Opinion: Nottingham political expert calls Theresa May’s campaign ‘most disastrous by party leader since 1983’

Dr Matthew Mokhefi-Ashton has called Theresa May's campaign 'most disastrous by a party leader since 1983'

A Nottingham political expert has called Theresa May’s political campaign the ‘most disastrous by a party leader since 1983’.

The snap general election was called by the Prime Minister in April, but while the Conservatives won a historic result in Mansfield, Labour defended all of its other seats in Nottinghamshire and the overall result saw the Conservatives lose their majority.

Across the UK, out of 649 seats declared at the time of writing, the Conservative party won 318, a loss of 12 from the 2015 election.

Labour won 261 seats, a gain of 29 – 326 seats need to be won by a political party to claim an overall majority in the House of Commons.

However Conservative party leader Theresa May has gained approval from The Queen after meeting with her at Buckingham Palace to form a government based on a minority of votes.

Speaking just after the meeting, Mrs May said they will ‘work with allies at the Democratic Union Party’ (DUP) to ‘come together as a country and to secure a Brexit deal that works for everyone’.

The DUP is a political party in Northern Ireland which won 10 seats in the election.

While a coalition has not been announced, combining together the votes of the Conservatives and the DUP results in 328 seats in the House of Commons, above the majority of 326, which keeps Theresa May in power as Prime Minister.

Theresa May talking to Notts TV.

Dr Matthew Mokhefi-Ashton, a politics expert at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Even if Theresa May manages to cobble together a coalition with the DUP, it’s difficult to see how she can stay in power.

“Both wings of her party will now see her as weak and vulnerable, and certainly won’t want her taking them into the next election – whenever that is.

“The only thing that might save her in the short-term is that any potential successor would be thrown headfirst into the complex Brexit negotiations.

“Equally they’d suffer the same problem she did as not having a personal mandate from the country.

“Given how her gamble turned out, they might not be eager to follow her down that path.”

Dr Mokhefi-Ashton thinks her authority now is ‘virtually nil as most MPs will rightfully blame her for this electoral catastrophe’.

“The usual whispering campaign will start behind the scenes undermining her support further.

“Corbyn on the other hand will be personally vindicated, both in terms of his policies and his approach to politics.

“It’s now almost unthinkable that any Labour MP could call for his resignation.

“Instead the left will likely turn on the right pointing how much better they might have done if the party had been united over the last two years rather than tearing itself apart with infighting.

“We can also expect to see Conservative pro-remain MPs who have felt ignored and bullied over the last year to suddenly start to flex their muscles.”

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