UK Snap Election Called for June 8
With a historic lead in the Polls, Prime Minister Theresa May has “reluctantly” called a snap UK general election for June 8. In her own words: “I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election.” This is a smart move, which is almost certain to give her a huge working majority, at the expense of a Labour Party in disarray. She will also have fewer on the far side of both Brexit and Remain MPs in the Government for her to be held hostage by. The hard Brexit MPs who currently hold her Tory Parliamentary majority are likely to find that their position will be somewhat diminished as she negotiates the “best for the UK” over a hard Brexit. This increased majority will give her a much stronger country and Parliamentary mandate, as she heads into the Brexit negotiations.
Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have backed the PMs call for an early election, allowing her the two thirds majority needed to call the election, three years earlier than the fixed term which would have otherwise given the UK a general election in 2020.
There are at least four specific domestic issues that this election will throw up. Firstly, what will happen to the Labour Party with their almost certain loss of seats.
Secondly, what will happen to their leader Jeremy Corbyn. He will find it very difficult to survive if the Labour Party takes a hammering. One Labour MP has already said he would not stand due to Corbyn’s continued leadership of the Party. If he does stand down, there are a number of Labour MPs who want to bring the party back to the centre ground and who are likely to become leadership candidates if Corbyn loses the election.
Thirdly, what about the “rise” of the Liberal Democrats, currently representing both the Remain camp and the middle ground of UK politics? They are almost certain to increase their number of seats currently from the lowly nine they hold. They see this as an opportunity to “change the direction of the UK”, which is another way of saying “avoid a hard Brexit”.
Finally, what now happens to UKIP, which has achieved what it set out to do. They currently have no MPs since the one sitting MP, Douglas Carswell, has now stood down from the party and represents his riding as an Independent. Carswell is now to be challenged for his Parliamentary seat by Arron Banks, the UK businessman who bankrolls UKIP.
Theresa May will have thought long and hard about this for a while. With a whopping 21 point lead in the polls at 44 per cent over Labour at 23 per cent, the numbers may have well pushed her into taking this course. Then all the hard work begins.
Navigator’s Brexit Response Team
If you have any questions on the implications of Brexit and its implications for your organization, please reach out to Navigator’s Brexit Response Team.