LONDON — Theresa May has called for a snap general election on June 8th. Here’s everything you need to know about what will happen next.
I thought the next election wasn’t until 2020? What’s happened?
You’re right. Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act the next General Election is currently tabled for five years after the last general election, which was in May 2015.
However, there’s a get-out clause. Under the act, an earlier election can be called if two-thirds of MPs vote for a motion calling for one. Theresa May will put forward a motion tomorrow.
Will Labour vote for an early election?
Yes. In a statement on Tuesday Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said “I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
“We’re ready for it. We’ve got more members than we’ve ever had before, we’ve paid off all our debts to the party, we don’t have any mortgages, we are in a very strong, organised position.”
The Liberal Democrats and other opposition parties have also indicated that they would vote in favour of a new poll.
So it’s on. What’s the likely result?
Based on current polls we’re looking at a crushing defeat for Labour, big gains for the Conservatives and a slight improvement for the Liberal Democrats.
Here’s the Electoral Calculus forecast of the result based on the latest YouGov poll.
And here’s what it looks like in map form.
And here’s the seats that are likely to change hands.
Well the above maps give you one indication of why. With opinion poll leads in excess of twenty points, there may never be a better opportunity for May to go the country.
If she waited any longer there is always the risk that there could be a Brexit-inspired downturn or even that Jeremy Corbyn could stand down in favour of a more electable leader.
However, on a more practical level, May’s current wafer thin majority could also have posed the government major problems in getting the necessary legislation through in preparation for Brexit. Already there were signs of a growing rebellion on the government’s Great Repeal Bill as well as new post-Brexit immigration arrangements.
Calling an early election now allows May to eradicate those problems.
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