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May’s bizarre snap election no one wanted – in 15 gifs

by Luke Lythgoe | 08.06.2017

The “Brexit election” that barely mentioned Brexit. May’s vanishing landslide. Trump, Macron and not much Boris. All captured in gif form.

1. It all began with a vast poll lead

Theresa May wins local election race

The Tories were 24 points ahead of Labour at the start of the election. No matter how many times she’d insisted there wouldn’t be a snap election, this was too tempting. But what goes up…

2. The polls go gloriously barmy

Hung parliament

By May 31 one poll was predicting the Tories might lose 20 seats, resulting in a hung parliament.

3. The “Brexit election” was anything but

May invited all parties to “put forward our plans for Brexit”. She then proceeded to reveal no new details about her Brexit strategy. Her only argument seemed to be that she’d be better in the Brexit talks than Jeremy Corbyn – which is probably wrong.

4. In fact, May didn’t seem to want to reveal much at all

Take this robotic exchange on the campaign trail in Plymouth:

Local journalist: “How will your Brexit plan make Plymouth better off?”

May: “I think there is a better future ahead for Plymouth and for the whole of the UK.”

Or the well-worn response to Andrew Neil asking her about the “dire consequences” of a Brexit deal: “Well I’ve said that no deal is better than a bad deal.” These are the most dangerous words in British politics.

5. Instead we were invited to join a swarm of jingoism

The PM had an awkward dinner with some EU leaders. This then got leaked to the German press. Cue the prime minister standing in front of Downing Street and accusing EU officials of “deliberately timed” attacks to coincide with the election.

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6. Flip flopping to the ballot box

May’s top u-turn was on social care. She initially planned to scrap the cap on how much people would have to pay if they couldn’t look after themselves. Then her new policy was branded a “dementia tax”… and the cap was back! She even had the nerve to tell the BBC she’d never changed her mind. After this, Team Theresa found it hard to keep saying she was “strong and stable”.

7. Meanwhile, May’s mad migration maths continues

Migration figures

The Tories’ manifesto was a great opportunity to drop their “tens of thousands” target on net migration. But no, the pledge cropped up again – for the third manifesto in a row.

8. Tactical voting is ALMOST fashionable

Target seats dartboard

Whether you wanted to fight Brexit or just stop the Tories, voting recommendations have been rolled out for constituencies across the land. Will it make a difference? Watch this space.

9. But electoral pacts didn’t quite take off…

The Greens were keen. They stepped aside in 31 seats to avoid splitting the vote. The Lib Dems reciprocated in two seats. Labour refused to get involved.

10. Forget magic money trees – it was a magic money jungle out there

The Tories couldn’t stop talking about Labour’s “magic money tree” watered on the taxes of the rich. May has her own magic money tree, of course – the one where she assumes crashing out of the EU will make the British economy stronger.

11. The economy, stupid

Inflation and falling pound animation

All this was happening against a backdrop of rising inflation, caused by the Brexit-induced collapse of the pound, and the first signs that consumer confidence is waning.

12. There was a lack of Boris Johnson… at home at least

Boris Johnson walking on global stage

BoJo was used as a kind of comedy shock troop this campaign. The foreign secretary’s “highlights” included sneaking a look at Robert Peston’s interview notes and being told by the BBC’s Mishal Hussein to “please, stop talking”. On his downtime he was off making a pig’s ear of foreign diplomacy, although he insisted he’d do a better job than “mutton-headed old mugwump” Jeremy Corbyn.

13. May’s friend in Washington

May’s performance abroad was hardly much better, particularly where Donald Trump was concerned. She was merely “disappointed” with his decision to abandon the Paris climate deal. She eventually criticised Trump’s twitter tirade against London mayor Sadiq Khan after the London Bridge terror attack, but insisted the president’s state visit will still go ahead.

14. And her new rival in the Elysee

Meanwhile there was a new European leader on the bloc. Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to “make our planet great again” sent a message to Trump that May would never dare to copy. His election left many demanding: WHERE IS THE BRITISH MACRON?!

15. Don’t give May a blank cheque – make your vote count

Theresa May being given Brexit blank cheque

Such a cynical campaign is a worrying prelude to Brexit talks. May shouldn’t be rewarded with a blank cheque to ram through Brexit at any cost. More pro-European MPs in Parliament can keep her in check. Make your vote count.

How should you vote?

All artwork by Dog & Rabbit.

This article was edited on June 9 to remove reference to hung parliament seeming unlikely

Edited by Hugo Dixon

3 Responses to “May’s bizarre snap election no one wanted – in 15 gifs”

  • unpleasant nastiness worthy of the Tory party which I do NOT support. Is this really the best you can do? Are we really reduced to this??????????????????????????????

  • As we all know the brexit referendum was won on falsehoods or to be more precise LIES ..
    The result of the June 8th election is mainly due to the public being constantly
    being fed more falsehoods by T Mays wild imagination..

    The public appears to be seeing the light = Brexit = UK disaster.

    There is still hope that common sense will prevail = (stop hard brexit)
    The only good deal is a soft brexit or not to leave the EU..