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Theresa May's Alamo - Why Irish Influence Will Unnerve English Voters

13/06/2017 12:59
gionnixxx via Getty Images

The Northern Irish political system is in total crisis at the moment.

Stormont is unable to form a government, public confidence in the DUP's leader Arlene Foster is at an all time low and her party is nervously looking over her shoulder at the Irish republican party Sinn Féin in the Northern Ireland Assembly who trail behind her with just one seat.

Is the DUP really in a position to offer guidance on good government and will this arrangement actually damage the Conservative Party in the eyes of swing voters in England?

I believe it could and a good indicator of that is the Tories use of the SNP to derail the swing vote away from The Labour Party in the 2015 General Election in England, which you could suggest was highly successful.

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A middle England polling station - image owned by author

Even having the conversation of a coalition or a confidence and supply deal is damaging enough to English voters - considering Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has it's own devolved parliaments and England legislates it's laws in the United Kingdom parliament, it's no surprise it puts England's constituents on edge and it's a narrative easily used in election campaigns to discredit parties.

Theresa May is obviously in an incredibly precarious situation considering the political makeup in Northern Ireland. The UK Government's neutrality is crucial to governance in the country's devolved power-sharing deal which was a subsequence of the Good Friday Agreement. This states the need for "rigorous impartiality" from Westminster and Ireland.

I'm struggling to suggest that this deal will not add strain to an already tricky situation.

This is already stirring up tensions on the Emerald Isle, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his concerns on the challenge this deal will bring and while it is no surprise that Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams criticised the potential partnership but they were happy that the mainstream British media are focusing on the DUP's policies.

At home, the liberal wing of her own party has shown discomfort surrounding the deal, Ed Vaizey has expressed he would challenge any anti-LGBT rhetoric, Heidi Allen said publicly that she does not think Theresa May will last 6 months and Anna Soubry calling her position untenable.

Also, former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne calling the PM a "dead women walking" - although it's fair to say he has been fairly critical of May throughout the campaign in his role as Editor at the London Evening Standard.

A deal with the DUP could bring new and unwelcome issues to the door of the current occupier of Number 10 which many senior Conservatives understand and they will not be in a rush for an election any time soon.

The Tories will be looking to steady the ship and fast, they'll see the next two months as healing time in the eyes of the electorate they could lose.

Over the next 13 days, we will see how the DUP conversation affects the right wing of British politics in regards to how voters see the legitimacy of a future Conservative government after another general election and it's surely a line left wing parties will attack hard.

This is Theresa May's Alamo and her garrison will have to be well armed to protect her mission.

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