British voters go to the polls on Thursday 12 December to choose a new parliament. The early elections must put an end to the years of stalemate around the Brexit.
Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn are the two men who are in the spotlight.
What will the outcome be: a Conservative majority, a “hanging parliament” or an unexpected Labor victory? The result is difficult to predict.
There are three options.
1 Boris Johnson wins the election
The future looks bright for the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His Conservative Party is well ahead in polls and, according to an authoritative analysis, could even count on 359 of the 650 seats. Labor’s largest opposition party would be stuck at 211 seats.
The prime minister wants to get his Brexit deal through parliament quickly if he wins the elections.
Yet Johnson is probably not counting himself as rich. His predecessor, Theresa May, oversaw her hand in 2017 by calling for early elections. The Conservatives also did well in the polls at the time, but nevertheless lost their parliamentary majority. May therefore had to turn to the small Northern Irish party DUP for tolerance support.
The outcome of that election led to the political crisis about the British departure from the EU. May repeatedly did not get her Brexit deal from parliament due to opposition from tolerant partner DUP and Brexithardliners within her own party, including current Prime Minister Johnson. That eventually led to her political downfall.
2 No party gets a majority
There is a chance that no party will achieve a majority. Then a “hung parliament” is created. This happened both in 2017 and in 2010, when the Conservatives formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
The question is whether Johnson can turn to the other big parties for support this time. Both the Scottish SNP and the Liberal Democrats, the country’s third and fourth party, are anti-Brexit. Former tolerant partner DUP is also not charmed by his Brexit deal with the EU.
Labor seems to have better cards to set up a tolerance structure. That party wants to conclude a new Brexit deal with the EU and then launch a referendum. The Scottish nationalists want to support a Labor government under certain conditions. That would include a new referendum on Scottish independence, among other things.
Working with LibDem is probably more difficult because party leader Jo Swinson has made it clear that Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn does not want to be Prime Minister.
3 Labour wordt de grootste partij
This scenario seems unlikely. Labor dominated British politics for years under Tony Blair, but has been in opposition for nine years now. This time too, there appears to be no prospect of a parliamentary majority. This is partly because Labor saw its position in Scotland crumble. The SNP has become the most popular party there.