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Lessons from UK Conservatives’ losing majority and French Socialists in crisis

Lessons from UK Conservatives’ losing majority and French Socialists in crisis

Posted June. 10, 2017 07:30,   

Updated June. 10, 2017 07:34


Britain’s ruling Conservatives have lost their majority in Thursday’s snap general election. Although the Conservative Party still maintains its status as the ruling party by securing 318 from 650 seats in total, thee result could have a crippling impact on the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May as well as the Brexit negotiation (the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU). With regard to the French legislative election that is scheduled to take place on this coming Sunday, the fall of the ruling Socialist Party is expected already. The party recorded at the bottom of approval rating among major parties at opinion polls and it was considered that the party would win mere 15 to 50 seats among 577. The Socialist Party was greatly defeated in the presidential election. As the left-right divide does not work anymore due to public distrust in political powers, fluctuations in the political landscape of the two countries are expected.

The Conservative Party of Britain has lost 12 seats, such poor result came from the gamble of Prime Minister May. She asked a snap general election in April based on a “stable and powerful leadership” as the party is ahead of the Labor Party in terms of approval rating by 21 percentage points. However, May was struck by her arrogance. Many considered that the cause of defeat was terrorist attacks and the policy of reducing the benefits for seniors. In particular, the so-called the "dementia tax," Conservatives’ proposals to strengthen standards for adult social care, created a controversy and made seniors to turn their back on the Conservative Party as they believed that the policy was the withdrawal of welfare promise. Seniors were Conservatives’ strongest supporters. The UK’s parliament is now in a hung state that no single political party has an absolute majority of seats. The ruling party is losing its ground, creating higher uncertainty.


In France, an overwhelming victory of French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist and liberal En Marche Party is expected. Hence, the Socialist Party with the history of 38 years will evidently be a minor party. Local media reported that French people are determined to judge the incompetent Socialist Party who failed to provide solutions on severe economic crisis and high unemployment rate as the ruling party.

European voters do not trust previously privileged parties and demand answers on how they would take care of their countries. They want a fundamental change. Their main concerns are jobs and welfare, rather than ideological conflicts. Voters in Europe are now showing the red card against current and previous ruling parties that fail to realize hopes to be a better tomorrow. The Moon Jae-in administration for being a month since taking office should look closely for what it can learn from the general elections in the U.K. and France.