‘Tis the seasons for all things silly so I guess that may well be one of the reasons that we are likely to get Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister. The Conservative press seem to be getting all excited by this and what it might mean for the future going forward. I have even heard Tory backing commentators saying that come next spring Boris could lead the Conservative Party to a 40 to 50 plus majority in any snap election. The assumptions behind this are worth examining for just one moment:
We Leave the EU on the 31st October … ‘Come What May…”
It is far from clear at this point whether this would happen. There are too many variables to assume that this will happen on time;
The fallout from a no deal Brexit won’t be too bad.
I guess if you a fund manager like Jacob Rees Mogg, who has infamously made arrangements for his financial company to establish a base in Dublin to protect it from any fall out over a No Deal Brexit, then your understanding of Too Bad is going to be different to a hill farmer in Cumbria who might rely on farm payments from the EU and suddenly the current system has disappeared over night to be replaced by an untested system run by DEFRA;
The Brexit Party Collapses
There are two things to know about Nigel Farage: First he can’t win UK Parliamentary elections and Second he just doesn’t go away. It would seem unlikely that Nigel and his backers are going to just go away without so much as a whimper and so will have a big say on any election in the Spring – he might even win some MPs but given his track record he is unlikely to be one of them;
The Liberal Democrats will cease to be a force in the South East of England.
Strangely this is assumption is the same as the Brexit Party. The Remain voting Conservatives will return to the Conservative Party once Britain has left the EU as though nothing has happened and finally
Jeremy Corbyn will still be a political force to scare voters with.
It is far from clear how much the anti semitism debacle has stunted Labour’s appeal to voters. If it has then using Jeremy Corbyn as a boogeyman might lose its potency.
I will let you decide whether any of these assumptions are worth the hot air used to extoll them. Before we get to the sunny uplands of Spring next year it is highly likely we will face an election this year – my guess would be towards the end of September. The reason for this is the precarious position of the Conservative majority in the House of Commons and who is retiring from politics at the next election.
On the 1st of August a by election will take place in the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency. It is currently held by the Conservatives but there is a really good chance that the Liberal Democrats with the help of The Green Party and Plaid Cymru might take the seat. If this were to happen then the government’s majority will be reduced to 5 – see above. This is tight but still workable.
The bigger problem comes when you consider any vote of confidence in the government. Ken Clarke and Guto Bebb have said that they will stand down at the next election. They have also stated that they would vote against their own party if they are pursuing a no deal Brexit reducing the effective majority of the Government in a no confidence vote to 1. This would mean that Dominic Grieve suddenly has a huge amount of power. Whilst he has not said he would vote against the government there is little doubt that he would. He is also unlikely to be selected to be the Conservative candidate in the next election anyway so he can vote with his conscious as he has little political future. If this is the case then the government could well fall unless supported by Labour MPs. Now I know some Labour MPs represent Leave constituencies but I find it is hard to believe that they would vote to keep Boris Johnson and the Conservatives in power. If this is correct then there is a very good chance that we will have a General Election before the 31st October 2019 – my guess would be Thursday 3rd of October 2019 and then we really have no idea what would happen.
Of course this is built upon my assumptions and it may well never happen. Tis the silly season after all.