Britain went to the polls on Thursday, June 8, 2017, and received a hung Parliament in return. Prime Minister Theresa May had called the snap election back in April, in order to shore up what she saw as her lack of legitimacy due to her having slipped into the role of Prime Minister almost de facto following the six-way shootout after the Brexit decision in 2016, which led to then PM David Cameron resigning.
Initially, the polls showed that the Tories had an astonishing 20-24 point lead over the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. The Tories were seen as the party that would deliver Brexit in a ‘strong and stable’ manner, and May seemed like a safe pair of hands with which she would lead the country through the undoubtedly turbulent years ahead. Meanwhile, the Labour Party was led by a man who’d never held a senior ministerial position before and had had a nasty habit of being overly friendly with terrorists, theocratic regimes and Marxist revolutionary governments, all of which ought to have sunk his electoral hopes without much of a trace.
Indeed, this was what looked like the most likely outcome. And then came the disaster of the Tory manifesto release, with its messy roll-out, uncosted nature, vague promises and various pledges to remove provisions for elderly people through what became known as the ‘Dementia tax’. The so-called Dementia tax was an effort to address the spiralling costs of social care in modern Britain and mandated that older people with assets of £100,000 or over, for example in property, could use those to pay for their care. The downside was that many people would then be unable to leave anything in an inheritance to their descendants.
To say this did not go down well was an understatement.