Russell Langer: 2017 General Election Analysis

You could be forgiven for asking what has changed following the seven week election campaign. It is certainly no footnote that the Government has lost their majority and now depends on the DUP to win vital votes but it now appears that the Prime Minister is safe for the meantime and it seems to be business as normal.

When the Prime Minister looked destined for a landslide victory there were expectations that the election would be swiftly followed by a dramatic cabinet reshuffle and drama on the Labour benches with either a change in leader or possibly a split if Jeremy Corbyn refused to go. Instead we find ourselves with a relatively unchanged cabinet and Corbyn stronger than ever.

In the Commons it had been widely feared that the expected defeat of Labour would result in those Labour MPs who have consistently stood up for the Jewish community in Parliament losing their seats. In a turn of events, many of these MPs managed to cause shock by not only being re-elected but doing so with increased majorities.

In North West London’s so-called “Bagel Belt” there was also no change in MPs but all of the Conservative incumbents saw their majorities fall. Some of these results were so close that many believe it was Jewish voters concerns with Labour that stopped these seats from switching,in effect making it possible for the Government to have a majority with the DUP’s help.

Of course this narrative of little change hides the reality of the election aftermath. Talk has already turned to who will be taking over from Theresa May and when, while speculation of a change in Labour leadership has wound up. Before the election we saw Labour Parliamentary Candidates assuring constituents that Corbyn would not be Prime Minister but he is now favourite with most bookmakers to be the next occupant of Number 10.

The deal with the DUP, on whom the Prime Minister’s survival is now dependent, has not been without controversy. The DUP’s social conservatism and ability to drive a hard bargain has raised concerns. As with all parties, there will be a variety of opinions in the Jewish community on these issues but many will laud the DUP’s support for the community and Israel in Parliament.

Just as important will be Conservative backbenchers with only a handful of rebellious ones needed for the government to lose key votes. With each vote likely to be a battle the government will not be pushing through a large quantity of new legislation. This will be unavoidable however where Brexit is concerned.

Theresa May’s gamble may have backfired but for the Jewish community, it is business as usual. We can now continue to work with many of the same key figures as before while being mindful of the fact that another general election may well bring about a more dramatic result.