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GENERAL ELECTION 2017: CAF'S REACTION AND INSIGHT

09 June 2017  

THE RESULTS

Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election backfired, with the Conservative Party losing seats and leaving no party able to command an overall majority in the House of Commons. Labour significantly increased their share of the vote from 2015, whilst gaining a number of MPs. The Liberal Democrats gained a handful of seats without making the kind of breakthrough that they had aimed for. In Scotland, meanwhile, the SNP saw heavy losses across the board but remain the largest party.

Elsewhere, the Green Party saw Caroline Lucas retain their seat in Brighton. UKIP’s vote shared collapse, and they were unable to win any seats. Plaid Cymru gained a seat in Wales to take their total to four. And in Northern Ireland, the DUP emerged with 10 MPs and Sinn Fein with seven. Prominent politicians to lose their seats include Nick Clegg and Alex Salmond.
 

THE NEW PARLIAMENT

With 79 new MPs entering Parliament, charities will be looking to build relationships with new parliamentarians in the coming weeks. We’ll be taking a look at the new intake in more detail next week; many come from either charitable backgrounds, or have demonstrated a commitment to charitable causes. Whether it is people who have run charities or helped to shape their policies, or those who have given their time or raised money for good causes, charities must look to capitalise on this goodwill and work with the new intake to give charities a voice.

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, lost his Reading seat to Labour. Steve Reed, his Labour shadow, was comfortable re-elected. Elsewhere, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group of Charities, Susan Elan Jones, retained her Clwyd South seat.
 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Theresa May has visited Buckingham Palace and outlined that she will be seeking to form a government, supported – either formally or informally – by the DUP. She is expected to begin appointing her Cabinet later this afternoon, and has explained that she intends to lead the UK in Brexit negotiations to ensure that there is a ‘government of certainty.’ It is therefore expected that the Prime Minister will seek to deliver a Queen’s Speech in ten days time.

Although Mrs May has insisted that she plans to stay on as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, whether that is tenable is yet to be seen. The currency markets have offered a verdict on the instability across the political system. Despite Theresa May’s efforts to form a government, the next few months could see a leadership election in the Conservative Party and it would be a brave person to bet against another general election before the year is out.

The reality is that the election result reveals a divided country. At times of such political turbulence and turmoil, the role of charities is more important than ever – after all, charities manage to be both strong and stable, and for the many not the few. With such uncertainty emanating from Westminster and Whitehall, charities can offer people support, unity and a voice. Borrowing language from the last time that the UK had a hung Parliament, whichever party forms whatever type of government must make a “big, open and comprehensive offer” to work with charities on the challenges that the country faces.

What are your thoughts? Let us know at
campaigns@cafonline.org or on Twitter @cafonline

Want to let us know what you think about the leaked Labour manifesto? Get in touch with us at campaigns@cafonline.org, or on twitter @cafonline.
Want to let us know what you think about the leaked Labour manifesto? Get in touch with us at campaigns@cafonline.org, or on twitter @cafonline.

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