ES1702's Wikibox Thread

The Long Walk - Part Three

2018 Conservative Party Leadership Election
During the campaign for the 2015 general election, David Cameron announced that he would not seek a third term as Prime Minister. Despite speculation of a challenge to his leadership in the aftermath of the close result in the 2016 referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, Cameron survived in his position after conducting a well-received reshuffle of his Cabinet and a popular Autumn Statement and Budget from Chancellor Sajid Javid in November 2016 and March 2017, respectively. Poor results in the local elections in May 2018, however, prompted renewed speculation that Cameron could be removed despite his wish to serve the full term before handing over to a successor at the scheduled 2020 general election. The Chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, Graham Brady, visited David Cameron in Downing Street on 28th June and, it was reported, asked him to advise the Executive of the 1922 of his roadmap towards a successor due to 'growing unrest' on the backbenchers. Over the weekend of 30th June-1st July it was reported that Number 10 was taking soundings from MPs about the levels of support for Cameron staying on for another 12-18 months.

On 3rd July 2018, Cameron announced his resignation as Leader of the Conservative Party in a statement in Downing Street and said that he would aim to stand down as Prime Minister before the start of the Conservative Party's conference at the end of September. On 6th July, the 1922 Committee set out the timetable and rules for the contest, with the winner of the final ballot of party members being announced on 1st September to allow the victor to take over as Prime Minister before Parliament returned from Summer recess.

A 24-hour window for nominations opened on 9th July during which seven candidates put themselves forward for the leadership of the Conservative Party:



Left-to-right:
Michael Gove, George Osborne, Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, Andrea Leadsom

Prior to the 2016 referendum it was considered a near certainty that one of either George Osborne, Boris Johnson or Theresa May would succeed Cameron when he eventually stood down. However, the referendum, the reshuffle and following two-year period has seen multiple power bases emerge on the Conservative benches that led to fractured outcomes in the ballots of MPs, with no candidate being the first choice of more than a quarter of the Conservative Party's 329 MPs.


The emergence of Sajid Javid as the surprise front-runner at the end of the ballots of MPs signified to many the changing nature of the Conservative Party: no longer constrained by class or background or ethnicity, but still retaining its core politics with Javid a known eurosceptic (despite caving to pressure to back Remain in the referendum) and admirer of Margaret Thatcher. Pit against the popular Foreign Secretary Theresa May, the Conservative Party witnessed an intense, but ultimately friendly, battle of ideas over the summer of 2018 with 12 party-organised hustings and two television debates between the candidates seeing them presented to the country and membership. In opinion polls, the general public were shown to favour Javid by around 45-40 with a significant portion not knowing, while surveys for ConservativeHome of party members showed the race consistently neck-and-neck between the two candidates, who both promised to renew the Conservative Party, fire up the membership and win a third term in government. After six weeks of heavy campaigning, the result of the members' ballot was announced by Graham Brady at the QEII Centre in London on 1st September.

 
The Long Walk - Part Four

The Government of Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Monday 3rd September, the 13th Prime Minister of Elizabeth II's reign and Britain's first BAME Prime Minister. After kissing hands with The Queen at Buckingham Palace and delivering his inaugural speech outside Number 10, Javid set to work on constructing a new government. While many members of David Cameron's post-referendum Cabinet were retained, they were shuffled about with Javid using the full might of his power to form the team he wanted at the start of his premiership. In the end, over a third of the Cabinet were removed either through being sacked, demoted or resigning. The most high profile departure was that of George Osborne, the First Secretary of State and Defence Secretary since 2016, who resigned. Javid's last remaining rival in the leadership election, Theresa May, was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister, with other responsibilities attached, while on the whole there was an increase in the number of women to almost two-fifths of the Cabinet and taking up three of the five main posts in government.


