Escalation of BREXIT Risk Will Jolt European Politics Over Next Two Years

In the run up to last week’s UK election, two things seemed extremely clear: (1) the Conservative Party would not be able to secure a majority; but (2) the Conservative Party would be the single largest party. However, the Conservatives have done far better than we and most observers predicted: the numbers currently poll to the party securing 328 or 329 seats – giving them 5 to 6 seats above an effective majority and the ability to govern alone.

The Conservatives’ campaign has been criticized as uninspiring and lackluster. This is true, but was part of the Party’s key message that it is a safe pair of hands, which has clearly worked, evidenced by the fact the Conservatives are likely to gain something in the order of 22 seats overall. The original Conservative campaign narrative was based around the three Es – the economy, Ed Miliband and the EU referendum – and the campaign shifted in its final stages to playing on people’s fears (in England) about the rise of the Scottish Nationalists, and the extent to which any Labour-led government would be dependent upon nationalist support. Moreover, the result for the Conservative Party also shows once again that the “shy Tory” vote is far larger than pollsters and journalists have been expecting.

The original text of this article was published by eurasia group on May 8, 2015. Continue reading here.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.