Theresa May does not want to resign as UK Prime Minister after election disappointment – but she may have no choice

by | Jun 9, 2017 | History, Seradata News

The result of the UK General Election has resulted in no party having a technical majority. However, the Conservative Party (Tories) remains the largest party and will still have enough votes with the aid of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist block of MPs to carry on in power. Nevertheless the General Election was a set back for Prime Minister Theresa May who previously had a 20 percentage point lead and a small parliamentary majority at the start of the campaign – both now lost in this election.

Theresa May is now under pressure to stand down as Prime Minister. Courtesy: The Conservative Party

While Theresa May has since been criticised for doing for going to the polls when she did, it was not this that she got wrong.  Actually the fault lay in her and her advisers’ (who have now resigned) faulty manifesto, including the poorly conceived “dementia tax” and its badly handled U-turn with its failure to define a cap amount.  This, and her poor overall campaign which failed to mention the Conservatives’ relatively good stewardship of the economy, resulted in May frittering away her poll lead as the campaign went on.

Likewise, while the Conservatives have always been regarded as less sound on the NHS and social care, and called the “nasty party” (May’s own words) over its benefit reductions to the poor and disabled (the “Room Tax” comes to mind), May’s own record on cutting police numbers and her attempts at reducing civil liberties as Home Secretary also left her open to effective attack in areas of traditional Tory superiority.

The Labour Party Manifesto 2017 has been praised. Courtesy: The Labour Party

Others have noted the vigour and professionalism (Diane Abbott’s errors aside) with which the Labour Party, conducted its own campaign. Especial praise went to the manifesto drafted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell. It had many popular policies with full costings. And while their “tax the rich” revenue forecasts were a little fanciful and optimistic for most experts, at least they were there (unlike in the Tory Manifesto).

Corbyn also beat May on his relaxed attitude and his willingness to engage with the British public in an open way. May, only appeared in front of her loyal supporters, often with a stilted and repetitive performance.   She also drew criticism for sending her (admittedly effective) understudy, Amber Rudd, to stand in for her on a televised leaders’ debate. In effect Theresa May broke the most important rule of holding a job down: turn up.

As a result of her electoral failure, Theresa May has become a much diminished leader and there is growing pressure for May to stand aside to let others lead country into the Brexit negotiations. May has so far refused to do so.

Jeremy Corbyn did not, of course, win.  However, he and his Labour Party managed a good second place  –  with a little help of gains in Scotland due to the unpopularity of the Scottish National Party as well as from some anti-Tory tactical voting by normally UKIP, Lib Dem and Green supporters. Their performance in gaining seats was however enough to claim success.

Labour Party managed to catch the wave of growing disenchantment with the established way of thinking which even Theresa May sensed as she tried to move at least some Conservative policies leftwards. This change of mood was especially true amongst the young. For it was the large turnout of the young electorate which allowed Corbyn to do so well as they voted against the Tories’ University Tuition fees, and for more housing and to support Education system and the NHS.  They also came out to vote after learning from their own mistake in not voting in the Brexit referendum with many of them disappointed at its subsequent “leave” result.

Comment by David Todd: With Brexit negotiations about to start, UK industry – including its space industry – wants a good deal from them. And it needs an “strong and stable” leader (May’s own words) to do achieve this. It will be up to others to decide whether May is the right choice for this role.

So what does all this mean for space? Well there will be no immediate change in space policy – albeit that there may now by trouble getting major infrastructure projects through parliament given that it will be a minority government with unpopular decisions becoming susceptible to blocking by rebels. This will mainly affect airport runway projects and road-building but could theoretically could also affect spaceport plans.

While the UK space community grudgingly accepts the result of the Brexit referendum, it would like “as soft a Brexit” as possible. Of most concern to the UK’s space industry is that it wants freedom of movement for highly skilled European staff.  It needs these skills at least for the short to medium term until the UK can train enough new engineers to take their place.  This high skills immigration will be the subject of the Brexit talks. Some UK industry space projects are currently dependent on EU money.  Whether a weak minority government will be able to commit replacement funding, remains to be seen.

