Tova O'Brien: Theresa May has got to go

OPINION: Theresa May has got to go. Maybe not today, maybe not next month, maybe not even until Brexit is out the way - but she has got to go. 

The hypocrisy here is blinding. 

Ms May's entire campaign was built on two slogans:

  • Her Conservatives offered a "strong and stable" government. 
  • A Labour government would be a "coalition of chaos".

In a victory speech devoid of humility, the Prime Minister proffered a government which is the total opposite of "strong and stable" and the embodiment of a "coalition of chaos".


Since taking power from David Cameron after his catastrophic Brexit snafu, Ms May had ruled out an election to gain a personal mandate.

But as has become her modus operandi, she flip-flopped. 

It would not only be an election but an election all about her - a landslide, a coronation securing her hard Brexit mandate. 

That mandate is now piddly. In 10 days the UK goes into negotiations with the European Union, and thanks to this election result it goes in weakened and unstable - the worst possible negotiating position. 

DUP deal - a coalition of chaos?

Reliance on Northern Ireland's DUP, the Democratic Unionist Party, gives Ms May a pathetic two-seat majority.

The socially conservative DUP is the reason Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not legal. 

Abortion campaigners credit DUP policy with forcing thousands of Northern Irish women to leave the country to have abortions or seek out life-threatening alternatives. 

A former DUP minister once defended a catholic preacher who compared Islam to Satanism.

And their former Environment Minister was a climate change denier.

Jeremy Corbyn - so close, but nope

Theresa May's political arrogance is rivalled by just one man: Jeremy Corbyn. 

Mr Corbyn ran a superb, energetic and charismatic election campaign - I take nothing away from that.

Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn. Photo credit: Getty

But this is a guy who one year ago stared down a vote of no confidence from the vast majority of his MPs, 172 vs 40.

A guy who's loved by the far-left of his party, the activists and most of Labour's younger voters, but who could not, and cannot, unite his MPs. Many of them wouldn't even utter his name during their individual election campaigns. 

A guy who was partly blamed for the Brexit referendum result, having failed to get amongst during the campaign and support Labour Party policy for the UK to remain. 

And a guy who's really crap at high-fives.

Hung parliament

A similar thing happened in 1974. A hung parliament in February forced another general election in October. 

Labour secured a measly three-seat majority. Sick and dying MPs were carried into Westminster, such was the necessity of every single vote.

A vote of no confidence was inevitable and eventually took place in 1979, but it took a decade for stability to return to the UK.

Perhaps an idea of what the UK has to look forward to this time round.

A broken system 

When you vote in the UK you vote for the candidate in your area, there's no wider party vote like we have in New Zealand.

The UK Electoral Reform Society sums it up nicely: "As each party only puts up one candidate, voters who support that party but don't like their candidate have to either vote for a party they don't support or a candidate they don't like."

In 2011 Britain voted against dropping its first-past-the-post voting system. A dud move. 


Bizarrely, both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have claimed an election victory. Neither really has the right.

Once again, the United Kingdom is the loser thanks to Britain's broken politics. 

Tova O'Brien is Newshub's Europe correspondent.