It’s the first working day back after the long Easter weekend. Everyone is full from chocolate, roast dinners, and bank holiday tipples, and everything seems fairly sedate in the world of news (apart from impending nuclear doom from North Korea and the US, but let’s not worry about that).
At 10.00am or so, there was word that Theresa May was going to stand on the steps of 10 Downing Street and deliver a statement at 11.15am. A statement on the steps of Westminster is reserved for the biggest Government announcements and the rumours began circulating quickly on social media. Some thought Mrs. May might stand down, or it could be statement on the situation in Syria and North Korea, however after months of saying she wouldn’t do it, she did it, she called a snap General Election, for June 8th. Hear the statement below:
It doesn’t take five minutes to work out why Mrs. May has called an election now, after saying for so long that she wouldn’t go to the polls. The Conservatives are currently enjoying a 21 point lead over Labour in the latest opinion polls which must have crossed the Prime Minister’s mind when making her decision to call this election.
Westminster is probably the most divided it has ever been in recent history. The Conservatives are suffering with a tiny majority and split over Brexit, Labour are still struggling to get behind it’s twice elected leader, and if the polls are to be believed (which to be fair, we do with caution) they are set to lose nearly half of their seats. Theresa May needs stability and needs unity. The country is split in so many different ways – left wing, right wing, liberal, conservative, remainer, leaver, centrist – an election would help re-align Parliament, and enable Theresa May (should she win) to deliver a Conservative manifesto with little interference, whilst also being able to negotiate our terms upon leaving the EU.
In the Con-Lib Dem coalition, the Fixed Term Parliament Act was introduced, meaning an election has to be held every 5 years, no matter what, and if a Prime Minister wants to call one in between ‘fixed elections’, they have to get a 2/3 majority in Parliament. So on first look, it would appear Corbyn stands in May’s way of an election. Surely agreeing to an election would be akin to turkey’s voting for Christmas, due to their poor polling position…
Yep. That’s right. Corbyn is going to agree to one, as is Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats. This election is set to happen, with seemingly major parties wanting to take it head on.
It seems that that political madness of 2016, is set to continue long into 2017.
Over the next 7 weeks, on my Saturday Midday shows, and on these articles, I’ll be exploring what could happen, what’s been going on, who the candidates are, and we’ll hear from people who have something to say. Want to get involved? Tweet me at @_chrisrobertson!