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Punters make it a 31% chance that the next general election will be in 2017

December 29th, 2016

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I might be wrong but am yet to be convinced

On the UK front next year looks set to be dominated by BREXIT – the process of extracting the UK from the EU. Doing this successfully is set to be the defining act of Theresa May’s premiership and even though the referendum decision was more than six months ago we still have little idea what this is going to mean.

The PM has managed to keep up her strategy of refusing to get into a discussion on the detail declining, we are told, even requests for enlightenment from the Queen.

The challenge she’s got is that whatever she does it is not going to satisfy all her party’s MPs never mind the country as a whole. She’s also got the ongoing problem of not having a personal mandate. The Tories have a majority because of David Cameron successful GE2015 campaign, not her, and even her CON leadership contest was won without this going to a party members’ ballot.

So the argument goes that there’ll come a time, possibly next year, when she needs to get the public’s backing for the approach to the EU extraction. With Labour looking s weak a general election would seem the logical move.

TM’s position on the Fixed Term Parliament Act has been made easier by the statement by Corbyn before Christmas that Labour would back an early election – something that would almost certainly be required to get round the constraints imposed.

I have three big reservations. On becoming PM she made it clear that she would not seek an election before 2020; a 2017 general election would be fought on the old boundaries, and she appears to be a ditherer on massive decisions which this would be.

So I’m not rushing out to bet.

Mike Smithson