The 2017 British general election has been an exciting and an unpredictable election. Before this election the media consensus was that Jeremy Corbyn was an extremist. His leadership of the Labour Party would doom it to opposition. The Conservative Party looked on as the events in the Labour Party gave them a feeling of joy. The Conservatives expected that they were going to win the next general election with an increased majority. There was even talk that the Labour Party could be in danger of permanent decline. As we know from the 2017 general election the Conservatives failed to win an overall majority. The Labour Party gained around 40% of the vote. The Conservatives rule as a minority government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party.
. This general election has transformed Jeremy Corbyn from a fringe candidate into a credible alternative Prime Minister. Latest opinion polls shows that the Labour Party would win the next general election. If a week is a long time in politics a year must be a very long time. And yet the old rules of politics has been upset since the last general election.
. An interesting aspect of the surge in support for the Labour Party is that young people are voting, and they are voting for Labour. This isn’t youth voting for youth or novelty. There is an economic reason for this. The opportunities for young people to succeed is less than their parents and their grandparents had. The vision of student debts and poor jobs would make a lot of young people question the status quo. They are looking for alternatives. Despite some portraits in the media the Labour’s manifesto is quite moderate. It seeks to help workers and small businesses. The rich would pay extra tax but the majority of people wouldn’t see an increase in tax. These policies would have been acceptable to the Conservative Party in the 1950s and the 1960s.
. We do know that voters are seeking alternatives to the status quo around the world. President Trump shows that voters could put their faith in false alternatives. Unless we can find reasonable alternatives to the status quo then we could face the danger of false and dangerous ideas gaining power. After the 1929 crash the Nazis went from being a minor party to gaining power in 1933. But in the United States in 1932 FDR’s New Deal saved American democracy. As we reflect on our world since the 2008 crash we will need to distinguish between real solutions to our present economic difficulties and false promises. We need to know that not all solutions that politicians offer will resolve our problems.