New Times,
New Thinking.

The progressive’s guide to coping with the general election 2017

Whatever the results, have a plan. 

By Julia Rampen

YouGov says we’re heading for a hung parliament. ICM puts the Tories 11 points ahead in the polls. Labour’s bouncing back in Wales. So should progressives look forward to their liberation from Tory rule on 9 June, or make preparations for Eternal May?

Here’s what to do, whatever happens:

Tory landslide

On Wednesday, start sneezing. This is a precautionary measure, because if you wake up to a Tory landslide, the first thing to do is call in sick. Make sure your mobile is by your bedside so you don’t have to come out from under the duvet.

Resign yourself to experiencing the stages of post-election grief. The first is denial, which means not getting out of bed until at least lunchtime. The second is an outburst on social media (if you have placed your mobile by your bed you may remain under the duvet). The third is watching something from an era of political optimism that now makes you cry. The default option is Labour’s 1997 party political broadcast “Things Can Only Get Better”.  Obviously, things can’t.

At this point, start thinking about how old you’ll be in five years’ time and whether you qualify for a Canadian work visa. Donate your Jeremy Corbyn memorabilia to the local charity shop. 

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Narrow Tory win

Repeat stage one of Tory landslide. When you can read the news without immediately shrinking into the foetal position, find out how many Brexiteers kept their seats. This may affect how long you stay under the duvet, and also whether you should dig out your grandfather’s birth certificate and apply for an Irish passport. 

While you are curled up pretending to be sick, Labour’s surviving MPs are likely to be calling for Jeremy Corbyn to resign, and the left-wing Twittersphere will resemble a bear pit. Channelling your rage and grief into attacking other progressives may bring you some catharsis.

Hung parliament

Go to your nearest supermarket and stock up on popcorn, biscuits, tins of spaghetti hoops and vodka. Cancel your weekend plans. Spend the next few days refreshing a live blog trying to find out whether Corbyn can lead a “rainbow coalition” into No. 10. 

There is, of course, a risk that no one can forge a deal and another election is called, resulting in another hung parliament. In which case, repeat.

Labour wins

Recover from your fake cold immediately. At work, tell your boss you’re really excited about Labour’s plan to bring back sectoral collective bargaining and scrap employment tribunal fees. Start planning what you’ll do on your four extra bank holidays. You and your EU national friends have a lot to celebrate!

Wake up. It’s all been a dream. Theresa May’s your new Prime Minister. 


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