Ben Lowry: Theresa May is said to be a disaster, but it is hard to see a replacement for her

Prime Minister Theresa May at the state opening of parliament on June 21 2017. She is said to be finished politically, but who will be better? Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May at the state opening of parliament on June 21 2017. She is said to be finished politically, but who will be better? Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Have you noticed how it is now an accepted fact that Theresa May’s premiership is disastrous?

How it is now agreed that she must go as soon as there is a replacement?

How we can all now see that she is tone deaf and awkward socially and politically at sea without her advisors?

Interesting that.

If Ms May had won 0.25% more of the vote and had scraped a dozen or so extra Conservative seats, none of this would be said.

If the general election had so much as increased the number of Tory MPs by one, then it would have been deemed worthwhile.

Why? Because even with slightly more than the number of seats she had in the last Parliament, the Tory position would be radically improved.

The party would not face another election for five years, backbench discipline would have been more likely and the 10 DUP seats would have been there as a possible cushion if the Tories began to lose ground late in the parliament through deaths and so on.

The UK would be in a strong position for the Brexit talks.

Yet now, with the Tories only a few seats below that scenario, Mrs May is – it is widely claimed – finished. Most respected Conservative commentators have said so.

I was late in seeing how the campaign was going wrong, because so much of my information comes from reading.

Other colleagues who watch more TV were more alert to what was happening.

One mentioned weeks ago how Jeremy Corbyn was pulling huge crowds and perhaps this was a harbinger.

Another said that Mrs May was dreadful in her early interviews and appearances.

But while I was not watching much TV, I was monitoring the polls and was aware how Labour was rising steadily.

It is hard to see how the prime minister can survive now for more than a few more months. But I think she remains above any remotely feasible alternative Tory leader.

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

Ben Lowry: Hardball DUP tactics in Tory talks could one day rebound on unionism

Ben Lowry: The days are getting shorter again