h1

Three reasons why I am not betting on an early general election

March 7th, 2017

The Prime Minister says there won’t be one and I believe her

One thing that we have learnt about Theresa May since she took over Downing Street last July is that she does endeavour to follow the statement she makes. She has said repeatedly that there will be no election and it would appear highly opportunistic for her to go against that. It would also be out of character.

Labour will not vote for one given their double digit polling deficits

The Fixed Term Parliament Act states that the only way an election can be called short of a confidence motion being lost is for the House of Commons to pass a motion by a two-thirds majority. That means that LAB would have to vote for one and in the current context it is hard to see that happening.

Although Corbyn has said in the past that he would support such a move the polling has moved so much against his party that it really is very hard to see him giving his support to something that would produce a Tory Landslide. The many backbench MPs who could find themselves out of a job would also be very reluctant.

The Tories moving a vote of no confidence in themselves would look absurd

The act does allow a general election to be called if the government loses a vote of no confidence and that has not been overturned within two weeks. The optics the Tories doing this on themselves would be simply appalling and would be very hard to explain. It would all sound so devious as a means of getting round the law and you could see the Andrew Neil’s of this world giving a good grilling to those CON MPs who backed it asking whether they had confidence in the Mrs May’s government or not.

The betting favourite is for an election in 2020 or beyond. I’m sticking with that.

Mike Smithson