Thursday 25 May 2017

The Tories seek a mandate to break from its admirable legacy

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg chatting to the media yesterday. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg chatting to the media yesterday. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Theresa May's decision to trigger a general election may well represent an astute tactical coup, given the intrinsic weakness of the UK opposition. However, talk of an enhanced mandate being obtained at first seems paradoxical given the extent of 'Remain' voters (48.1pc of the electorate) in the Brexit referendum, many of whom may not be compelled to give the Conservative Party a stronger hand.

Further scrutiny would indicate that the Tories may be more reliant on extracting more support from 'Leave' voters (51.9pc) to enhance its 2015 general election polling figure from 36.1pc.

An open dynamic therefore is whether 'Remain' voters previously voting Conservative will be tempted to switch allegiance in significant terms. The manifest credibility issues associated with Labour should in theory provide an opportunity for the Liberal Democrats to reassert itself, as the best pragmatic outcome for mainstream, pro-EU voters would be another Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, with a heavy emphasis on a more integrated 'soft Brexit' stance insisted upon by the putative junior partner.

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