Theresa May is still the prime minister of the United Kingdom, but the cracks in the foundation beneath her aren’t sealing.
Was it really just two months ago that May seemed in a secure position as prime minister, a leader who enjoyed a majority in Parliament and who was guiding her country into the first weeks of a lengthy Brexit?
She was. But then the effort to make a political statement — one that she thought would bury the opposition Labour Party — backfired.
Seven weeks ago May was mistress of all she surveyed: 20 points ahead in the polls and hailed by MPs and commentators for impressing voters across the political spectrum with her stubborn practicality.
Today her premiership hangs by a thread after what Tory MPs say is the worst campaign they have ever seen, a campaign that cruelly exposed May’s strengths as her biggest weaknesses. Stubbornness became inflexibility and her healthy disdain for chasing the next headline was exposed as brittle nervousness when questioned by the media or the public.
Meanwhile, Times’ columnist Rod Liddle writes
The majority of people do not like elections for the disruptions and the querulousness and the sheer boredom that they impose upon us all. They like them even less when they are perceived, correctly, to have been called on a whim intended to bolster the standing of the prime minister. Then a laudable contrariness settles in the hearts of many voters, a certain “well, sod you!” attitude, a grouchy resentment.