The British voter has spoken and has left everybody confused. The promise of “strong and stable leadership” did not seem sufficient to sway voters towards a Tory landslide as predicted just a few weeks ago. It seems that British voters do want to have details and where they got them (e.g., dementia tax) they did not like them. They also do not seem to like kitchen cabinets (e.g., government by unelected Fiona and Nick), but rather more inclusive and transparent governments (which also implies showing up for TV debates). Instead of getting a strong mandate for Brexit negotiations, Theresa May enters these talks now very much weakened and with a certain degree of uncertainty whether she will still be in Downing Street in March 2019, when the process is scheduled to end. I agree with Martin Sandbu, that this can either end in the UK crashing out of the EU in March 2019 or (if cool heads prevail) in a much softer Brexit than Theresa May promised.
How to interpret the rise of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, fueled, as early indications suggest, by young voters finally turning out (where were you last year in the referendum???). Are these the Remain voters finally standing up? Unlikely, as they should have voted Lib-Dem! Or is it rather that they see that Labour better understands the message that the 52% sent last year, expressing their social and economic frustrations with a vote against the EU? Jeremy Corbyn promised a free lunch, with the tab being handed down to future generations – but it seems Labour better understands the underlying fears and hopes of many people outside the Westminster/Brussels bubble: for many voters, it is primarily not about the European Court of Justice, Single Market or Customs Union, but about education, NHS, income and the future.
9. Jun, 2017