General Election 2017

 

 

Prime Minister May announces a General Election

The electorate is preparing for another vote following the surprise announcement by Theresa May of a general election scheduled to take place on the 8th of June. The call for a general election required parliamentary approval because of the introduction of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act by the previous Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition, meaning a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Commons was necessary. That vote passed easily with only 13 of 535 votes cast against the election. The required number of votes was 434.

The decision to have an election is a U turn for Mrs May, who had insisted another election would not be held until 2020. Citing reasons for the change in decision May asserted it was necessary to prevent opposition parties derailing the Brexit process. At the time the vote was called a Guardian/ICM survey placed the Conservative party 21 points ahead of Labour. Where this level of advantage to translate into additional MPs the Conservatives could increase their majority from the current 17 to possibly over 100.

It has been reported that the conservatives are campaigning on a message of a strong government, however a large Conservative majority won’t necessarily mean a harder Brexit is more likely. Elections are always unpredictable and it’s not clear if the electorate will embrace this or will have to muster up the enthusiasm for another vote. Until then it appears that uncertainty will remain for some time to come.

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