Despite the two horrific recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, today Britons go to the polls to elect their new Prime Minister. The choice is between Theresa May, the projected winner in a landslide, despite her appearance as a somewhat “awkward, scripted, and hollow” candidate, and Jeremy Corbyn, a self-styled socialist who has continually exceeded expectations and has recently been endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
For politicians like Corbyn and Sanders, winning elections is only half of their equations. The other half is being able to provide a coherent voice in order to highlight issues that do not receive much attention in mainstream political discourse. Both men have also succeeded in reinvigorating sectors of the population who have previously felt estranged from politics.
It is also notable that following a terrorist attack, the support for leaders like prime ministers and presidents often increases. For instance, after 9-1-1, George W. Bush’s approval hit its all time high of 90 percent. However, the aftermath of the terrorist attack in the U.K. has not followed this trend.
As the final stages of the campaign come to an end, increased public exposure has resulted in May losing her popularity while Corbyn’s has continued to grow. Despite these late favorable indicators for Corbyn, his chances of winning remain slim. However, it is important to remember that polls are not certain, and politics teaches us over and over again that you cannot predict what an election will bring. While I am not optimistic of a victory, I still have hope that the British public can and will prove me wrong.