Full List of Cabinet Departures
George Osborne (Resigned)
Liam Fox (Sacked)
Greg Clark (Sacked)
Matthew Hancock (Demoted)
Liz Truss (Sacked)
Brandon Lewis (Sacked)
Chris Grayling (Sacked)
Andrea Leadsom (Sacked)
Priti Patel (Demoted)
Dominic Raab (Demoted)
Gavin Barwell (Sacked)

Javid's new government set out a fresh stall to the public to that offered by David Cameron, offering a "Modern Conservatism" that was focused on building a meritocratic society based on people's skills and abilities and a focus on where they want to go, not where they've come from. To help with this, the government set out plans to "level up" the United Kingdom, with a renewed focus on the 'Northern Powerhouse' and 'Midlands Engine' and new plans to increase direct Westminster investment into Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to improve education, health, infrastructure and competitiveness both within the UK and the world. There was also to be 'renewed vigour' in presenting Britain abroad as a global power, while continually 'improving' the UK's relationship with the EU to make it work better for the country after the 2016 referendum.

Final Poll Under David Cameron (29th August 2018)
First Poll Under Sajid Javid (5th September 2018)
Voting Intention (GB% & UK Seats)
Conservative: 36% (338) (+7)
Labour: 32% (227) (-5)
UKIP: 15% (3) (+2)
Liberal Democrats: 7% (3) (-5)
Greens: 5% (1) (+0)
SNP: 5% (57) (+1)
Others: 1% (21) (+0)
  • Conservative Overall Majority of 26
Voting Intention (GB% & UK Seats)
Conservative: 43% (393) (+62)
Labour: 27% (182) (-50)
UKIP: 14% (1) (+0)
Greens: 6% (1) (+0)
Liberal Democrats: 5% (1) (-7)
SNP: 4% (51) (-5)
Others: 1% (21) (+0)
  • Conservative Overall Majority of 136
Preferred Prime Minister
David Cameron: 37%
Jeremy Corbyn: 25%
Not Sure: 38%
Preferred Prime Minister
Sajid Javid: 48%
Jeremy Corbyn: 21%
Not Sure: 31%
 
The Long Walk - Part Five

2020 United Kingdom General Election
The 2020 United Kingdom general election took place on Thursday 18 June 2020 to

elect 650 members to the House of Commons. It was the second general election at the end of a fixed-term Parliament, originally scheduled for 7 May 2020 but postponed for six weeks by statutory instrument to avoid clashing with the planned celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day on 8th May. Local elections scheduled for 7th May were also postponed to coincide with the general election as originally planned.

The Conservative Party, which had governed as a senior coalition partner from 2010 and as a single-party majority government from 2015, was defending a working majority of 13 against the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn. The Conservative Party was led by Sajid Javid, who became Prime Minister after the resignation of David Cameron in 2018 and was contesting his first general election as leader.

Opinion polls consistently showed strong leads for the Conservatives over Labour. Peaking at a 19-point lead, the Conservatives' lead decreased slightly but remained steady. The results of the election showed the Conservatives making net gains of 71 seats to bring their total to 402, the party's best performance since 1931 while their percentage of the vote increased to 40.7%, the strongest showing since 1992. Labour suffered net losses of 53 seats, falling to 179 and their worst performance since 1935. Labour's share of the vote fell to 25.2%, their worst performance since 1918. The Scottish National Party lost 17 seats to fall to 39, while the Liberal Democrats fell to fifth place behind the Democratic Unionist Party on just 6 seats, which was the worst showing for the main liberal party since 1970 and their diminished 5.6% of the vote was the worst showing since 1955. UKIP increased its share of the vote by over a point compared to 2015, but only retained its one seat.

Plaid Cymru gained on seat to give them a total of four seats. The Green Party retained its sole seat, while achieving their best ever share of the vote and winning over two million votes. In Northern Ireland, the DUP won 10 seats, Sinn Fein won 5, the SDLP won 2 and independent Lady Hermon retained her seat.

The campaign focused heavily on the economy, infrastructure, the NHS, antisemitism and foreign policy. The Conservatives pledged to "Unleash Britain's Potential" by giving everyone the opportunity to succeed, providing "world class" public services and building a "stronger and more cohesive" society. The Conservative manifesto, launched in Stoke-on-Trent, promised to deliver lower taxes, fiscal responsibility and growth. It set out plans for a £100 billion National Infrastructure Fund, a long-term investment plan for education, recruiting 20,000 new police officers, 50,000 more nurses in the NHS, a commitment to build both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, introduce more devolved combined authorities, increase funding for defence and maintain the foreign aid budget. After the budget in March 2020 but the basic rate of income tax to 18%, the Conservatives pledged to cut it further to 15%. The 2019 budget showed a surplus, of around £7 billion, for the first time well over a decade, Javid and the Conservatives said they would seek to retain a surplus but would invest in public services and cut taxes to the greatest extents possible.


