A ‘decapitation’ roils Britain on election eve
Theresa May holds her ‘head’ but retains a slight polling lead
Britain finally votes on Thursday, and Theresa May and the Conservatives, who expected to win a landslide when the prime minister called this “snap election” six weeks ago, are expected to stumble across the finish line 5 points ahead of the Labor Party.
But this, according to the London Daily Telegraph, would still give the Tories a large majority in the Parliament, with perhaps 375 of the 600 seats, dwarfing the 275 the highly regarded pollsters of the University of East Anglia predict for the Labor Party of Jeremy Corbyn.
Mrs. May unexpectedly called the election because, with visions of landslide in her imagination, she thought it would dramatically expand her majority and strengthen her hand in negotiating the British exit from the European Union. The Europeans, like spurned aging and wrinkling lovers, are determined to make the exit as difficult and expensive for Britain as they can. Mr. Corbyn has hinted that he might be tempted to find a way, unlikely as it would be, to temper or even undo the Brexit vote, the better to deliver on his fairy-tale wish list in expanding Britain’s welfare state.
The polls showed a movement toward Labor over the past fortnight; some of the pollsters even suggested last week that the overall Tory lead had shrunk to a single point. Since then the Tory lead in most polls has expanded, offering Mrs. May a bit of breathing room — not much, but a bit.
In the wake of the latest radical Islamic terrorist massacres, first in Manchester and then last week at London Bridge, Mrs. May raised the heat in her denunciations of radical Islamic violence. “Enough is enough!” she cried after seven Britons died when a terrorist drove a van through a crowd at London Bridge, in central London, and he and an accomplice jumped out to slash several bystanders.
The last day of the election campaign was enlivened with the publication, in the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, of a cover drawing of a decapitated Theresa May, holding her head, over the caption: “Too much is too much.” The mistranslation of her remark softened the impact of the sentiment, but the drawing nevertheless outraged many Britons, reminiscent of the outrage in the United States over comedienne Kathy Griffin’s portrayal of herself holding a model of a bloody head meant to resemble Donald Trump. Poor taste is in ample supply everywhere.