Theresa May has only 0.0003 per cent of the vote. That is how Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, put it in Prospect recently (an extract from his recent article for us is included below).
Labour politicians have raised similar concerns about the fact that our new Prime Minister was chosen by the Conservative Party, rather than by the country as a whole. Jon Trickett, Labour’s election coordinator, has said that it is “crucial” that “the country has a democratically elected Prime Minister.”
But others argue that May’s party has been elected by the country, and that her programme is not sufficiently different to her predecessor’s to justify another general election. Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of University College London’s Constitution Unit and contributor to this panel, is among them.
Who is right? Read the contributions from our experts and decide for yourself.
Is May “running scared”?
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats. The below is taken from a recent article for Prospect by Farron
Prime Ministers are accountable to the country, not just 199 Tory MPs. Theresa May’s coronation surprised many people, even in Westminster, though the last few weeks should have prepared us to expect anything. That now includes a “snap” General Election.
My party has already begun selecting candidates, anticipating that May will go to the country and seek the mandate she and her Government don’t have. And we will hold her to account on the comments she made about Gordon Brown “running scared” from an election in 2007.
Allowing the electorate to choose the direction in which the country goes now is essential. It is ludicrous to allow someone to run the country when only 199 Tory MPs have voted for them—0.0003 per cent of the vote.
A commitment to democracy
Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group
It’s a bizarre quirk of British democracy that we have a new Prime Minister by default, perhaps stranger still is that it has been met with broad approval and a poll boost for Theresa May and the Conservative Party. Following last year’s general election, the EU referendum and simultaneous party leadership battles however, there is real sense of “political fatigue” among the general public. Neither Britain, or the markets at…