The Labour Party focused on public spending, arguing that services were being underfunded after austerity, particularly education. Labour proposed to the creation of four new bank holidays, the building of 1 million new homes over five years and the recruitment of 10,000 new police officers. The party also ruled out increases in income tax, VAT and employee national insurance contributions for those earning under £80,000 a year. It pledged to ban junk food advertisements on television, scrap parking charges at NHS hospitals, invest in education, scrap tuition fees. increase corporation tax to 26% and reintroduce the 50% income tax rate for those earning £123,000 or more a year. It also set out plans in its manifest for an ambitious programme of renationalisation to bring the National Grid, Royal Mail, railways, water and the wider energy market under public control. It also planned for reform the broadband sector to provide free broadband to all households. Despite Jeremy Corbyn's personal opposition to nuclear weapons, the party committed to retaining the Trident nuclear deterrent and also said that it would ban weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

The SNP called for a new referendum to be held on Scottish independence if the SNP won a mandate for one in the planned 2021 elections to the Scottish Parliament. They also pledged to work with other parties to form an "anti-austerity" coalition to remove the Conservatives from power in the event of a hung parliament. It also said it would push for a £10 minimum wage and over £110 billion in investment in UK public services. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats said it would raise the basic rate of income tax to 21% to fund the NHS, would provide £7 billion to protect per pupil funding education and accept 50,000 refugees from Syria over the course of the next parliament. It also set out plans to extend paternity leave and legalise cannabis, as well as committing to the 2% of GDP target on defence spending. UKIP said it would levy no tax on the minimum wage up to £13,000 a year, raise the 40% income tax threshold to £55,000 and introduce a new 30% rate. It also pledged to scrap HS2, scrap inheritance tax, end unskilled immigration for five years, fund 25,000 more nurses, build 1 million new homes, scrap green taxes, cut aid spending and hold a second referendum on Britain's EU membership by 2025.

The Conservatives won a third term and an overall majority of 154 in the new Parliament, the largest for the party since 1935 and the largest for any government since 2001. The Conservatives also won 17 seats in Scotland, their best performance since 1983 and won the most seats in London for the first time since 1992. Labour's defeat led to Jeremy Corbyn announcing his intention to resign, triggering a leadership election. Tim Farron announced his resignation as leader of the Liberal Democrats, too. The poor performance of the SNP led to growing concerns that the party may fail to secure another term as the Scottish Government in 2021. Sajid Javid travelled to Buckingham Palace to visit The Queen on 19th June to form a new government and conducted a reshuffle of his Cabinet afterwards, which saw rivals sacked from their posts and allies rewarded.


 
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The Long Walk - Part Six

2019 European Parliament Elections (United Kingdom)
The United Kingdom's component of the 2019 European Parliament election was
on Thursday 23 May 2019 and the results were announced on Sunday 26 May and Monday 27 May, after all other EU countries had voted.

The most successful party overall was the UK Independence Party (UKIP) which retained its 24 seats from the last election in 2014 and increased its share of the vote to 28.5%, the second time that a political party other than Labour or the Conservatives had won the popular vote at a British election in over a century.

For the second consecutive election, the Official Opposition failed to win the European Parliament election - the second time since 1984. Labour also suffered its second worst ever performance in a European Parliament, falling to 15 seats and 18% of the vote. The Green Party achieved its best ever result, winning 5 seats and over 11% of the vote. The Scottish National Party won the largest share of the vote in Scotland, taking 33% and 3 MEPs. The Liberal Democrats suffered their worst result since 1989, losing their only MEP and falling to 6% of the vote.

The United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union was the central issue of the campaign, following the narrow vote to remain inside the EU in the 2016 referendum. For some it was considered a proxy for a second referendum on the question, which UKIP was campaigning for, and Nigel Farage said the result represented a victory for euroscepticism and called on both Sajid Javid and Jeremy Corbyn to commit to holding a second referendum after the next general election.

