UK general election result is political lesson for Tories.

If one thing is clear from the results of last night’s general election, it’s that politicians still haven’t realised that they cannot use their positions of power to do whatever they like, and that they are ultimately held to account by the electorate.

The Liberal Democrats learnt the hard way in 2015 when, following their successful campaign of the previous election after which they were able to use their 57 seats to form a coalition government with David Cameron’s Conservatives, the majority of Lib Dem MPs quickly turned their back on pledges that had helped to elect them.

That so many of the party’s politicians chose to go back on their pre-election promise on issues such as tuition fees resulted in the loss of all but eight of their Parliamentary seats.

The Conservatives haven’t been punished to anywhere near the same extent, but have nonetheless suffered a damaging result for the party – and one which seemed unthinkable only six weeks ago.

A campaign that was run entirely around strengthening Theresa May’s House of Commons majority has instead seen the party’s existing majority wiped out entirely. Rather than a Government formed from a landslide election victory that the Tories arrogantly expected to achieve, the country has been plunged into another period of uncertainty, with many of the nation’s voters turning against the Prime Minister.

The election result is made even more remarkable when taking into account that UKIP opted not to place candidates in many key marginal constituencies, expecting that their voters would switch to the Tories and help create a government out of a party whose intention for a brutal exit from the European Union was more in line with UKIP policy than the more cautious approach planned by all other major parties.

Rarely has such a dramatic shift in popularity occurred over such a short space of time, but whilst the fortunes of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have certainly improved as the election campaign has progressed, it is the Tories themselves who are most responsible for being the architects of their own downfall.

Despite calling an election and setting the date, and therefore holding an advantage over their opponents in preparing for such an event, the Conservative manifesto took much longer to appear than the pledges made by rival parties. When it did finally arrive, there was an notable absence of specific detail from their proposed policies, and a sense that they felt as if their enormous lead over Labour in the polls was strong enough that simply participating in the election would guarantee a large gain in seats.

When asked about specifics during a televised question and answer session with the members of the public, Theresa May generally failed to give additional clarity, and pointed to public consultations that would take place after the election as a way of explaining when and how the detail would occur.

What became clear was that the Tories simply wanted to be in a position strong enough that they would enjoy the freedom to do whatever they wanted for the next five years – with the public only finding out precisely what each policy entailed once the keys for Downing Street had been handed to the Conservative leader.

But beyond all of the political rhetoric and tiresome pre-rehearsed soundbites, there was nothing new being offered by the Conservatives. No effort was being made to truly earn the votes needed to secure a big majority; votes that were being arrogantly taken for granted.

Instead, the tactics used by senior Tory politicians relied heavily on singing the praises of Theresa May, whilst dishing out personal attacks on Labour candidates which all too often sunk to depths that were nothing short of bullying.

And that’s why the Tories have got exactly what they deserve. With the highest general election turnout in more than 20 years, and people across the country keen to make their voice heard, the message once more is that voters simply won’t tolerate the kind of politics in which politicians or the parties they represent believe that they can do whatever they want – and get away with it.

It’s a message that couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Conservatives, and in an already turbulent political climate, with the most crucial of negotiations set to begin in under two weeks’ time, the most important lesson whilst still holding some form of power – be it as a minority government or as part of a coalition – is that it’s time for them to listen and better represent people across the whole country. Not just part of it.

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