UK voters have rejected both Conservative opportunism and right-wing populism in a shock election result that has increased Labour’s vote share and fatally undermined the credibility of current prime minister Theresa May.
The result demolished the existing Conservative government majority and saw Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party win some 30 additional seats, making Labour a strong contender for government in the negotiations to come.
Commenting on the results, PES president Sergei Stanishev said:
“Just like David Cameron before her, Theresa May forced an unnecessary vote on Britain in an attempt to further her own political agenda, and once again the gamble has backfired.
“It has been made clear that political opportunism achieves nothing except to inflict damage and instability – and the forces of right-wing populism evaporate as quickly as they appeared.
“Europe’s socialist and social democrat parties remain united behind our member parties in the UK, and we fully expect Labour to play a leading role in the process of forming the next British government.”
The election result also marked the disappearance of the populist anti-European UK Independence Party – and once again cast doubt on the next steps in the Brexit process, already delayed by the snap election campaign and now at the mercy of the UK’s domestic political processes.
Mr Stanishev added:
“EU countries have been ready to begin the conversations about Brexit since last summer’s referendum, but Theresa May has been utterly paralysed, introducing delay after delay. Even if she somehow survives as prime minister in the short term, any remaining credibility at the negotiating table has been utterly undermined.
“We now have an opportunity, finally, to begin a positive discussion with Britain about its future relationship with Europe. Labour should bring its sane and constructive voice to the table with other EU leaders — where I guarantee it will be well received.”