Aaron Bass sets out his political predictions for 8 June…

Two years ago, I was asked to write a column on the general election. I explained how anticipation had built over the last five years, what we could expect and what the key issues were. My first column was about whether the Prime Minister would take part in the TV debates… so not that much has changed, except Brexit, the Prime Minister, the leader of every other major political party and the President of the United States. So, it’s been a quiet couple of years!

What now? What can we expect from this election and its immediate aftermath? Here are my predictions for this election and what will follow.

Government

Unlike many others, I would not be surprised if Jeremy Corbyn is Prime Minister come July. His support among those who don’t normally vote is huge! If they are mobilised, who knows what the result will be.

That being said, I am still predicting Theresa May will continue to be our Prime Minister. An increased majority of around 60 would give her the scope she needs to push through the more controversial pieces of Brexit legislation. She won’t have it all her way and may lose a few seats to the Liberal Democrats while picking up a few from Labour and the Scottish Nationalist Party. All in all, she will get what she wants.

The New Cabinet

While I don’t think there will be many surprises, Theresa May only choose the current cabinet in September, I have a feeling that Philip Hammond may regret his joke in March’s Budget. The Chancellor of the Exchequer jested that the last time someone gave the ‘final’ Spring Budget (they will now take place in the autumn) they were sacked months later. This may prove to be prophetic as the Prime Minister may look to change the Chancellor following an embarrassing blunder last month. He was forced into a swift U-turn when his headline policy to update National Insurance had to be scrapped when critics complained it contradicted a manifesto pledge. New government, new Chancellor?

The Labour Party

Post-election, and following significant losses, I see Jeremy Corbyn trying to cling on. He may claim that he needed a full five years, but eventually, following even greater internal turmoil, he will step down. At this stage, Yvette Cooper seems the likely successor according to most analysts. The Party will continue to be split but is likely to be ready to press reset and build afresh for the next General Election. Snap election in 2019 anybody?

UKIP

This may be more hope than expectation, but this could be a devastating defeat for the party that came third in the popular vote just two years ago. With Nigel Farage has gone, the party appears rudderless and following Brexit their raison d’etre has fallen away. Support may have dwindled and we could see UKIP return to the fringes.

The Lib Dems

It is bounce back time for the Liberal Democrats. The only party to stand opposed to Brexit will see its number of MPs increase. I am not willing to predict a number higher than 30 but I think significant gains are very likely.

Scotland

Last but by no means least, the issue of Scotland was a key driver in bringing about this election. Should there be a second Independence Referendum? The SNP want it, Theresa May does not. So where now? I think the SNP are likely to lose a couple of seat to the Tories in Scotland and they are also vulnerable to the Lib Dems. Westminster, and particularly May, will make head way from any such result and will likely attempt to push off a second referendum. I very much doubt this will deter Nicola Sturgeon but it may make her life a little complicated. She will force through a referendum but may have to wait until after Brexit.

While many of these predictions may prove to be incorrect, they illustrate the number of factors at play over the next few weeks. This will be a fascinating time in British politics and together with Brexit will define politics in the UK for a generation.

2.20 avg. rating (46% score) - 15 votes