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Thursday, 16 March 2017

A General Election? This year? No thanks

Recent events have suggested that Theresa May would be wise to call a General Election sooner rather than later - Parliament Act not withstanding.

Word on the street is that the decision to back down on raising Class 4 NIC payments was made after the chair of the 1922 committee had a quiet word with the PM to inform her that there was no chance of forcing it through with her current, narrow majority. This demonstrates the weakness of her position - and she'll have tougher fights than this in the Brexit years ahead. Given the position of Labour, a far bigger majority seems assured if she goes to the country.

Her hand may be further forced by the police investigation into alleged election spend irregularities, that has now been passed on to the CPS.  If things go badly, the current Tory majority could melt away - making the call of a new General Election irresistible.

Now - thanks to the Parliament Act, that election will only occur with support across the political divide in the Commons - and current thinking seems to suggest that we would be delighted to acquiesce. Cheered by Richmond Park, polling (as Neil Monnery has pointed out) at 23% in London, and coming from such a low base, we can only (surely) improve our Parliamentary standing.

But, I fear it will be a case of be careful what you wish for. However well we do, a Labour implosion suggests we will see a new Tory government with a much bigger majority, and a fresh 5 year mandate. Who knows the havoc they will wreak with such a majority. And there will be little we can do to stop it.

I fear I'd rather see a Tory PM defending a wafer thin majority while she negotiated Brexit, rather than a braying mass of Brexit maniacs sitting behind her.

It seems to me to be the lesser of 2 evils.


6 comments:

  1. If we have an election in 2017 the following election will be in 2022, maybe 3 years after we leave the EU. That might be a bit risky. An election in 2020 would be in the wake of Mrs May achieving our withdrawal from the EU and before any adverse consequences become apparent. Opinion polls do not seem to reflect actual voting in real elections so there is no guarantee of a Conservative victory and Mrs May does not want to be out of office after less than one year as Prime Minister.

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