GUEST BLOG: Te Reo Putake – The UK Election: May’s Munted Mandate


Unelected Tory PM Theresa May called an early general election on April 18th, saying that she needed a mandate for Brexit. At the time, it was hailed as a masterstroke and it was assumed the Conservatives would romp to victory. But now … not so much.

Current polling suggests that her margin of victory will be slim to non-existent and the actual mandate for leaving Europe that her predecessor David Cameron unintentionally won in 2015 will evaporate.

Mark my words, this election is going to be a disaster for the right in England, even if May scrapes home. The rest of Britain will continue to vote for others, as they usually do.

UKIP will cease to be a force in British politics (and they’ve already lost nearly every council seat they previously held). Their only practical function will be to drain votes from the Tories. The current polls show UKIP’s vote halving from around 10%, with some going to the Conservatives. However, it appears that some of their working class support has reverted to Labour.

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One irony of May’s situation is that support for her party has actually increased by 2% since April. It’s just that Labour has done much, much better.

Britain, outside England, will continue to reject Brexit, and there will be a significant softening of the right’s vote in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

I expect the vote for the small local parties in NI and Wales to increase, though that may not deliver more seats. The antiquated and undemocratic ‘first past the post’ system is intended to deliver monolithic results and that smothers most smaller parties.

In Scotland, I believe Labour will make small gains against the Nationalists, though the overall seat distribution won’t markedly change. The SNP simply hasn’t delivered for Scotland yet, but there is still considerable goodwill toward Nicola Sturgeon. It would be asking a lot for Labour to turn that around.

What is going to happen overall is that the Tories will probably ‘win’ by 5-10 seats with the help of the Irish right parties and a resurgent Labour will pick up 10-15 seats, still well shy of becoming the Government.

A word of caution though; the polls aren’t always right.

The Conservatives currently have a working majority of 17 in the 650 seat parliament. Any result less than that will not only be a rejection of Theresa May, it will bring into question whether Brexit should be pursued at all.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he won’t stand down post-election and on these numbers, he’d be right to stay.  There’s almost certainly going to be a call for another referendum on Europe and Labour will have the luxury of watching the right tear itself apart over the matter.

Even if he loses, Jeremy Corbyn is going to be the big winner on June 8.


Te Reo Putake – Socialist, vegetarian, contrarian and footballer, Te Reo Putake was until recently the wittiest, most engaging and most infuriating writer at The Standard Blog where he was banned during their latest identity politics purge. TRP intends to continue battling for the battlers and kicking against the pricks in real life and here at the Daily Blog.


  1. I was disgusted at Brian Edwards on yesterday’s Mora Panel on RNZ slobbering over his love for Theresa May. Much to the approval of National Party maven Michelle Boag.

    Edwards must be showing signs of onset dementia.

    • Yes I unfriended Brian edwards after hearing him slobbering about Theresa May. Still I am embarresed that he has ever been a friend, to be frank they have him on with Boag as one on the left and her on the right, what nonsense he is been centre right for a long time, that is partly because of his love affair with Helen that was the PM. That programme is pretty disgusting did you hear in the disscussion about whether it was okay for KFC to be the sponsor of rugby or whatever, she knows pacific islanders who never buy kfc. Honestly it is pathetic, they have the same old hacks, none of them give a fig about the working class.

  2. “UKIP will cease to be a force in British politics (and they’ve already lost nearly every council seat they previously held). Their only practical function will be to drain votes from the Tories.”

    Good riddance to bad bigotted blood.

  3. Glad to see you here at the TDB as a regular contributor TRP. The writing has always been better here than at the dull old Standard. That said it is a real shame that the comments threads at The Standard which used to be so informative and engaging are now also dead in the water. Sign of the times. We have a boring, dull, witless bunch of politicians and it has trickled down into the political discourse. Fuck I miss Cullen, Pete Hodgson, Nandor Georgina Beyer and Sue Bradford etc. Little, Ardern , Turei and Shaw have all the appeal of a pile stale biscuit crumbs!

    • Thanks for the support, Shona. I’ll be posting regularly and I’m proud to be part of such great roster of writers. Not much more I can say about the Standard, however it was a conscious decision to make it a duller, less engaging blog and to move away from its labour movement roots to a ‘safe place’ for the few remaining smugly comfortable and politically bewildered authors.

