Following the latest developments in the Commons it is clear that the house as currently constituted is going to be troublesome for the prime minister whoever he or she is for as long as we don’t have a general election.
Theresa May’s decision in April two years ago to go early to the country has proved to be something of a disaster and if indeed she had achieved what she was hoping to do then the parliamentary arithmetic would have been much less tight. So there was nothing wrong with her strategy calling the election it was just her delivery and campaign methodology.
The big challenge facing Conservatives is that there are few indications that a new election would produce an an outright majority for the party. The gap between the reds and blues is too tight and too close for comfort.
But it maybe, just maybe, that this seems the only alternative for the party. It might also be that there’s a new Conservative leader pretty soon who wants to assert his or her authority by winning a mandate of their own.
That Theresa May lost seats after calling an election when the Tories were 20% up in the polls is going to continue to jinx whoever leads the party.
Looking at the voting intention polling on the outcome of a hypothetical election within the next two to three months it’s hard to see either LAB or the Conservatives winning a majority and the chances are that it would be as tight as it currently is at the moment.
Another factor is whether an early election would consolidate as a political force TIG or Change UK – which both main parties would hate to do. Heidi Allen and her team would love the opportunity to test their electoral potency against the current political backcloth. The first task will be holding their own seats and that, I’d suggest, is going to be harder to do the longer it is since their break from the Tory and LAB parties.
The current betting on a 2019 General Election is that its a 45% chance. That seems about right.