So the election in the Labour party is over and Jeremy Corbyn has been reelected with a larger majority. He has now put the Labour party onto an election footing with an expectation of a new election sometime in the spring of next year. He is confident that he will win and become the next Prime Minister. My initial reaction was that he would say that but the electoral maths just don’t add up. However I have given this some thought and I think I have come up with a series of interconnected events that might just propel Corbyn to No. 10:
Event No. 1 – The government is defeated at the Supreme Court over article 50 activation.
In the next few weeks the Supreme Court is to decide whether the Prime Minister rather than Parliament as a whole can activate article 50 (the mechanism to leave the EU). At the moment the government are very confident of their position and have said that they have a very good legal advice. Those of us who have been watching these things for sometime know that such bravado isn’t always well placed and government legal advice can turn out to be not worth the paper it is written on. So there is a chance that the challenge to the government could win and if it does then we will really be in uncharted waters. I suspect there is a 30% chance of the government being defeated;
Event No. 2 – Donald Trump is elected President and then very early on does something really stupid.
The chances of Donald Trump being elected President of the United States I would suspect is around 40%. If this were the case then the chances of him overreacting to some incident in the early months of his Presidency has got to be high, perhaps 70%. The chances of him doing something really stupid, such as carpet bombing Syria in response to an ISIS attack in the USA, is impossible to judge but if he were then I suspect an awful lot of people would start to wonder if the USA is a reliable friend anymore. This might in turn make people think again about the EU. These are really big assumptions and so are impossible to give odds to. What is for sure it will make the political world in the UK even more unstable;
Event No. 3 – The House of Commons refuses to activate article 50.
In one sense this is the British constitution in action. The House of Commons is supreme and its decisions out rank any decision suggested by a referendum. In fact it can be argued that this is exactly what the Brexiters were fighting for but I suspect they won’t see it that way. What this would mean is that this will give the current government ample reasons to enact the Fixed Term Parliament act and call a no confidence motion over the enactment of article 50. They might just lose i.e win this and a general election will be called. I suspect there is a high chance of the House of Commons rejecting Article 50 – perhaps 60%. As for the no confidence motion that is a little more trickier but I suspect it is 50%;
Event No. 4 – The Labour party realises that they have little chance on their own of winning an election and decide to enter a coalition of the left.
With Scotland gone, Wales and northern England looking shaky the power brokers within the Labour party realise that there only real chance of Government is with a tacit electoral alliance with other left leaning political parties such as the LibDems, the Greens and the SNP. At the moment the chances of this happening between now and and next Spring is almost zero as the Labour hierarchy are buoyed up by the massive increase in membership and the mirage that is Momentum. However, as the Conservatives start to consume themselves over Europe perhaps, just perhaps, Labour might sense a chance of victory if the Conservatives fail to keep their majority. UKIP is the real unknown here but if the House of Commons refuses to enact article 50 then they will be boosted and may well attract a significant number of voters. The downside is that they will come from Labour as well as the Conservatives but as Labour will be aiming to be the largest party in a grand coalition of the left this may well not be such a bad thing. This will also mean that the pact will have to be explicit and so where another left leaning party is the second party Labour will have to refuse to put up a candidate and their party machine will have to get behind the other candidate. These are huge ifs but if it means the chance of a truly leftwing government coming to power in the Spring then perhaps the Labour party might be willing to take the plunge. Equally, the other left of centre parties are going to have to do the same which may not be such a problem. However, the chances of all this happening is perhaps no more than 10%
So the chances of this scenario coming about is about 1% which isn’t much at all. However, given the electoral map as it stands these are better odds than should the Conservative government somehow get around the confines of the Fixed Term Parliament act and call an election next Spring and Labour winning an overall majority. This would require the SNP to collapse, UKIP to disband and the current popularity of Jeremy Corbyn in the wider world beyond the Labour party to sky rocket. If these were to happen then Corbyn may well be the next Prime Minister. I’ll let you decide which is more likely.
Note to Editors or Readers.
I haven’t got the first clue about any of these things and many of the predictions I have made in this blog about a whole range of things have been wide of the mark. However, my guess is valid as anyone else so take your pick.