IT is said that Michael Foot’s 1983 left-wing manifesto was “the longest suicide note in history”, but Theresa May must be reflecting this morning how she has shot herself in the head.

She said she would never call a snap election only to call a snap election for blatantly personal political reasons. This irritated voters from the start and she then refused to appear on their TV screens to discuss the irritation.

She made her own personality the centrepiece of her campaign – “Team Theresa” – only for the public to see that her personality had little human warmth to it.

She made her strength and stability a virtue, but ended up in a weaker position in her party and in the European negotiations.

She called it “the Brexit election”, but then had nothing of substance to say about Brexit.

She wound up the one sector of society guaranteed to vote for her – pensioners – by threatening to take away their homes, to pay for their care bills, and their winter fuel payments, although Scottish pensioners were to be allowed to keep all of their £300 because the weather up there is a bit colder, as if meteorological depressions respect boundaries drawn on a map.

She asked for a mandate of her own, and the British people said no.

And yet, for all that, she wasn’t beaten. She hasn’t been forced out of office. She’s still in Downing Street.

But she’s a lame duck prime minister, her wings tied by hardline Brexiteers and her feet tethered to ten Irish MPs who want softer arrangements with the EU. How she will ever be able to fly free, to conduct the most important negotiations in a generation on her own terms, is hard to see. And there will always be contenders waiting to shoot her down – think Boris with a blunderbuss.

So if one side hasn’t won, can the other claim a victory? Jeremy Corbyn looked triumphant yesterday, saluting his supporters with his pencil-thin red tie at half mast.

And it is true that he has had a good campaign – let’s be charitable and forget those absent-minded Abbott-esque moments in the radio studio. It is true the people discovered that he’s probably a decent bloke at heart, and that he’s certainly not the left-wing monster portrayed by the right-wing media.

And it is true that he energised the youth vote. Political wisdom is that elections are only won from the centre ground, but Mr Corbyn found new ground by attracting additional voters into the process, as the increased turnout shows.

Seventy-two per cent of 18 to 24 years old are believed to have voted, up from 43 per cent in 2015, but it must be hoped that they haven’t become disillusioned when they are next asked to vote and they realise that sky-high tuition fees are still around their necks because Mr Corbyn hasn’t been able to remove them.

Mr Corbyn only did well because so little was expected of him.

Once the vet put Ukip out of its misery, the election became a two horse race, and Mr Corbyn increased his party’s share of the vote by ten per cent – but whereas some people voted Labour because of him, others voted Labour despite him. They voted Labour because if they didn’t like the jockey on the Conservative runner, they had nowhere else to go.

Mr Corbyn won only 30 more seats than Ed Miliband, who was branded a loser and drummed out of office, and Labour is still 65 seats away from forming a majority government – is that a gap that Mr Corbyn can close? Or is it a gap that the likes of Sedgefield’s Phil Wilson will feel obliged to point out still exists because it is holding the party back?

So it is hard to spot a winner. Ukip are leaderless with Nigel Farage stalking the studios and raising the spectre of an umpteenth comeback. The Lib Dems failed to show they are seriously a third party: they lost their most charismatic performer, Nick Clegg, although the return of Jo Swinson is a plus. The SNP, unbelievably, surrendered a position of invincibility with all the other parties taking chunks out of them, and their ultimate cause – independence – is now further away than it was at the start of the campaign.

Even Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader who was wonderfully human in comparison to Mrs May and delivered a stunning Scottish advance, now finds her party tied to Ulster MPs who despise her sexuality.

Just as David Cameron sleepwalked Britain out of the EU, calling a referendum for personal reasons rather than principle, so Theresa May, who called an election for personal reasons rather than principle, has weakened Britain’s position as it gropes for the most appropriate exit door. In an election of losers, the country is the biggest.