempted to move to the right to ensure DUP support. May is the last person you want to dangle that temptation in front of, given her previous form as Home Secretary and Born-Again Hard Brexiter.
The hope now is that even a Tory plus DUP majority will be so fragile that a by-election could knock it sideways. But any by-election could be some way off.
Despite my rational-political-scientist take this morning on the 12 Tory gains in Scotland, I do so wish they hadn’t happened...
Added by Rory on 9 June 2017.
Just to keep track of it here, this was my take later on the 9th at Metafilter on whether things were better or worse than the day before:
Labour vote has surged
Youth vote is way up
Tory government is unstable and will have trouble holding on
Theresa May has no personal mandate whatsoever
Several Tory ministers lost their seats
Many good progressive candidates didn’t
Prospects for next election in 2022 are good
It isn’t 2022 yet
Tories will still be the actual government with the actual power to do Tory things
A far-right minority party will have a direct influence on government, rather than the indirect influence other far-right parties have had before now
Brexit negotiations will be even more of a dog’s breakfast
God help us, Boris Johnson might become prime minister
Or Michael Gove might
Or Iain Duncan-Smith might
The worse things outweigh the better things for the time being, I fear. Still, nothing can take away the glorious schadenfreude of seeing this election blow up in the Tories’ faces.
Added by Rory on 11 June 2017.