Theresa May lost the gamble, left deeply wounded
LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May presented herself as a stable leader to take Britain through Brexit, but her gamble of an election backfired and has left her deeply wounded.
The Conservative Party leader refused to resign after losing her party’s parliamentary majority in Thursday’s vote, but has suffered a humiliation from which she will struggle to recover.
“She ran a pretty dreadful campaign,” said Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry as the shock results rolled in, calling on May to “consider her position”.
“It is clear that this election has left her authority deeply wounded, perhaps fatally,” said Paul Goodman, a former lawmaker and editor of the ConservativeHome website.
May called the election three years early in the hope of building on her sky-high personal poll ratings, and focused the campaign around her own leadership qualities.
But her no-nonsense image crumbled under the scrutiny, as she was forced to backtrack on a key manifesto promise, and offered little in the way of a positive vision to voters.
Two terror attacks gave her an opportunity to show her strength but also drew questions over her six years as interior minister, when she oversaw cuts to police numbers.