Oh Snap

What to Make of the Shock Exit Poll

The maths are sublimely screwed.
June 8, 2017, 10:06pm

Well that was weird.

In 2015, after scenario-planning their balls off on hung parliaments after being caught napping in 2010, the Tories secured an outright majority.

This time? They've barely considered it.

In 2010, David Cameron came out of the gloom of a May morning and said he was making an "open and honest offer" to the Lib Dems. They then spent a week haggling over the finer details, while Gordon Brown hunkered gloomily in Downing Street, occasionally making a few weak overtures to the Lib Dems.

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That probably isn't going to happen now, because it simply the maths are almost perfectly, sublimely, unbelievably perfectly screwed.

On the exit poll projections, Theresa May has 314 seats.

There are 650 MPs in parliament.

That means she needs another 12 to get to the 326 to govern.

Given that her only mathematically-possible coalition partners, the Lib Dems, won't form a coalition with her, straight up, then her best bet is to form a minority government, and dare the other parties to defy her.

BUT: given that all the other parties likely to have seats in the 2017 Parliament are to the left of her bar the DUP, that would be seriously tricky.

After spending ages attempting to tar Labour with the Coalition of Chaos, they could be setting out on their own Coalition of Chaos, perhaps using DUP votes from Northern Irish Unionists. That's another 8 votes. Plus the UUP? Another one.

That's still three short. So… still fucked then.

Bar something screwy in the polls – and they could easily be out by three, as the 2015 one was – it's pretty much game over for her.

Alternatively, Corbyn has an opportunity to try his own hand at forming a coalition - but he'd need every trick in the book and then some.

He has: 266

Lib Dems: 14

Scots Nats: 34

Equals: 314

So he'd need another 12, even after that.

So… still no dice for him.

The issue is as bad for him because both of those parties have ruled out, categorically, any kind of coalition. The Lib Dems have nothing to gain after the 2010 government crushed the life out of them. The SNP are Labour's mortal enemy up North.

One scenario might be if Corbyn himself were to be axed – he was always viewed as a temporary leader, the left's place-man while it won back control of the party.

Perhaps the Lib Dems and SNP could see their way round to a Clive Lewis government and blur the edges of their "principles" by mumbling that it was Corbyn's Labour specifically that they weren't going to get into bed with.

Another solution? The most plausible solution? No solution. Three months of staggering-on just for the sake of continuity, then another election in the autumn. She dared us once, and lost. She might not like the answer if she dares us again…

@gavhaynes