It is 9 June. And we have woken up to a different political landscape. Despite the polls, despite the smears, despite the predictions of a Conservative landslide, Jeremy Corbyn has done it. There is now a hung parliament. Many people have turned their backs on Theresa May. And they have rejected the politics of austerity.
A massive achievement
This is a massive achievement for the Labour Party. When Theresa May called the snap election on 18 April, a Tory landslide was widely predicted. There was talk of a Labour wipeout, with the party losing hundreds of seats. Even the final analysis from most of the polls on 7 June was still predicting the biggest Conservative landslide since Margaret Thatcher.
But Labour has gained seats. And it’s gained seats in Conservative heartlands. In fact, Labour gained an extra 29 seats while the Conservatives lost 12.
The Conservatives may still have the most seats in parliament. But they don’t have the numbers to form a majority government. Labour’s gains have been truly phenomenal. Corbyn has overseen the biggest swing to Labour since Clement Attlee in 1945.
While John McDonnell has signalled that he wants to form a minority government, the Conservatives have struck a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). But how things unfold from there is speculation. Some Conservative MPs are calling for the weak and wobbly PM to resign. Meanwhile, there’s talk of another election in the near future.
We are a long way from knowing any of this for sure. In the meantime, we need to take a moment. We need to think about all of us who dared to believe in hope; who dared to believe that things could be different.
Theresa May wanted this election to be about Brexit and ‘strong leadership’. But people across the country changed that. We made it about our NHS, our schools, and our public sector workers. And we made it about ending the austerity that crippled the country while the rich got richer. And we did it against the backdrop of lies and smears from a media owned by a handful of billionaires.
In amongst the wrangling and speculation, just take a moment to celebrate. Take a moment to realise what every single one of us has achieved. We’ve got a long fight ahead, but let’s take the time to enjoy this moment in history.
Featured image via Flickr