UK Election 2017: As Theresa May goes head-to-head with Jeremy Corbyn, here's what the British press says

The 2017 United Kingdom general election is scheduled to take place on Thursday. The voters will elect the 650 members who comprise the House of Commons. The election was not due till 2020 but Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election after receiving the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Commons. This move was widely regarded as one which would give her the necessary political capital to execute the UK's exit from the European Union. Let's take a look at what the various major print publications have to say about the elections.

The broadsheets:

The Guardian sees the election as a straight choice between a Labour or a Conservative government. This return of two-party politics is a result of the Brexit vote that ended up shrinking the vote of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats. It also sees this election as unnecessary and says that May (who leads the Conservatives) has called for it to become "the unchallenged interpreter of Brexit". It generally has a poor view of May as it calls her a poor judge of campaign tactics.

Britain's prime minister and Conservative party leader Theresa May. AP

Britain's prime minister and Conservative party leader Theresa May. AP

The Guardian has many issues with Jeremy Corbyn (leader of the Labour Party) as well but feels that he has had a good campaign. It concludes with endorsing him as much for his good qualities as for its objective of stopping the Conservatives.

The Observer which comes from the same publishing stable as the Guardian has roughly the same view. It calls May as being undeserving of the country's support and that she had called the election on "specious grounds". It finds Corbyn's campaign to be a well-run one but questions his credentials as a leader. It concludes in a cop-out of sorts as it finds neither prime ministerial candidate worthy of the voters' overwhelming support but asks the voters to support the local candidate "most likely to advance a progressive future in Europe and at home, the one who is most likely to oppose Theresa May’s pro-austerity, hard Brexit vision for Britain."


The Financial Times sees the election as being a tight one. Its outlook of May is that of a curiously brittle leader. It doesn't find Corbyn to be ideal either and finds both their leaderships to be equally vague.

The publication portrays the choice as being one of picking the lesser of two evils. Corbyn is seen to be a fringe figure who has spent his entire career in opposition and whose party is unfit for government. It finds May to be a safer bet but warns her to change her management style and to bring in the best and the brightest experts.

The Independent sees a vote for the Conservatives as being one for a hard stance on Brexit. May has been seen to have an assumed mandate on a hard Brexit. It also sees a vote for them as endorsing her as being "the least worst choice for the future". The publication sees Corbyn as having run a good campaign but questions his leadership qualities as exhibited in the opposition.

It does not endorse either candidate but asks the voters to vote for the individual candidates. It does however feel that May should not get a huge majority as it might lead to a hard Brexit.

The tabloids:

The Sun has constantly been on the side of the Conservatives. It finds the choice to be a clear-cut one and the ­conclusion to be obvious. It finds the party to be "serious, grown-up and honest about Britain’s problems and the difficult solutions to them." It believes Corbyn's "Marxist manifesto" will destroy the economy which has been painstakingly rebuilt by the Conservatives. It implores voters to vote Conservative.


The Daily Mail asks the voters to unite behind May as it will give her a mandate of her own. This will ensure that she makes a good deal with the European Union which will be reflective of both the needs and desires of the people. It doesn't even mention Corbyn by name and laments the fact that there is no viable Opposition to the Conservatives. It asks the Labour Party to do its job properly as the future of the UK is at stake.

File image of Jeremy Corbyn. Reuters

File image of Jeremy Corbyn. Reuters

The Daily Express, while sure that May would stroll to victory, reminds its readers that nothing is certain and there is no room for complacency. It asks the voters whose allegiance lies with other parties to rise above political affiliation and vote for "the ultimate goal — a return of sovereignty an control of our own borders".

The Daily Mirror has a radically different take from the other tabloids as despite not finding either candidate perfect, it sees the choice as being a clear one. It found Labour's manifesto as being "a thought-out blueprint for a new Britain" and is feels that a Corbyn-led government is in the best interest of its readers.

In summation:

The outlook for UK seems bleak regardless of who comes to power. Having voted to leave the European Union, the British are now at a pivotal point in history where a strong leader could make all the difference.

Sadly, most papers have come to the same conclusion that neither of the prime ministerial candidates are ideal. The broadsheets while taking a sombre view of the situation, have endorsed candidates largely based along their traditional readership base. Notable exceptions are The Observer and The Independent, who have not endorsed any candidate but have asked the voters to vote on the basis of their local candidate.

The tabloids have been much more decisive as the majority have backed May and asked the voters to give her a majority in order for her to negotiate with the EU from a position of power. The Daily Mirror differs from the others as it just as emphatically recommends Corbyn.

The choice for the UK voters now resembles the one faced by the US voters in the 2016 Presidential Election. They have to choose the better of two evils and regardless of who they vote for, they will not walk out of the voting booth satisfied.


Published Date: Jun 07, 2017 03:50 pm | Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017 10:31 am



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