I’m surprised you think this. We know that internal divisions over Europe brought down Mr Major’s government and were central to IDS having such a terrible time as leader of the Tory Party. We know the party wasn’t behaving before the election was called, you only have to look at the U-turn over tax at the budget to see this. These divisions have not gone away, if anything there are even more entrenched now. I cannot see the really hard line Brexit posse (Fox, Redwood et al) toeing the soft Brexit line. Similarly, I cannot see the Ken Clarkes of this world voting to uphold a hard Brexit.
Whatever about the mandate I am afraid that I don’t concur with this view about Ireland. I think NI will be an immediate and complete nightmare. Here is the thinking behind this view:
The DUP and Sinn Fein need to negotiate a power sharing agreement under the terms of the Good Friday Treaty. Under normal circumstances this is fraught. The neutral umpire in the negotiations is the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. He cannot be neutral if his government is being supported by the DUP. Gerry Adams has spoken rather ominously about this today. I do not expect this to go away any time soon. I might point out that I am a strict pacificist and have no truck with either group whole are a blight on the country of my birth in my opinion.
Arlene Foster is at best irresponsible and at worst corrupt. Google for ‘Cash for Ash’ if you need information. As a member of the DUP she is utterly inflexible. The Shinner are also highly dubious and inflexible. This won’t make for easy times. As Adams point out today agreements between Loyalists and the Tory party tend ‘to end in tears’. I cannot see a power sharing agreement by June 26th.
The DUP have extraordinary views about many things. A very old Irish joke suggests that their manifesto is an orange bible with fortnightly bin collections. The SF manifesto being identical save for the use of a green bible. We know there are tensions between Ruth Davidson and Theresa May over many points. Do we really see Arlene Foster being a source of compromise between Davidson and May.
My guess is that we will all be off to vote again before the end of the year. This will entail a new leader for the Tories as May is a dead duck. Expect the leadership contest over the summer unless something extraordinary happens. I’ll be fairly surprised if they manage to get agreement on the text of the Queen’s speech, let along get Parliamentary ratification for it.
I’m amazed with these goings on. I thought a Tory majority of 30-50 seats was a nailed-on certainty but my feeling is that they are on the nose now in terms of policy (they offered nothing and even then it was uncosted) and credibility. I wonder if Labour can keep it together long enough to take advantage. They knew they couldn’t win so could offer everything in the manifesto. Next time around they should win so will have to have to offer something less than the moon on a stick and some hope.