As we enter the 2020’s, it’s time to take a look back at some of the biggest political moments of the previous decade.
Starting in 2010 ,when, after the general election, the Conservative party entered into coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. This coalition was the first UK Government coalition since 1945 and introduced several policies such as Universal Credit and the fixed term parliaments Act.During the coalition which lasted for five years between 2010 to 2015, 2 different referendums were called , the “Alternative vote” referendum of 2011 and the Scottish independence referendum in Scotland in 2014. David Cameron was also the youngest prime minister of the UK for over a century when he took office.
The Scottish independence referendum-September 2014
After the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2011 , the SNP won 69 seats out of 129 and formed a majority government led by then SNP leader Alex Salmond on a manifesto which committed to a referendum bill in the next parliament. The campaign was split into two main campaigns “Better Together” who wanted Scotland to remain in the UK and “Yes Scotland” who were pro scottish independence . Both the referendum result and the referendum campaign itself had consequences for the political landscape of Scotland with Alex Salmond resigning as First Minister of Scotland after losing the referendum in which 55% of voters wanted Scotland to stay in the UK and the Smith Commission which recommended further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament. The debate around whether Scotland should be independent still plays a role in the Scottish political landscape to a large extent with the issue featuring in parties’ campaigns during the general election last month.
The EU referendum- June 2016
The EU referendum which took place in June 2016 was a big political moment , the UK voted 52% to leave the European Union and 48% to remain which meant that Britain would be the first ever country to leave the EU. The day after the referendum , David Cameron, who backed remaining in the EU announced that he would be stepping down as Prime Minister. The EU referendum aftermath also saw a Conservative party leadership contest ,Nigel Farage resign as leader of UKIP and the creation of a new government department focused on Brexit policy and alongside that a cabinet position named Secretary of State for Brexit.
The 2017 general election
On June 7th 2017, the then prime minister Theresa May lost the Conservative majority which was won at the previous general election in 2015 when the party was led by David Cameron, winning 318 seats compared to the 331 seats at the previous election. Labour won 262 seats. The SNP also lost seats at the 2017 election reducing their number of seats by 21. In the aftermath of the 2017 general election , having not gained a majority Theresea May sought to make a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP in order to gain a working majority in the House of Commons.
2019 General election
In December last year, the most recent and last general election of the decade took place , Labour suffered its worst election result since 1935 whilst the Conservative Party gained its highest majority since the 1987. The SNP saw an increase in their number of seats from 35 seats to 48. At this election several high profile politicians lost their seats, Jo Swinson the now former leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, now former DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and Dennis Skinner who was an Labour party MP for 49 years between 1970 until 2019. In the aftermath of the 2019 general election, Jeremy Corbyn has announced he will be stepping down as UK Labour leader later this year. In Scotland , the Scottish Parliament has voted to reject legislative consent for Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement.
Feature image credit: indy100
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