      I concur with your thoughts on the calibre of the leadership of the left. There’s a real lack of cutting edge, of wit and verve. But I’ll happily settle for a Little led government, because our country desperately needs a PM who will put our interests first.

  4. ‘Unelectable’ old Socialist who is under relentless attack from members of his own party, and from news outlets such as the Guardian…and look at him go….
    Josie Pagani: authentic, yes, but unelectable
    David Shearer: If Labour stays on the margins, the people lose
    Stuart Nash: Understandable but unelectable
    Jacinda Ardern: What UK Labour can learn from NZ *
    Ha!, really.
    Even if he doesn’t win, Corbyn has a mandate for a distinctly different Labour Party, and he has solid support for a forward thinking and positive vision of how a country should be run, and who should really benefit from the economy.


    • If all these people said this shit for real then it shows a great deal about their beliefs. However I think it is a poisened chalice give they have to organise Brexit that won’t be easy.

  5. It is good to see Te Reo Putake writing on the Daily Blog.

    Corbyn has integrity. He has Principles. The Tories don’t. The bulk of the UK Labour Party don’t have integrity or Principles. But importantly Corbyn gets out and addresses large crowds. He has become an unshakeable Icon. A living good human being.

    Little would do well to get out of Parliament and away from press gallery and speak his Principles. Clearly, simply, proudly. His supporters and caucus colleagues should organise venues, times and posters.

    Because Andrew Little is everything that Billy English and Paula Bennett are not. Honest, sincere and capable.

  6. From a reader in the UK:

    A great read and I agree with your assessment of the outcome. However I live in hope Corbyn can actually achieve what everyone says is impossible and actually win the election.

    I have to hope this because the alternative of 5 more years of Tory Government is just too depressing and frightening for me to even contemplate.

    This country is in the shit. It’s really bad here for everyone unless you are in the top 5% of course. Its like some people really will cut off their nose to spite their face and vote Tory against their own best interests just because ‘Corbyn is unelectable’, ‘weak’, or an ‘IRA sympathiser’ or whatever else our press tells them to think this week.

    However when you see the effect Corbyn has on people first hand wherever he goes around the country and take into account a much higher than normal turnout from the young and all the millions who have been screwed by the Tories – the old, the disabled, the poor, pretty much all NHS staff, police force etc well I remain in hope the polls are well and truly off the mark. But who knows; the right have a strong hold in this country.

    I fear if we don’t get Corbyn in this time it will guarantee a Tory Government forever. Boundary changes to constituencies will come in in the next few years that will heavily favour the Tories. Other changes to the voting system including Murdoch running e voting in future elections will make us a one party state.

    So for the next week I am just going to live in hope that Corbyn will win and deal with the fact we may have very little hope left if May wins next week!

  7. oh well TRP, you have braved the storm of your first couple of posts, I don’t mind contrarian writing, as per a glossy Trotskyite mag I used to read in the 90s–Marxism Today–or something similar, that would run pieces of a “why John Wayne was actually ok” vein, but you hit the reef imo when you dissed the good that Wikileaks disclosures have demonstrably done, in your efforts to dispatch Mr Assange

    anyway, onto the UK election, I have been a Corbyn supporter for a while, pity no one from NZ Labour Party officially seems to feel the same! there will be a few bloggers and others looking a bit queasy if Labour does beat Rupert Murdoch, the UK deep state, and your plain old garden reactionary pom to get the win

    • Cheers, TM. I used to read Marxism Today as well. Aligned with the CPGB, as I recall. The editor, Martin Jacques still writes here and there and is good value.

      I’m not aware of any significant good wikileaks has done. My position remains that they are a rightwing organisation who are focussed entirely on weakening democratic institutions. When they start taking on Shell, GE, Walmart et al, I’ll take more of an interest. But at the moment, they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      Certainly, being co-opted by Russians doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their integrity.

      But St Julian is actually another matter. He has no right, morally or legally, to claim a greater good defence to accusations of rape. The man is a bludger and a hypocrite. I wouldn’t leave him alone with my cat.




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