Nearly half of Britons believe that there should be a general election before the country even begins negotiating the terms of its exit from the European Union.
A new Ipsos MORI poll published on Monday indicated that 48% of respondents agreed that “there should be another general election before negotiations start,” compared to just 23% who disagreed.
Home Secretary Theresa May — who is currently the favourite to replace David Cameron as Tory leader and Prime Minister — said last week that there would be no snap election under her leadership. Fellow candidate Stephen Crabb also ruled out an early general election.
However, the number of Brits who want a general election to take place much earlier than usual in light of the EU referendum result clearly outnumbers those who do not.
In order for the UK to begin the process of officially leaving the 28-nation bloc, the Prime Minister must trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
However, this is unlikely to happen until the government has secured agreements with the EU and other states about what trade and political deals they can establish once the UK has completed its withdrawal. Article 50 is a two-year process and negotiations could potentially take just as long. The negotiations process can only be extended if all EU nations agree to it.
A general election would certainly delay the Brexit process but it would likely return the Conservatives to government with Labour in disarray and voter intention currently firmly in the Tories’ favour. The Conservatives had a five-point lead over the opposition, according to an Opinium poll released last week.
Westminster voting intention:
CON: 34% (-)
LAB: 29% (-1)
UKIP: 17% (-2)
LDEM: 7% (+1)
GRN: 4% (-)
(via Opinium / 28 – 30 Jun)
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) July 1, 2016
Interestingly, Ipsos MORI’s latest round of surveys also revealed that the majority of Brits do not feel confident that the government will secure the “best Brexit terms” for the country. Just 30% of respondents said that they were confident, while 59% said the opposite.
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