17 October 2020

Statement on the General Election result (2017)

The Provisional Central Committee issued the following statement on the June 8 poll

Bad day at the races

The general election result is a humiliating blow to Theresa May. She is fortunate that gains in Scotland and the votes of the ultra-reactionary Democratic Unionist Party give her a slender majority. May called the election because victory seemed inevitable, but squandered the universal adulation of the bourgeois press with her attacks on pensioners and subsequent ill disciplined retreat. She never regained the glamour of certain triumph.

Her talking points on Friday, as she announced her intention to form a government, were wearily familiar – more ‘hard Brexit’ bluster, more powers for spooks and cops in the name of anti-terrorism, stability – almost as if Thursday’s election had never happened. In reality, the new government will be weak – much weaker than the 2010 coalition. Key planks of May’s nostalgic Toryism must be junked. Brexit negotiations are much more sensitive. It is not yet clear that her premiership will survive the weekend.

We welcome Labour’s strong showing – much stronger than we predicted. The decision to fight largely outside the hostile media paid off for Jeremy Corbyn’s circle. The immediate and deafening challenge to Corbyn’s leadership we expected to accompany defeat can surely not now follow. That does not mean his enemies are gone – silence does not betoken surrender on their part. Nor does it mean we are absolved of our tasks. The left has some breathing space, and thus an excellent platform for fighting to transform the Labour party into a democratic, genuinely socialist and internationalist party. We reiterate our call for all partisans of the working class to fight for such a transformation, and for all trade unions to affiliate.