Login  |  Signup   Connect with us  

It’s bye bye Barwell after Theresa May’s election gamble costs him his seat

Theresa May’s political ambitions are in tatters this morning, leaving her desperately hoping to cling on as Prime Minister in a hung parliament, after she failed to trounce Jeremy Corbyn’s resurgent Labour Party.

The – soon-to-be-former? – Prime Minster had hoped to obliterate Labour and Corbyn when she took the gamble of a snap election; instead, she’s managed to obliterate the slender Conservative majority she had inherited from her predecessor, David Cameron.

Though the Conservatives remain the largest party in the Commons, with 318 seats it remains short of the 326 needed for a majority. At the time of writing, one constituency remains to declare, and it is likely the Conservatives will seek to form a coalition with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which secured 10 seats.

Though Labour, obviously, didn’t win, it nevertheless defied expectation, gaining 31 seats to bring its total to 261. The result also refutes the dogged criticisms hurled at Jeremy Corbyn ever since he assumed the Labour leadership – that he was unelectable and an electoral disaster in waiting.

Closer to home, as it were, May has effectively hung her housing minister out to dry – or rather her former housing minister – after voters ousted Gavin Barwell from his Croydon Central seat. Barwell lost to Labour’s Sarah Jones. She gained a 52.3% share of the vote (29,873), leaving the former incumbent limping into second place with 42.4% (24,221).

In terms of the rival parties, the Scottish National Party was scaled back, losing 19 seats to leave them with 35. The Liberal Democrats scored 12 seats (a gain of three). The Green Party retained Caroline Lucas as its sole MP. UKIP was wiped out.

Quite where this leaves Brexit negotiations – due to start in 10 days – is anybody’s guess. One might also ponder the implications of these results for the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, and her moves for a second Scottish independence referendum.

More pertinently, for the UK’s housing sector, it brings more uncertainty – and not just over the question of the next housing minister. With no outright majority, the inevitable wheeling and dealing begins to secure the next government. Whether crucial housing issues become lost in the fray is an open question.

Equally, the Conservative Party is notoriously unforgiving of its leaders; will the knives come out? After the gaffes of May’s election campaign, her lacklustre performance, and– for the Conservatives – the disastrous result of losing its workable majority, the Prime Minister has certainly earned her party’s ire.

Strong and stable leadership –those words look set on becoming a mocking epitaph to Theresa May’s political career. But that’s no consolation for those looking for the leadership and policies needed to resolve the ongoing housing crisis.

Share this story: 

Add new comment

Latest #ukhousing Tweets

Ecodan for New Build Applications