General fallout

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Conservatives say she must now consider her position

The General Election result has been a disaster for Conservative leader Theresa May, but also for moderate Labour figures – not least in Wales.

Many were hoping a Tory landslide would finish off the leadership of hard left Jeremy Corbyn.

Senior sources within Welsh Labour told us that Mr Corbyn was a “liability”.

Some even admitted they deliberately avoided talking about the Labour leader when they were canvassing for votes.

One said: “We have to move the conversation on to something else if they talk about Jeremy”.

Jeremy Corbyn’s hard left past did not deter voters

Another stated: “It is really difficult.

“He (Mr Corbyn) is being raised all the time, especially after he has made a speech”.

In the event he secured a higher percentage of the vote than either Ed Miliband or Gordon Brown before him.

Yet it is hard to avoid wondering about the future of Ms May.



‘Serious’ situation for his leader

The former Welsh Secretary and Haverfordwest MP, Stephen Crabb is cautious but thinks she can stay in her job.

“There is a duty on her to form a viable government”, he said.

But even he admits there could be problems ahead, adding:  “Theresa May clearly understands the seriousness of the situation”.

Other Conservative MPs are more direct.

Anna Soubry, a former Tory minister, said:  (She) now obviously has to consider her position… it was a dreadful campaign”.

Anna Soubry – ‘dreadful campaign’

Newspapers today are even less diplomatic.

One screams on its front page:  “Mayhem as Tory gamble fails”.

Another shouts:  “Theresa on the ropes”.

It is worth emphasising how extraordinary this result is.

At the start of the campaign polls were putting the Tories 20 points ahead of Labour and there was talk of a ‘landslide’.

Extraordinary election

Even on election day their lead appeared to have firmed up and polls were putting them six or seven points ahead.

But the exit poll proved prescient, and an indication that a political earthquake was about to take place.

Supporters of Ms May will have their heads in their hands today.

But so too will opponents of Mr Corbyn.

On Monday we investigate the turnout in the General Election. 



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Articles published in The Eye are written by a team of contributors and edited by the multi-award winning former BBC news and current affairs reporter, Phil Parry.