Theresa May was determined to suggest that nothing had really changed in her statement outside Downing Street after seeing the Queen. She talked about her plans for the next five years, which is—to put it mildly—ambitious. She emphasised the mandate that came from the Brexit referendum, but made no real reference to last night’s events. She emphasised certainty and indicated it was all business as usual.
Tonally, May’s approach was a mistake. It would have been better to level with voters about what had happened, to tell the country that she would work to regain its trust. It is jarring to talk about how the country needs certainty, when the election that you called has injected huge uncertainty into the political system.
As Prime Minister, May’s attitude has been never explain, never apologise. But she would have been wise to show some contrition and humility today.