General Election 2017: Deaf people respond to Labour’s surge and the Conservatives missing a majority

Posted on June 9, 2017

Our readers and writers have been telling us how they feel this morning following the General Election result which surprisingly (or not surprisingly, depending on which poll you believed before the vote) deprived the Conservatives of a majority, while Labour surged in the polls.

Here they are, below, with more being added as people get in touch. (Comments on this post may also be added to the body of the article!)

Jen Dodds (Jen is a contributor to this site, read more of her articles here!)

I’m thrilled to see that so many people have registered to vote and voted for the first time in this election, and that an amazing 72% of people under 25 voted.  This is fantastic!  No matter what happens next in Parliament, this is a big shift.  You are the change that we need to see in the UK – thank you!  Also, access to information in BSL has really improved, with lots of discussions and manifestos in BSL, which is so important.  I’ve been feeling disillusioned politically, but now for the first time in quite a while, I’m feeling hopeful and excited about Britain’s future.

Maria Grazia Zedda

I’m really pleased about the election results because it sends a strong message that the British People want change, an egalitarian society and are tired of the contempt and lies of divisive press and media. Young people have turned up in droves. A Labour newly elected MP is a disability activist and the other is a Sikh. It fills me with hope for the future of my children ❤️🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

John Walker (John is a contributor to LC, read his writing for us here)

As much as I would love to see a coalition of parties that support the legal recognition of BSL, the Tories are the largest party and can easily form a coalition with DUP (with a very small majority). I live in hope.

Alexandra Broderick

I’d have to say mixed feelings that we didn’t get labour majority but in some ways relieved that conservatives haven’t got the majority unless they come to an agreement with DUP. It’s a very clear sign that people aren’t happy with the conservatives do want change. It all depends on what TM does next. Ideally I’d rather for her to resign cos her campaign has been a complete car crash especially not turning up for debate. I live in hope !

Rebecca-Anne Withey (Rebecca is a contributor to LC, read her writing for us here)

I am personally glad that the hung Parliament reflects how much we’ve changed in such a short time and the increase in Labour votes only demonstrates (to me) how their campaign and promises to the Deaf community has been really well received. I am unsure how I feel about the Tories linking up with another party [to form a new government] but I’m glad that it’s clear Britain is ready for change and the need to work together seems more apparent than ever.

Isabel Reid

June is the end of May isn’t it. #fairandstable @UKLabour #progressive #coalitionOfhope @jeremycorbyn is the man (as posted on my twitter this morning)…

Emily Howlett (Emily is a contributor to LC, read her writing for us here)

I am tentatively positive that at least each side will get a chance to debate and discuss things now, which is surely a good outcome. Hopeful that it seems people are making up their own minds instead of being swayed by the media, which grows less trustworthy by the day! I am inspired by the turnout percentages if they are accurate! People are engaging and taking responsibility for their communities, whichever way they voted.


Glad the strong and stable leader has fallen off her high horses ‘The Result’ today what a mess !! What can I say – I am fed up of the pontificating on air already so will have a self-imposed news blackout today.

@Limping_Chicken I would to say ‘Hope for UK especially for Deaf community’s future.’ Inshallah.
9 Jun 2017 10:05

Victoria Natasha Eve Bishop

My feelings about the result have more to do with the fact I’m disabled and waiting for a transplant than with my deafness I think. I personally don’t sign, could never get the hang of it but I would like to see BSL legally recognised. But right now I’m worried about the Tories forming a government and it’s effects on the NHS, my disability benefits and inclusion (Europe and beyond) #JC4PM

Jo Hearn

I have new hope that Britain is returning to ideas of equality and social justice that can only benefit Deaf people and our community. I am lucky that when I was in my 20s there seemed to be boundless opportunity for Deaf people, there were jobs, opportunities and many Deaf businesses springing up.

That changed with austerity and now things that seemed possible for Deaf and disabled people often feel impossible. There are more barriers and less equality. I am hopeful that the tide has changed and the British public are buying into ideas about looking after everyone in society again, rather than just corporations and the lucky few.

I am hopeful that socialism brings the chance of the glass ceiling being raised again or disappearing altogether. Jeremy Corbyn believes that when you hold people back from their true potential, they lose out, society loses out, we all lose out.

Three days ago, I was at a Jeremy Corbyn rally where John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, spoke. The first thing he said was, “Thanks to the sign language interpreters and in Government Labour will give BSL legal status, the status that it deserves”.

There were only a few Deaf people there but we leapt to our feet. To see the crowd, full of hearing people, cheering BSL recognition so enthusiastically, was something beyond what I have experienced before.

I hope that Deaf people up and down the country will take the time to look beyond the inaccurate portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn’s beliefs by the newspapers and the BBC, and come to see that he represents the best hope that Deaf people have had in a generation for equality with fewer barriers and easier, more fulfilled lives.

Hopefully he, or someone like him will go on to win the next general election but he needs the Deaf Community to stand by him, like he has stood by us.

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