A Recap of Political Maneuvering

The issue of Brexit continues to be in the limelight, creating a long wait for both pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit voters to see what could become of the United Kingdom after detaching itself from the European Union. On the twelfth day of December 2019, the CNN reported that the UK could finally go into a general election, and indeed, time was ripe for another general election. The same day saw the former Prime Minister Teresa May realised that it could be impossible to hold a snap election. Ideally, her strategy was to increase the number of her supporters in parliament to 100 to enable her to pass whatever Brexit bill she would want to pass. Unfortunately, she failed on her quest for a snap election and this made it more complicated for her to deliver Brexit.

A similar scenario, of learning the hard way is currently being experienced by Borris Johnson. With a similar minority government as May had, it is becoming more apparent that Borris Johnson will require more than his optimism to deliver Brexit. Despite managing to secure a seemingly impossible deal with the European Union (EU) Borris seemingly does not have enough numbers in parliament to deliver the legislature required to deliver Brexit. Interestingly though, Borris is back to May’s situation of needing a majority to pass the necessary laws – meaning that the general elections are the only option he has to gain a majority in parliament.

But calling for an election to gain a majority vote in parliament is a big gamble. Considering that he promised to deliver Brexit by October, calling for an election will not only contribute to further delays but also the possibility of losing Brexit. Despite opinion polls indicating that he currently enjoys good popularity in the UK, the political landscape may change rapidly during the campaigns. While the polls currently indicate that he is enjoying a 15% lead, voters might change their minds during the election campaign, bearing in mind that his popularity is even far less compared to May’ popularity the same period after becoming the UK’s PM.

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The first big problem likely to be faced by Johnson is the Labour Party, the UK’s main opposition party. Based on May’s previous experiences, the Labour Party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn is a campaign strategist who is quite effective in campaigns. In fact, in 2017, the UK’s political class was surprised when Corbyn delivered a majority of the seats in Parliament that was expected. Corbyn’s delivery of more seats was also much of a surprise considering that he was just an ‘underdog’ while May looked more popular, stronger and seemed to have a better plan on how to deliver Brexit.

If Borris calls for an election, the job will be arguably a lot easier for Corbyn because Borris has presented himself as an aggressive politician, and Corbyn has taken this as an advantage by positioning himself as an ‘anti-Borris.’ Corbyn has been trying to make the public believe that Borris is in friendly terms with Donald Trump, who is very unpopular in the UK.

A keener look as Corbyn’s political strategy against Borris reveals that he considers Borris’ obsession with securing a trade deal with the United States would mean selling the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to the US’ drug manufacturing companies. The rivalry between Corbyn and Trump has also been seen in the way Trump recently called a London-Based radio station (LBC) to praise Borris Johnson and that Corbyn would lead the UK into a bad situation.

In the UK the NHS is highly valued and therefore it will be a highly valued political issue in the coming election. This implies that it will be difficult for the Borris’ conservative party if they end up in a debate regarding the NHS. Also, Corbyn is currently favoured by the fact that he has his ambitions geared toward the premiership, something he had expressed interest in during the last election.

However, if the UK ends up with another hung parliament, Corbyn will still benefit because he will have the credibility of making the case for leading some kind of a coalition. However, this would come with the price of somehow committing to a Brexit referendum. This situation could be somehow of great disadvantage to the conservative party because currently, the party is somehow tied to the Borris Johnson and the Brexit deal.

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The conservative party is not only facing the trouble of losing Brexit, but also the trouble of facing Corbyn, whom the party currently sees as a danger to the nation. Ideally, the Conservatives perceive Corbyn’s ideas as a threat to the national security that will interfere with the UK’s prosperity. Conservatives have described Corbyn as one who would nationalise the UK jobs and introduce heavy taxes to the UK people. It is should be terrifying to the Conservatives that Corbyn might end up being the next UK’s PM.

Political commentators also claim that Conservatives also fear the fact that Corbyn’s premiership may also come at the expense of Scottish people support. This implies that the Scottish people would have another bargain for the independence referendum. One would argue that after the Brexit chaos, the best option would be to become independent and join the EU as an independent state. Commentators are also no sure of how the vote will go. But the Conservative and Unionist party will always be painted as part by Corbyn’s party.

The political gamble played by Borris Johnson by calling for a general election is a defining moment not only for Borris Johnson but also for the Conservative party. The election seems to be the last chance for Borris Johnson, a Prime Minister who has experienced a political opposition since his first day as a prime minister. In the next few months, Borris Johnson might realise that there was more to Brexit than he ever thought.

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