Theresa May gambled on an early election and lost badly:
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to call an early election in a bid to strengthen her grip on power appeared early Friday to have spectacularly backfired, with her Conservative Party at risk of losing its parliamentary majority, according to exit poll and partial official results.
The Conservatives may ultimately be able to cobble together a governing coalition with the support of unionists from Northern Ireland, but it is difficult to see how May can remain the leader of her party after such a debacle. For the sake of trying to expand her party’s majority, May has not only risked her premiership and political future, but she has also jeopardized Britain’s negotiating position with the European Union. In addition to weakening the government’s position in negotiations with Brussels, May has also wasted precious time with the distraction of an unnecessary election. May’s gamble has not only hurt her political career, but it has hurt both her party and her country, and it is appropriate that she should step down.
Given the shakiness of the next government, there is likely to be another election before the two-year period of negotiating “Brexit” is finished. It would be better if that election happened sooner rather than later, and the quickest way to make that happen is for May to step aside and allow someone else to take the reins of her party. Since the Tories were denied a proper leadership contest last time as May’s rivals destroyed one another and/or imploded, they are overdue to have one now.
May has failed in most spectacular fashion in an election that she chose to call, and so it is not unreasonable for Corbyn to call for her resignation. May should resign as proof that she acknowledges her bad judgment. The U.K. and the Conservative Party would both be well-served by her speedy departure. She should take her cue from her predecessor, who also called for a vote he was sure he would win only to lose it, and exit the stage.