Firstly, while the Conservative party did not form the majority of 326/650 seats which the British system requires to rule without coalitions or as a minority government, they did indeed get the most seats (318), compared to Labour’s 262, that is 318 against 262, 42.4% against 40.0%, and 13,669,883 against 12,878,460. (1) This secures the Conservative party as the majority party, and May as the leader of that majority party, and the one given most support by the voters and seats of this government. With or without a coalition, both the Conservative and May are the legitimate leaders of this nation.
Secondly, May should not step down because as she said herself ‘I got us into this mess, I’m going to get us out.’ (2) Not only did she indeed get the Conservative party into this mess, she also plunged the nation itself into this hung parliament. Because of this she owes the nation and her party the duty and hard work of getting both of us out of this predicament. She activated article 50, she is already known around the world and set up deals and negotiations. If she really wants to make up for this mistake, she needs to work herself to death and regain her image and solve our problems. A leader who is willing to do that is one worthy of leading. She has put us at risk, and now must accept she is the one who should correct it for her party, her voters and her nation.
My third reason is more an extension of the second. The problem I have always had with the Conservative party is that it does not admit when it is wrong, if only it did this it could be a party I could fully get behind. May becoming aware of how badly she screwed up and willing to admit her mistake is a good sign. When we admit our mistake we get to shed that mistake. We get to return to our real identity and grow, we get to burst into flames and rise as a phoenix. If she comes out of this by sticking to Conservative values and admitting her mistakes as she does, she will make a fine leader.
Fourthly, she has already met all of the leaders and many of the EU leaders which she will now be dealing with for two years in order to hammer out a Brexit. Starting this entire process fresh with a new leader would further set this back. One of the only areas where I fully agreed with May was her plans for Brexit and her aims with it. She should take note of Nigel Farage’s opinion that backsliding on this will not only destroy May, but her entire party. (3) Never again will the public trust the Conservative party, and nor should they.
Fifthly, the opposition which is the Labour party with their leader Jeremy Corbyn are openly Left-wing and proud – the Conservative party should be open about their Right-wing values and begin putting them forward proudly. May made the mistake of writing and running on a manifesto which seems to try and appease the Left, while pushing aside the Right. This pushing away of the loyal base of the party is anything but good, especially when we consider that the Labour party are a loyal bunch to their own values – which in and of itself is respectable. While the Conservative party are shying away from their own values and allowing Labour to set the battleground and polarise it. If the Conservative want to regain their identity and footing they will need a leader like May, who has just been shown she can’t shy from her own base without being punished, to now put forward some genuine Right-wing values and stick to them no matter how the opposition frames it. While there seems to be many problems with the DUP (the party which the Conservatives are currently trying to form a coalition with), this party is overtly Right-wing and proud of it. (4) I hope that such a coalition will allow the Conservative party and May to stop being so shy about their deeply held convictions, ones which are not uncommon among the British Isles.
So, to conclude. I do not think that Theresa May should resign as the leader of the Conservative party. To do so would be to ignore her own mistake and not make up for it, it would be to ignore 318 seats, a 42.4% majority, and 13, 669, 883 votes for May and her party. It would also be a betrayal of the party to resign now after being put in power and trusted with that power. If she wants to become a great leader, she can start by admitting her mistake (as she has) and working from that mistake to become the kind of leader we trust and voted her in to be.
1. ‘Election 2017 results’ by the BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results
2. ”I got us into this mess, I’m going to get us out of it’, Theresa May tells Tory MPs at crunch meeting in Westminster’ by the Evening Standard http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/i-got-us-into-this-mess-im-going-to-get-us-out-of-it-theresa-may-tells-tory-mps-at-crunch-meeting-in-a3563371.html
3. ‘Nigel Farage Expresses His Anger at a Potential ‘Brexit Backslide’ | Good Morning Britain’ by Good Morning Britain – https://youtu.be/Kn9S709XUPw
4. ‘DUP hopeful of deal on Conservative government ‘soon’ by the BBC’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40255958