Will There Be A Snap General Election? Here’s The Answer
TruePublica Editor: The odds are stacked against it. I think this is a scare tactic pushed out to put some dissenters to Theresa May’s plans back in their boxes. The fear of losing seats again in what would prove to be just as unpredictable an event as the last fiasco that saw the Tory majority slashed would be too much even for this shower running the government to contemplate. And yet, with all the mismanagement, scandals, secrecy and uncertainty, Jeremy Corbyn’s rise seems to be slipping away.
Detailed data from the Observer Opinium poll paints a very different picture to that of the one we have seen since the last GE where Corbyn picked off the youth vote with ease. In every published survey since the election Opinium had found that the Labour leader had clear leads amongst the young segment to the “best PM” question when the options are May or Corbyn.
Corbyn had retained a constant lead amongst the young until this latest one. Now May is the top choice for the 18-34 year old segment with a lead of 4%. Given this group’s hostile attitude towards leaving the EU, it is surprising to see this switch.
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It appears that Corbyn and his party are being heavily damaged by their interminable ambiguity over Brexit and the non-stop antisemitism row (albeit, the latter is hardly going to sway a GE vote). I would also tend to suggest that there are growing middle-class fears that Labour will burden many parents with new taxes – whilst the next generation is still at home, just at the point when max-fear over actually leaving the EU is just down the road. This is a political and economic white-knuckle ride, so who are you going to vote for in times of extreme choppy waters?
HuffPost, Bloomberg, the Daily Mail, Spectator and many others wrote at the weekend something like – Conservative MPs are bracing themselves for another snap general election amid fears the problems of Brexit will topple Theresa May.
Politics Home wrote: “Backbenchers went home and urged their local associations to re-adopt them as candidates after a meeting in Downing Street this week about customs after Brexit, according to the Sunday Times.
It comes amid a bitter row in the party over whether the UK should adopt a closer ‘customs partnership’ regime with the EU or a more distant ‘maximum facilitation’ system.”
The Times reported that one Tory said rather than be reassured by a Downing Street meeting they came out expecting Mrs May to face a vote of no confidence after repeated parliamentary defeats.
They told the paper: “It’s becoming clear there’s no compromise that will keep remainers such as Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve happy as well as the likes of myself and Jacob Rees-Mogg…
“The numbers are against us and if we face repeated defeats when the withdrawal bill returns to the Commons, the only alternative will be to kick over the table and trigger a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, which will likely lead to another general election.
Mike Smithson at Political Betting put it this way:
At the weekend we saw reports in the media about the possibility of the huge divide in the Conservative over Brexit being of such a magnitude that an early, 2018, general election was the only way of ending it.
I thought the Sunday Times report was over-egged simply because Mrs. May was so scarred by her failure to retain the Tory majority last year that there were no circumstances in which she would take such a gamble again. The idea of her going into another campaign for which, as we saw, she was so psychologically unsuited to handle is hard to comprehend.
It is also hard to see another party leader being put in place this year for it is convenient for both sides within the party to leave her in the role until Brexit at the earliest. In any case, the party’s processes make it difficult to oust her.
Sure it only takes 48 CON MPs to write letters demanding a confidence vote of the parliamentary party for one to be triggered. But the other key number is that for her to lose that ballot requires 150+ CON MPs to vote against her and there isn’t that level of support.
On top of that, there appears even within the parliamentary party to be a lack of appreciation of the Fixed Term Parliament Act and what is required to trigger an election.
The other factor that helps Mrs May is that the Tories have established what is looking like a solid lead in the polls which diminishes the threat of Prime Minister Corbyn.
The Betfair exchange did see the odds on a 2018 election move to 15% but there was little to support it staying at the level and the price has slipped back.
Currently, BetData puts the following percentages to a general election:
The punters betting their cash on the bet of a snap general election are sticking with the rules of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, unlike the clowns in parliament who don’t seem to know the laws they voted for in the frist place.