Pollsters don't decide who wins the election, voters do

The general election will take place on June 8 2017: EPA

Pollsters are predicting a massive defeat for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in Theresa May’s “snap” June general election. Yet the very same pollsters got the outcome of the 2015 general election wrong and got the result of the EU referendum wrong. The only people who decide the outcome of an election are the voters. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Labour membership has grown. This huge membership can be mobilised to turn out the voters and kick out Theresa May. Pollsters don't decide elections, voters do.

Sasha Simic
London, N16

A moral battle

Theresa May pontificates: “Politics is not a game and the problem is we have other parties who are playing games”, while playing very merrily herself. It was kind (playful?) of her to suggest that we have other parties at all. Sadly, we have no Clegg, just when we need him most (sorry, Tim). And sadly, we have Corbyn. Perhaps she was referring to the SNP but, weirdly, in the plural.

Given the lack of other viable parties, game-playing or no, I would urge anyone who opposes the casual destruction of the NHS and the decline in social care we are witnessing, who is concerned about the callousness with which disabled people in receipt of benefits are treated, who is distressed by the low morale among our teachers, who believes that ever-widening inequality is detrimental to our society, or who fears for our environment, to vote for anyone other than the Tories. And if you think that May's needlessly aggressive stance over Brexit of “no deal rather than a bad deal” shows a lack of negotiating nous, vote for anyone other than the Tories. They'll still win, but at least they'll have to think and work harder to justify what they're doing. That would be no bad thing for all of us.

Beryl Wall
London, W4

Many of the Labour Party’s policies developed under Jeremy Corbyn and colleagues have, according to polls, considerable support in the country. Might it not cross the minds of those Labour MPs forever sniping at Corbyn that if they are truly concerned about the poor, disabled and homeless – if they really want to bring an end to the vast unjustified inequalities of wealth and incomes in this country – and if they properly understand that to sell arms to repressive regimes, to turn back desperate asylum seekers and to waste money on nuclear weapons, are moral wrongs – then now is the time to back Corbyn and Labour policies?

If the Tories win the election, it will not be so much because lots and lots of people approve of Tory policies, of cuts in NHS funding, education and welfare, but because so many Labour MPs cannot bring themselves to put concern for fairness, equality and society ahead of their own petty grievances against a left-wing backbencher becoming leader with overwhelming support of members. If any time is the time “to pull together”, now is that time.

Peter Cave
London, W1

If you heard of a corrupt government that oversaw the deaths of 30,000 of its own population in the space of a year, you'd be horrified. You may even call for military intervention. Well, that is your government.

A report released earlier this year concluded that those deaths in 2015 were as a result of cuts and closures to our health service (NHS cuts blamed for 30,000 deaths in new study, 17 February 2017). This political agenda has continued and increased since, and we're rapidly heading towards a privatised, US-style health insurance model.

With most hospitals earmarked to close, all walk-in centres going, most GP surgeries planned to shut, and with that land (and infrastructure) being sold off, things are potentially looking extremely perilous for our future.

And now, with the announcement of the upcoming general election, you need to ask yourself something. Will the party you usually vote for take steps to stop this madness, and renationalise our NHS? Your choice of vote could help save tens of thousands of lives, including yours, and your family members’.

Colin Crilly
South London

Call for a new party

It’s not realistic for Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, to derail Theresa May in her cynical ambitions for a new mandate from a divided country.

It's time for a new, progressive, pro-single-market party, made up largely of Lib Dems and the multitude of Labour and Conservative moderates who strongly disagree with their leaders. Voting for an anti-hard-Brexit party is the only way to save the country, Europe and perhaps even a looming “Great Depression” with catastrophic global consequences. Your vote might just save the world.

Can the smart, educated pragmatists who want an internationalist and outward looking Britain engaged with our neighbours quickly unify around what is probably the majority view – no hard Brexit?

Stefan Wickham

If Jeremy Corbyn resigns now, and a more charismatic acting Labour leader takes over, a Labour-Lib Dem electoral pact could oppose Brexit in the national interest, and deprive Theresa May of a majority at the polls.

Andrew M. Rosemarine

The right choice

May has done the right thing. All the other parliamentary parties are wreckers or suffering badly from sour grapes. The Conservatives need a proper majority to see Brexit through to its (hopefully) a successful conclusion.

G Theodore

What the call for a snap general election does show is that Theresa May is courageous. The election is a risk, but it's an opportunity to unite the country around her policies. Time and time again, she has showed composure, with regards to Scotland and in the aftermath of the EU referendum. Her political direction and competence is clear for all voters to see.

Meanwhile, Labour are the opposite. Their leader has failed to establish a vision – Corbyn says they are the party for both Brexiteers and Remainers, but is that possible on an issue which is so divisive? Labour is trying to win voters on both sides of the country, but they may end up winning votes from neither side.

Lewis Chinchen

Theresa May's decision to hold a general election is welcome news. May has presided over a weak government whose mere survival was mainly reliant on a weak opposition.

Jermey Corbyn is a nice guy, a pacifist who has a vision for a fairer, freer and better Britain. However, the Labour party is riddled with internal divisions, disarray, infighting, accusations of anti-Semitism and the spectre of Tony Blair and his new Labour strategists hovering over it.

