Theresa May’s Conservative party has suffered a catastrophic general election result as a poll called in order to boost the Tories’ majority in parliament has left her party without an overall majority.
In a result that vindicates the words of Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, whose Strong and stable my arse posters caught the popular imagination in the lead up to yesterday’s election, May topped a decidedly shaky campaign with a final wobble that saw major gains for Labour and some unexpected losses for the Tories.
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party’s manifesto won widespread support from many artists and those working in the arts, said of May: “She fought the election on the basis that it was her campaign; it was her decision to call the election, it was her name out there; she was saying she was doing it to bring about strong and stable government.
“Well, this morning, it doesn’t look like a strong government, it doesn’t look like a stable government, it doesn’t look like a government that has any programme whatsoever.”
Corbyn also repeated his call for May to resign which he made earlier this morning on holding his North Islington seat with an increased majority of 10,430 after winning 40,086 votes. He has held the seat since 1983.
He added: “We put forward our policies – strong and hopeful policies – and have gained an amazing response from the public. I think it’s pretty clear who won this election.”
Artists have been responding to the election result.
David Shrigley’s succinct response was one of his distinctive and witty drawings that captures the political chaos that May’s snap election has created:
Hung parliament pic.twitter.com/pyXSNCx7vn
— David Shrigley (@davidshrigley) June 9, 2017
Bob and Roberta Smith, the London-based artist and Royal Academician who campaigned tirelessly for Remain in last year’s referendum, said on Twitter that Brexit is now finished:
It’s over for the Brexit pic.twitter.com/5RtvZxuSo2
— Bob&Roberta Smith (@BobandRoberta) June 8, 2017
Artist Sean Edwards echoed that view with his comment:
This is brilliant for Brexit. Has to totally reset the discussions
— Sean Edwards (@seanjedwards) June 9, 2017
Margate-based artist Dan Thompson tweeted:
Three months into Brexit, and we don’t have a government, or any idea what we’re negotiating. Looks like, in losing, May gets her ‘no deal’.
— Dan Thompson (@artistsmakers) June 9, 2017
In a comment that captured the strange scenario of a defeated Labour party feeling like the winner in this snap election, artist Andrew Bracey tweeted:
NEVER, NEVER has defeat tasted so sweet
— Andrew Bracey (@BraceyAndrew) June 9, 2017
Katriona Beales meanwhile said that the level of support for Corbyn’s Labour party was not a surprise:
This is what I felt today on the doorstep – hope for change – determination to end austerity – excitement for corbyn – hope against hope!
— Katriona Beales (@KatrionaBeales) June 9, 2017
Birmingham’s Eastside Project went a bit tabloid as the news began to sink in:
— Eastside Projects (@eprjcts) June 9, 2017
And then followed with this:
— Eastside Projects (@eprjcts) June 8, 2017
With Theresa May intending to go to Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm to seek permission from the Queen to form a government, Grayson Perry was up and out bright and early with this:
At the palace hoping to get in first and form a govt while the others are dithering pic.twitter.com/bC5cLnzAoV
— Grayson Perry (@Alan_Measles) June 9, 2017
And finally, web and UX designer Claire Barrett couldn’t resist a hung parliament/giant marrow gag:
Well, who could?
Additional research by Jack Hutchinson and Pippa Koszerek