The results of the latest British General Election indicate that politics in the English-speaking world are taking a very interesting and probably leftward turn. Some of the most intriguing conclusions that can be gleaned from the 8 June 2017 vote include:

  • The polls are sometimes right. A YouGov Poll released on 31 May 2017 predicted that the Conservatives would lose 20 seats in the House of Commons. The poll was quickly dismissed by conservative papers; like The Express, but it turned out to be somewhat prophetic. The Tories lost 13 seats on 9 June, which indicates pollsters are getting more accurate. Those who dismiss polls because of the results of the last U.S. Presidential election do so at their peril.

  • Popular sentiment in English-speaking countries seems to be swinging leftward. Labour; led by the far Left Jeremy Corbyn, picked up 32 new seats, The Guardian reported. The centrist Liberal Democrats picked up three seats.

  • Populist nationalism is not as popular as some observers believe. The Scottish Nationalists lost nine seats, the Brexit-embracing Conservatives lost 32 seats and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) picked up no seats.

  • The Liberal Democrat and Labour victories indicate that voters might be punishing the Tories for Brexit. A strong possibility is that younger voters and the middle class are turning on Conservatives for leaving the EU.

  • Confused voters seem unable to elect any sort of majority. They failed to give either major party enough support to claim a majority. This phenomenon is not confined to the UK; no candidate was able to get a majority in an 18 April special election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia. In three of the five special elections for the U.S. lower house held this spring candidates won by margins of less than 4%.

  • Cyberattacks can affect election outcomes. Prime Minister Theresa May’s reputation may have been damaged by the 12 May attack on the National Health Service by the Wanna Cry Ransomware. The perpetrators of that attack have never been identified, but Corbyn quickly capitalized upon it, much as Donald J. Trump took advantage of the “leaking” of hacked emails containing damaging information about his opponent Hillary Clinton.

  • More cyberwarfare can be expected in future election campaigns. A strong possibility is that hackers will next try to change actual results in electoral computer systems. A secret report from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) leaked to The Intercept website on 5 June alleges that Russian military intelligence made systematic attempts to hack U.S. election authorities’ computers in 2016.

There is one clear lesson we can learn from the General Election. The political upheaval characterized by Trump and Brexit is far from over. Investors and everybody else should prefer for many more nasty surprises at the polls in months and years to come.


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