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On United Kingdom election



SIR: If I were to vote in United Kingdom elections, the Tories will most likely have my vote. This statement will surely be greeted with a rude shock from some of my comrades many of whom are only aware of my “progressive” views, but are yet to bother to find out my support for the U.S. Republicans and the UK Conservatives.

My support for the Tories stems from the fact that two of the greatest British Prime Ministers: Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, are incidentally my role models.

Churchill is regarded as the World War II hero while Thatcher is reputed to have restored British confidence and position in world politics with British victory in the Falkland War in 1982.

Most, if not all, pre-election opinion polls predicted victory for the Labour Party. I have no qualms with pre-election polls neither do I fault their methods of research.

Many Labour supporters went into wild jubilation expecting victory for the socialists. I received several knocks here in Nigeria for daring to take sides with the Tories, though I never bothered. I had argued that it is relatively easier for Tories to win an election or elections than their Labour counterpart.

The fact that the party is still the only traditional party in existence attests to its history and tradition in British politics.

It may surprise many that the Whigs (Liberals) find it easy to go into a coalition with their traditional rival, Tory, than with Labour.

For the Tories to lose a re-election bid it can either mean the Conservatives have performed so poorly on the Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) or there are irreconcilable conflicts within its ranks as witnessed immediately after Thatcher resigned between her supporters and the “wets”.

None of these happened before the May 7 elections, which made me, doubt the source of optimism for the Labour supporters.

The second factor, in my estimation, that shaped the outcome of the election is the continued British relationship with the European Union (EU). It was Tory Prime Minister Edward Heath that took Britain into the European Community in 1973.

The Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson approved the referendum for Britain to formally become a member of the Union in 1975. Recently, there were concerns over about British continued membership of the Union.

These concerns gave rise to the right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) whose only manifesto is to seek to pull out Britain from the Union, if voted into power.

Labour strategists intended to cash-in on this seeming division of the right with the growing UKIP popularity, though it perhaps took its optimism too far.

The issues surrounding the election were too complicated to be reduced to the EU membership.

Maybe the socialists overhyped the UKIP power in this regard! The third or most important issue, which shaped the election, is the question of the Scottish independence referendum. Olalekan Adigun, Lagos.

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