Theresa May called the world’s media to Downing Street this morning for a previously unscheduled announcement. Speculation was rife as to was the announcement was. Could May be putting herself in the frame as a potential replacement for Arsene Wenger? Perhaps she was announcing she had been cast as the next Doctor Who or that Oasis were finally reuniting? Well none of those things happened but the Prime Minister did announce that on the 8th of June the UK would be having a snap general election.
The announcement has sent shock waves through the country as May had previously said she was not planning to hold a general election until 2020. However, in a first for a politician, she decided that she had ‘reluctantly’ changed her mind over the past few days and that she wants a vote on June 8th. Of course for the vote to take place the Fixed Term Parliament Act would have to repealed with a two thirds majority in the House of Commons. That vote will take place tomorrow and looks certain to pave the way for the election on June 8th.
It is a pretty smart move from Theresa May. There is still a couple of months ago before the Brexit negotiations get underway and given Labour is horrendously unpopular a strong election win would give her a mandate for the hard Brexit she keeps going on about. Jeremy Corbyn has accepted the challenge of trying to win the election but if current polls are anything to go by then his days as Labour leader are surely numbered. But then again the polls said we would remain in the EU and Hilary Clinton would be the next President of the United States, so he will be hoping that the polls are wrong again.
The Liberal Democrats seem to be chomping at the bit for another election and are trying to present themselves as the alternative to Theresa May’s hard Brexit Tories. Will this approach work? It is hard to say but surely they cannot do any worse than their performance in the last election. The SNP will set out to try and win the remaining three seats in Scotland that they do not hold already to try and strengthen their campaign for a second Scottish Independence referendum. As for The Green Party and UKIP they will just be hoping the electorate remembers them.
On the face of it the result of the election in six weeks time should be one that increases the Tory majority but if the past few democratic votes in this country and abroad are anything to go by then a surprise could well be in store.
Image: Northern Echo