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By a small margin punters think the next general election will happen before Brexit

August 20th, 2019


Chart of Betfair Exchange from Betdata.io

We’ve discussed the timing of the next general election a fair bit on PB and my guess is that we’ll return to it quite often in the next few weeks.

It might not be as easy for a general election to be called as many seem to think. For a general election to take place the Fixed Term Parliaments Act makes it a requirement that two thirds of the entire House of Commons, 433 mps, vote for it.

The problem here is that there are quite a number of MPs in the main two parties who are very much split on Brexit and it might be that you won’t see the same level of unity in either party backing a proposal to go early as happened with Mrs. May in April 2017.

Given current Scottish polling has the Tory position north of the border looking dire maybe not many Scottish Tories would support a BJohnson general election motion. The same could apply to those seats where the LDs, who’ve tripled their GE2017 vote according to several polls, are in contention.

We have a reports of rebels in both the Tories and LAB who are not prepared to follow the leadership line on Brexit related matters. Quite how we quantify this is hard the say but given that some MPs, by voting for an early election, could be voting to deprive themselves of their income and their standing as members of parliament than it could be harder than it appears.

The LAB threats to deselect certain MPs by imposing mandatory re-selection is hardly going to help things.

The other way an election can be called is by the Tories losing a confidence vote which is not rescinded within two weeks. Given the current numbers it is hard to see enough backing the move.

Mike Smithson