In light of the results of the 2020 general election, the 2019 European Parliament election was considered a foreshadow of future events. The increase in support for the Conservatives and collapse in support for Labour mirrored the 2020 election results. So too did the increase in support for UKIP and the Greens, and the further diminishing in support for the Liberal Democrats.



 
The Long Walk - Part Seven

2020 Labour Party Leadership Election
The 2020 Labour Party leadership election was triggered after Jeremy Corbyn announced his intention to

resign as Leader of the Labour Party following the party's defeat at the 2020 general election. It was won by Emily Thornberry who received 51.2% of the vote in the second round, to become the first female Leader of the Labour Party.

To qualify for the ballot, candidates needed nominations from 10% (20) of the party's Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament, followed by support from either 5% (33) of Constituency Labour Parties or from at least 3 affiliated groups, including two trade unions, and representing 5% of affiliated members. Four MPs put themselves forward for the ballot (Emily Thornberry, Hilary Benn, Angela Eagle and Rebecca Long Bailey) and all received sufficient nominations in both the first and second round of nominations to qualify. Benn had the most nominations from MPs and MEPs at 72, followed by Thornberry with 50, Eagle with 46 and Long Bailey with 26.

Candidates
Four candidates put themselves forward and qualified for the ballot:
  • Emily Thornberry: Shadow Secretary of State for Defence (2016-2020)
  • Hilary Benn: Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs (2015-2020)
  • Angela Eagle: Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (2015-2020)
  • Rebecca Long Bailey: Shadow First Secretary of State (2018-2020)
Results
The result of the election, as well as the corresponding contest for deputy leader, was announced at 10:45am on 12 September 2020 at a special conference in London.

Emily Thornberry established a clear lead in the first round of voting and, after the elimination of Rebecca Long Bailey, won the election on the second round of voting.



 
2018 United Kingdom General Election
The 2018 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 13 September 2018, fifteen months after the previous general election in 2017, to elect 650 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, increased its number of seats to regain an overall majority.

The previous parliamentary term had begun in June 2017, when Theresa May lost the Conservative Party's overall majority and formed a confidence and supply agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party to secure a majority in the House of Commons. The lack of parliamentary majority and perceived lack of authority led to the May government losing several parliamentary votes relating to the British exit from the European Union. On 17 July 2018, the government lost a vote on an amendment (308-307) to the Trade Bill that mandated participation in a customs union with the EU if a free trade area could not be agreed. Conservative MPs were, according to media reports at the time, warned that defeat would cause a general election. On 18 July, the government tabled a vote of confidence in itself which it lost by four votes (317-313) after the DUP chose to abstain in protest at the recently published Chequers Plan for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. A small number of europhile Conservative MPs did not support the government. The defeat led to May announcing on 19 July that the government would schedule a general election for September following the end of the fourteen day period under the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 where confidence in the existing government or a new government may be achieved. The fourteen day period elapsed on 1 August and Parliament was dissolved on 8 August.

Opinion polls showed a close race between the Conservatives and Labour, with both parties leading in several polls, however the Conservatives gained a small but steady lead in the final week of the campaign. The key issues in the campaign were the UK's withdrawal from the European Union; security and foreign policy, following the Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury in March 2018; immigration, and treatment of the Windrush generation; climate change; the National Health Service; and, public ownership of industries and services following the crisis at Birmingham Prison.

The election resulted in a comfortable victory for the Conservative Party, winning an overall majority of 48 seats. The Conservatives made a net gain of 31 seats and won 38.5% of the vote. Many Conservative gains were made in long-held Labour seats that voted to leave the European Union. The Labour Party won 231 seats, its lowest number since 1983. The Scottish National Party made a net gain of 2 seats and won 3.7% of the UK vote (translating to 37% of the popular vote in Scotland), resulting in 37 out of 59 seats won in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats improved their vote share to 10% and made a net gain of one seat compared to 2017, resulting in 13 seats. Plaid Cymru lost three of its four seats, resulting in 1 seat for the party. The Green Party retained it's 1 seat. The DUP won half of the seats in Northern Ireland, where the SDLP and Alliance regained parliamentary representation as the DUP lost a seat and independent Sylvia Hermon retired.

