Yesterday, the people of Britain voted to return Theresa May's Conservative Party back to Downing Street as the nation's largest party and leader of a coalition government. The result was a win for Theresa May, a win for the Conservative Party, and a win for Britain.
Of course, that's not what you'll hear in the press. The talking heads in the news media have been quick to frame anything short of an electoral landslide as a failure by the Tories, but the truth is that Ms. May secured precisely the mandate for strong and stable leadership that she set out to achieve.
In fact-despite losing the pure parliamentary majority in the House of Commons—the Conservatives actually increased their share of the national popular vote by 5.5% compared with 2015. That's the largest gain in the national popular vote by a Conservative Party leader since Margaret Thatcher's campaign in 1979. That's a narrative you'll not hear on television, but it's true: Theresa May grew the Tories' support, nationally, by a greater margin than any party leader during my lifetime. Fact.
And when the world woke up this morning, Ms. May's Conservative Party still held the largest share of seats in the House of Commons. Together with the Democratic Unionist Party, she was prepared to form a coalition government. And with formal Brexit negotiations beginning in less than two weeks time, the Conservatives have a renewed, post-referendum mandate to govern-having won three consecutive General Election campaigns. That's a successful outcome, make no mistake.
We're proud to have been a part of the team that helped her become Prime Minister in the wake of last year's referendum. And while we were not a part of this year's General Election campaign team, we were cheering loudly from the sidelines in support of our friends and partners who were. They may have fallen short of expectations, but they made huge gains in Scotland, came out well ahead of Labour, and they're still in government. Where I come from, that's called a win, and the whole team should be proud of the work they've done.
So congratulations to Ms. May, her campaign team, and the Conservative Party. Here's to a period of electoral stability after three national polls in as many years, and five years of strong, stable leadership in the national interest!