How long will May's government last?

Prime Minister Theresa May's gamble has backfired spectacularly in the UK snap election. Instead of strengthening their majority ahead of the Brexit talks, as they had hoped to do, the Tories have lost their absolute majority in parliament. Commentators believe May's days as prime minister are now numbered.

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Handelsblatt (DE) /

Prime Minister on call

The Handelsblatt is convinced that sooner or later new elections will have to be held to end the current impasse:

“Over the next few months May will be merely the beleaguered administrator of a country in the throes of a chaos she herself triggered. She will retain her position until the Tories find a new party head to lead it into the next elections, as soon as the fragile construct which May perceives as a government collapses. This should happen in a matter of months, perhaps a year. The sooner it does, the better it will be for the country. Because the clock which May set off at the end of March with her official exit request in Brussels is ticking. By the spring of 2019, the UK must regulate its exit from the EU and future trade relations.”

Postimees (EE) /

Regicide waiting in the wings

Theresa May's Pyrrhic victory will go down in the annals of British history, columnist Ahto Lobjakas writes in Postimees:

“May reeks of defeat and that's fatal in the UK's competition-driven political culture. Even if she doesn't resign immediately the Conservative Party won't let May run in the next election. The Tory party is an 'absolute monarchy' regulated by regicide,' a former minister wrote on Twitter. He means that May's next contender will challenge her sooner rather than later. … David Cameron's decision to hold a referendum on EU membership was dumb, but a necessary gamble. May was not forced to take the course she took. Her wager was a cynical strategy.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Bad omen for Brexit talks

Unfortunately the Labour Party's success won't be good for the Brexit negotiations, La Repubblica complains:

“If the UK were still an integral part of the EU Theresa May's defeat would be a wonderful victory for Europe. But as from Brussels' point of view London is now merely a partner with whom it must drive a hard bargain, the prospect of a hung parliament in which no party has a clear majority makes the spectre of failure floating over the Brexit negotiations loom even larger. A clear victory for Corbyn's Labour Party giving it control of the House of Commons would have reshuffled the cards and paved the way for a softer Brexit. But this is not the case. Labour's success shows that the phase of Europhobic populism is drawing to an end, but it threatens to leave Europe without a reliable negotiating partner.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

No sign of a calmer UK

After the election the drama over Britain's exit from the EU is coming to a climax, Aftonbladet comments:

“The question is whether the Brexit negotiations that are due to start in just over a week with an - at best - weak British government can begin at all. ... It's hard to imagine what form a coalition government would take. ... Unless Corbyn wants to commit political suicide Labour will never govern together with the Conservatives, the way Germany's Social Democrats have with Merkel's CDU. ... The two parties with which May could form a minority government are firmly against Brexit. ... The stability that Theresa May tonight stressed was so badly needed is not even visible on the horizon.” (ES) /

Corbyn leading Labour back to the left

Regardless of what kind of government emerges after the election Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing policies have received a boost, observes:

“The veteran British politician Jeremy Corbyn will go down in the history of the Labour Party as the man who brought it back to the fold of social democracy after the shift to the right under Tony Blair. Re-elected twice by the party base - first in September 2015 and then with even greater support in 2016 - 68-year-old Corbyn has managed to spread his traditional socialist ideology despite the opposition of a large section of his parliamentary group and the dominance of the conservative press. … Because closeness to the people is his strength, Corbyn flourished during the campaign after a year and a half of being ridiculed in the press and various attempts by his own colleagues in the House of Commons to topple him.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

British democracy revived

The election result shows that traditional political ways of thinking no longer hold sway in the UK either, the Daily Telegraph concludes:

“It's no longer a vote-loser to back nationalisation, to talk to terrorists, to warn off interventionist foreign policy or to favour taxing the rich. This is terrifying to Tories, but good news for democrats. It means that anything is possible. Wasn't that the message from Brexit? From Trump? From Macron? None of these votes clearly showed the world moving Right or Left-wing, but rather that things are in flux.”