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Some in the Shadow Cabinet want an early election but Corbyn, surely, will want to wait

October 22nd, 2019


Chart of Betfair market from betdata.io

According to this Guardian Tweet there was discussion at the Shadow cabinet this morning over the timing of the general election with one or two pressing for an early contest.

As has been observed many times we are in a unique situation over this. Sure Johnson wants one as soon as possible because his government is in a minority and he’ll struggle to get anything through. Unfortunately for him the timing is no longer in the gift of the incumbent PM.

A big moment in the past few weeks was when Johnson moved a for an election under the terms of the FPTA and Corbyn didn’t respond.  The assumption uptil that point was that opposition leaders would always take the chance of an election if offered.  This led to a media frenzy calling him chicken but that was to no avail. Corbyn will move the necessary VONC at a time that he wants it not Johnson.

For the PM to call an election he needs the backing of two thirds of all MPs. For Corbyn he just requires a simple majority.

I think it pretty clear that the betting markets are right about this year on which the odds have moved out. But what about next year?

In many ways it is good for Labour to watch Johnson struggle losing Commons vote after Commons vote .

My guess is that Labour would want the election to be less about Brexit and more about the issues that most benefit them – the NHS, public service and so on.  A good time to call it might be in February after a winter when the NHS has been struggling to cope.

Clearly the LAB leadership will be watching the polls and the party needs to recover somewhat before making a move.

Mike Smithson