Analysis

Ariana Grande Concert Blast: Manchester Attack to Highlight Security Credentials Ahead of U.K. Vote

Incumbent premier Theresa May, a previous home secretary, has been focusing on 'strong and stable' leadership, while Corbyn might find himself at distinct disadvantage

Medics deploy at the scene of an explosion during a concert in Manchester, England, on May 23, 2017.
PAUL ELLIS/AFP

The Monday night attack at a Manchester arena that left 22 dead and dozens more wounded comes as Britain prepares for a snap general election on June 8.

Issues surrounding Brexit, the NHS and the personalities of incumbent premier Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have so far dominated the campaign. A Conservative landslide has long been predicted.

The Manchester attack is likely to highlight the security credentials of both candidates, leaving Corbyn at a distinct disadvantage.

Although there was a terror attack at the heart of Westminster in March in which six people were killed, security concerns have not yet featured in any major way. This, while Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe" meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely.

But the message relentlessly put forward by May, previously a hardline Home Secretary, has focused on the words “strong and stable” leadership.

Corbyn has already proved vulnerable to attack for his apparent past sympathies toward the IRA. He has emphasized his preference for “talking to all sides” and famously once referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends.”