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TMay’s desire to fight the next election makes a challenge this autumn more likely

August 31st, 2017

Maybe the plan is to bring things to a head

By announcing overnight her desire to carry on as CON leader and Prime Minister until the next general election Mrs May has effectively changed the terms of trade with her party following the disappointing outcome to the general election.

The widespread view that she would depart after Brexit sometime in 2019 had been broadly bought by the parliamentary party and had made a challenge this year less likely.

Now she has upset that balance and we could see some sort of move in the period after the Party Conference in the first week of October.

For a challenge to take place at least 15% of Tory MPs (48) have to write to the chairman of the 1922 committee requesting such a move. It was reported during the summer that the Committee chair, Graham Brady has had about 15 such letters already.

TMay’s major problem is that she called an unnecessary election which saw the end of the small majority that her predecessor, David Cameron, had managed to achieve. The campaign which focused very much on herself exposed her personally even more when things did not quite work out as was planned.

All this was not helped by the expectations of a big majority fueled by many of the pollsters overstating the Conservative position in relation to Labour.

When pressed on her ambitions in the interview yesterday Theresa May could easily have by-passed the point by saying that the big thing for her and the government at the moment was focusing on successful outcome to the Brexit negotiations.

    I just wonder whether all this was pre-planned and that the Prime Minister would rather like to bring this to a head earlier rather than later.

Certainly if there was a move against her in the next few weeks which she was able to survive then her position would undoubtedly be much stronger. Clearly this is a gamble but one, perhaps, that is worth taking.

Ladbrokes has been offering 5/1 that she’ll still be PM in 2020 which seems a good bet. I’ve had a punt.

Mike Smithson