The snap election that bit back!

by merioconnell on 12 June, 2017

People kept stopping me over the weekend to ask me what I think is going to happen to the country now? I’ve been answering honestly by saying ‘I have no idea – nobody does!’ We have been thrust into yet another period of uncertainty and instability by a Prime Minister who promised strong and stable and gave us weak and wobbly instead.

Nationally the Lib Dems successfully increased our number of MP’s and I know that they will be chomping at the bit to get into Parliament and start fighting for the issues that we stood on – increased and sustainable funding for the NHS and Education and a stop to the disastrous hard Brexit that May is obsessed with, and Labour continue to fudge on.

Locally I would have like to have seen a bigger increase in our vote share, but I have no small amount of sympathy with, and understanding of, why people voted against the party they hate the most, rather than for the party they actually believe in. We fought a positive campaign and want to thank the many wonderful members and supporters who worked so hard to get our message out.

Our valiant local efforts were eclipsed by a campaign that was increasingly defined by the media as a two-horse race between Corbyn and May. It was a highly presidential campaign and does not bode well for those of us who believe our country benefits from more political voices being heard, rather than less.

Increasing the range of parties in Parliament would mean that politics would have to be done through serious debate and by gaining cross party support. Our politicians would have to listen to one another and work together in the best interests of the country, rather than having free reign to renege on promises and introduce policies that nobody voted for.

As a smaller party, the first past the post electoral system forces us to channel resources to target seats where votes for the Lib Dems make a visible difference to the balance of power. It was a successful strategy, but a frustrating one for campaigners in places like Reading West, because we know that without a fairer voting system the ‘wasted vote’ message pushed by it’s beneficiaries, the Labour and Tory party’s, will resonate.

I will continue to fight for the open, tolerant and united Britain that I believe is possible and the fact that the Lib Dems have reached their highest ever membership figures over the past two years shows me that I am not alone in this. I don’t want to see the annihilation of other political parties. I want to see a country where all voices are heard and represented and no vote is a wasted vote.

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