The election result allowed May a mandate to ensure the UK's departure from the European Union as planned on 29 March 2019, with the House of Commons approving of her deal with the EU in December 2018 and ratifying it in early 2019. Labour's defeat led to Jeremy Corbyn announcing his intention to resign, triggering a leadership election. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable announced he would remain as leader until the UK had left the EU. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon renewed calls for a second independence referendum, despite little improvement on the previous election result. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood was defeated in the leadership election that was taking place throughout the campaign and left the role at the end of September 2018.

Theresa May visited the Queen at Balmoral Castle on 15 September during the traditional visit of the Prime Minister to the Queen during her summer break in Scotland. There, May was formally invited to form a new majority government. May addressed the nation on 18 September and set about reshuffling her Cabinet ahead of the assembling of the new Parliament and State Opening on 24 September.
 
2018 United Kingdom General Election
The 2018 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 13 September 2018, fifteen months after the previous general election in 2017, to elect 650 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, increased its number of seats to regain an overall majority.

The previous parliamentary term had begun in June 2017, when Theresa May lost the Conservative Party's overall majority and formed a confidence and supply agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party to secure a majority in the House of Commons. The lack of parliamentary majority and perceived lack of authority led to the May government losing several parliamentary votes relating to the British exit from the European Union. On 17 July 2018, the government lost a vote on an amendment (308-307) to the Trade Bill that mandated participation in a customs union with the EU if a free trade area could not be agreed. Conservative MPs were, according to media reports at the time, warned that defeat would cause a general election. On 18 July, the government tabled a vote of confidence in itself which it lost by four votes (317-313) after the DUP chose to abstain in protest at the recently published Chequers Plan for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. A small number of europhile Conservative MPs did not support the government. The defeat led to May announcing on 19 July that the government would schedule a general election for September following the end of the fourteen day period under the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 where confidence in the existing government or a new government may be achieved. The fourteen day period elapsed on 1 August and Parliament was dissolved on 8 August.

Opinion polls showed a close race between the Conservatives and Labour, with both parties leading in several polls, however the Conservatives gained a small but steady lead in the final week of the campaign. The key issues in the campaign were the UK's withdrawal from the European Union; security and foreign policy, following the Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury in March 2018; immigration, and treatment of the Windrush generation; climate change; the National Health Service; and, public ownership of industries and services following the crisis at Birmingham Prison.

The election resulted in a comfortable victory for the Conservative Party, winning an overall majority of 48 seats. The Conservatives made a net gain of 31 seats and won 38.5% of the vote. Many Conservative gains were made in long-held Labour seats that voted to leave the European Union. The Labour Party won 231 seats, its lowest number since 1983. The Scottish National Party made a net gain of 2 seats and won 3.7% of the UK vote (translating to 37% of the popular vote in Scotland), resulting in 37 out of 59 seats won in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats improved their vote share to 10% and made a net gain of one seat compared to 2017, resulting in 13 seats. Plaid Cymru lost three of its four seats, resulting in 1 seat for the party. The Green Party retained it's 1 seat. The DUP won half of the seats in Northern Ireland, where the SDLP and Alliance regained parliamentary representation as the DUP lost a seat and independent Sylvia Hermon retired.

The election result allowed May a mandate to ensure the UK's departure from the European Union as planned on 29 March 2019, with the House of Commons approving of her deal with the EU in December 2018 and ratifying it in early 2019. Labour's defeat led to Jeremy Corbyn announcing his intention to resign, triggering a leadership election. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable announced he would remain as leader until the UK had left the EU. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon renewed calls for a second independence referendum, despite little improvement on the previous election result. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood was defeated in the leadership election that was taking place throughout the campaign and left the role at the end of September 2018.

Theresa May visited the Queen at Balmoral Castle on 15 September during the traditional visit of the Prime Minister to the Queen during her summer break in Scotland. There, May was formally invited to form a new majority government. May addressed the nation on 18 September and set about reshuffling her Cabinet ahead of the assembling of the new Parliament and State Opening on 24 September.
What is the current political situation in the UK? Who are the current party leaders?

Also great scenario!
 
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