The British people has inflicted an unmitigated defeat on Theresa May at the ballot box. The Prime Minister called these early elections with the intention of sweeping away the opposition, consolidating an absolute majority in the House of Commons, and strengthening her hard Brexit strategy in the negotiations with Brussels. This operation has had a disastrous outcome for May: the Conservatives have lost 12 seats and are far from an overall majority. In order to form a government they are now at the mercy of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, a homophobic and backward looking party which has repeatedly denied climate change and attacked LGTB and women’s rights.
But this is not just about the defeat of Theresa May. Following a sensational campaign, Jeremy Corbyn has achieved a historic result, with 20-point surge in the polls in just a few weeks. despite constant media slurs and attacks, and with significantly less resources than his conservative opponents. In a landscape intentionally polarised by May around fear and xenophobia, Corbyn has put a different conversation on the table, a vision for the country based on democracy, human rights, and social justice. This vision has connected with the real needs of British people, and given hope and enthused millions around the country. With the best results achieved by Labour since 1997, Corbyn has buried Tony Blair’s Third Way where it was born. His campaign has shown that social majorities can be mustered in support of projects, like Sanders’ or Mélenchon’s elsewhere, which are radically different and opposed to the ones upheld by the establishment. These results show that radical and democratic political change is making its way on both sides of the Atlantic. Although not sufficient, these results show that an alternative exists, is gaining momentum, and defines a clear path for the future.
In essence, these results show there is a plausible and real alternative to the austerity and xenophobic policies which currently prevail in the United Kingdom and Europe. As we have seen in these elections, this alternative requires a re-focusing of the economy towards the protection of human rights and the preservation of the common good. It needs to respond to social challenges and new threats with more, not less, democracy, social cohesion, social justice and community. From Podemos, we will continue to support the British Labour movement and all our friends and partners as we build a fairer and more democratic society, to refound Europe and each one of our societies. Today, tomorrow and always, this must be our vision and the direction of all our efforts. #ForTheMany, not the few.