The country needs a strong government, a strong mandate and a strong parliament to help deal in the daunting challenges facing us abroad and at home from international terrorism, Brexit, transnational diseases, North Korea, the rise of far right parties, the civil wars in the Middle East and mental health. Let us hope that this will be an opportunity to rid the parliament of those MPs who never ceased to take a cynical view of the most of us.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London, NW2

Don’t be fooled by Farron

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron attempts to seduce voters into supporting his party for a so-called “Soft Brexit” at the general election, which he claims is beneficial to the British people. Like his colleague, Nick Clegg, this man is a flag-waving, Euro-fanatic who knows that his version of an EU settlement will ensure continued unabated free movement and UK taxes boosting the Brussels coffers for ever.

Do not be fooled by his subterfuge. We need our taxes to fund services in our own country.

Jim Sokol

Support for Corbyn

In the game of rugby, when a player with the ball is tackled by the opposition his teammates get behind him and try to drive him forward to gain ground. Imagine a new captain coming in to the team and half of his players, including some of the strongest ones, say they don’t want him. When the captain has the ball they stand with their arms folded looking on. After the game they comment on how poor the captain’s performance is and how badly the team is doing.

That, to a large degree, is what has happened to Labour under Jeremy Corbyn (media hostility and dishonesty has also been a major factor). John Woodcock MP has said he “will not countenance ever voting to make Jeremy Corbyn Britain’s prime minister“. For Woodcock and others like him, unjust war, which Tony Blair led us into, is a thing of nothing. I hope that at least some of the party heavyweights who have turned their backs on Corbyn will get behind him at this critical time, now that attempts to force him to resign before the election have clearly failed.

Brendan O’Brien
London, N21

Nicola Sturgeon hypocritical

Scotland’s First Minister criticises the UK Prime Minister for seeking the support of the people to carry out the decision made in last June’s EU referendum. Yet the Scottish National Party’s attempts to derail the Brexit process are part of the reason for us having to have another general election. Theresa May calls for a vote, with every opinion poll suggesting she will increase her majority and in turn improve the confidence with which she can carry forward the Brexit negotiation process.

In contrast, Nicola Sturgeon seeks an independence referendum rerun to overturn both the 2014 Scottish independence referendum result, and that of the UK-wide June 2016 EU vote, even though opinion polls suggest she would be putting the people of Scotland through a divisive vote that they not only do not want, but also in which they would likely deliver the same result as before.

Surely it is the height of hypocrisy for Nicola Sturgeon to accuse the Prime Minister of putting the party before country, when for months now she has been doing exactly that herself in regards to a second Scottish independence referendum?

Keith Howell
West Linton


Theresa May believes that “the country is coming together, but Westminster is not”. I would like to ask her which country is she referring to? She seems to have forgotten the fact that Northern Ireland and Scotland did not vote for Brexit. I usually object to people using “English” when they mean “British” but in Theresa's case it is the other way round. She insists on talking about British values and British people while continuing to ignore the will of those people who are not English.

Libby Lamb

Single issue election

So the Prime Minister has “reluctantly” decided to take the nation to the polls.

To state the bl**ding obvious, this will be an election to give the Government a mandate for Brexit. This then is the one big chance for all those that don’t support the Governments’ ambitions – that realise the coming harsh realities which Brexit will bring – the opportunity to halt the madness.

If this is what you want, then it has to be the only issue on the agenda – the only reason to vote, whatever your normal political convictions or allegiances. With the exception of Scotland, only the Liberal Democrats are able to, and determined to, bring an end to Brexit – this is the only way to vote. Don’t get confused about any other issues – none matter at all when considered against Brexit – this has to be a single issue election.

David Curran

No “steamrolling” into Brexit

It is difficult to see Theresa May's decision to call a general election with very short notice as anything other than an attempt to shut down parliamentary debate both within and between political parties.

Voices in western Europe urged President Erdogan to be mindful of the small majority he obtained in the recent referendum on increasing presidential powers. His majority was not much smaller in percentage terms than that obtained by the pro-Brexiteers in the UK's referendum on whether or not Britain should remain in Europe. Surely May should be mindful of the small size of that majority and be ready to take into account differing views and to make compromises rather than steamrolling her way to a ”hard Brexit“.

Veronica Bradley
West Midlands

Leaving the EU: “not in our name”

I wish I would receive a few pounds for every time someone told me via either email, or within newspapers, there would not be an early general election. My response had been, “we will see”. At the time of sending this message, the Liberal Democrats had 5,000 new members within hours of the announcement and total more than 92,500. Whilst of course, some readers will continue to claim the Liberal Democrats are finished. I will again say, “we will see”.

My suspicion is that Theresa May knows full well that there is no chance that a complete break-away from the European Union could ever work. To go to the country was her only option. Then if she is re-elected, she will blame you the public for making a decision, based upon what we now know.

It will be interesting as to how many existing MPs will not be standing again. And note she called the general election before any boundary changes, in the hope that might help her. As I have hinted, there is no guarantee she will retain her seat. Nor Jeremy Corbyn. Personally I would not wish to have either of them in at No.10.

I hope that Tim Farron and Nick Clegg do manage to get the message across that we need a Liberal UK. One that keeps England, Scotland, Wales and, ideally, Northern Ireland together. This might also be an opportunity to bury the idea of Independence for Scotland. I have a feeling the SNP will lose a number of their MPs.

I cannot predict the outcome, other than I genuinely hope the Liberal Democrats do well. I would like them to be as large as the Conservative and Labour Parties. So that we have at least three to choose from in the future

To everyone who now believes that leaving the EU is a mistake, here is your opportunity to say “not in our name”. It could be a British led EU. Why throw all that away? We fought two world wars to get where we are today.

Richard Grant