Post Script: So your correspondent’s 33-1 tip on the number of Labour seats came off.  However his horse racing/sports gambling performance still leaves him behind on the year.  Perhaps he should stick to political bets.

And another thing…The BBC won the election television coverage stakes – mainly because of its excellent polling experts (“psephologists”) Peter Kellner and Prof John Curtiss. Nevertheless there are improvements to be made ahead of the next election which, given this one’s result, is now likely to come around sooner than previously expected.  Broadcasting old-stager David Dimbleby is a tad tired and irascible to be the BBC’s election anchor man anymore (use him as an expert in election broadcasting instead).  Worse of all though was the design of BBC’s computerised “swingometer” showing the vote swing between the two major parties in each constituency. It was bizarrely counter-intuitive and needs to be redesigned.



About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Gold rush for lunar comms attracts Lockheed Martin which sets up subsidiary to operate satellite relay pair

While landings on the Moon have been done before and are now regarded as a known technology, one aspect of Read more

Suspected maritime surveillance satellite Yaogan 34-04 sat launched by China

A Long March 4C (CZ-4C) launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China, at 0627 GMT on 31 March. The Read more

China launches four SAR satellites for commercial EO constellation

At 1050 GMT on 30 March a Long March 2D/2 (CZ-2D/2) rocket lifted-off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, China, Read more

SpaceX launches next batch of Starlink satellites: Group 5-10

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, USA at 2101 GMT on 29 March. The vehicle carried a Read more

Soyuz 2-1v single stack rocket launches fourth EO-MKA sat

At 1957 GMT on 29 March 2023, a Russian Soyuz-2-1v launch vehicle lifted off from the Plesetsk launch site in Read more

Space Insurance: Premium rates remain stable for now but underwriter sentiment turns against Arianespace

Twice a year, Seradata takes a survey of space underwriters to find out what typical premium rates are for rocket Read more

Damaged Soyuz MS-22 returns to Earth without its crew aboard

On 28 March 2023 the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-22/ISS-68S spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) Rassvet module at 0957 Read more

Israel makes retrograde Shavit-2 launch of new Ofeq-13 satellite – believed to be for radar reconaissance

Israel has launched a Shavit-2 launch vehicle from the Palmachim launch site in Israel at circa 2110 GMT on 28 Read more




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochina25virgin galacticfalcon 9ULARoscosmosDGAaviation weekaresevasoyuzIGTspacewalkFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 5BeidouawardsInternational Space StationspaceSatellite broadcastingBlue OriginrussiamoonStarlinkCargo Return VehicleresearchboeingmarsblogAirbus DSOneWebRocket LaborionISROimpacthyperbolamarsdelayjaxaspaceshiptwodemocratgoogle lunar prizerocketlunarhypertextobamaEutelsatlaunchVegatourismconstellationbarack obamafiguresSESnorthspaceflightnode 2fundedthales alenia spaceRaymond LygoIntelsat2009romeAtlas VExpress MD-2dassault aviationss2Elon MuskLockheed MartinaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiotestmissilesuborbitaldocking portexplorationVirgin OrbitinternetChina Manned Space Engineeringsts-122Ariane 5 ECASLSmissile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010Ariane 5Express AMU 1spaceportbuildspace stationaltairElectronshuttleProton Minternational astronautical congressNorthrop GrummanIntelsat 23Cosmosscaled compositesEuropean Space AgencyLauncherOnehanleybudgetrulesnew yorksoyuz 2-1aLong March 4CLong March 2D/2Ariane 6Vietnamatvspace shuttleshenzhoucongressMojaveboldeniacGuiana Space Centercnesnew shepardOrbital ATKLong March 2CUK Space AgencyksclawsSpace Systems/LoralUS Air ForceILSInmarsatLong March 4BprotonTalulah RileyApollodarpaeuSkylonAstriumlanderastronautbaseusapicturedragonSSLVega Cfiveeventlunar landerfalconSea LaunchWednesdayinterview50thSNCAprilKuaizhou 1ASpace InsuranceTelesat7customeratlantisLong Marchlinksuccessorgriffin