Rolling-Dice

The Referendum was ultimately not called to settle the issues it was claimed to address. It was about one thing: a divided Conservative Party and a Prime Minister wanting to flush out rebels in the party, in order to assert their authority over it and to provide an unopposed mandate. Mother Theresa may now have made as dramatic a miscalculation as had Dave, when he called for a vote on Europe, which he presumed would produce a locked-on Remain verdict. However that ‘odds-on certainty’ turned out to be a reckless gamble and this snap election could also turn out to be of the same ilk.

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There are many uncertainties contained within Theresa May’s decision, but there are three key pre-suppositions that underpin her decision:

  • a presumption that a majority of the country agrees with her version of Brexit
  • a belief that Labour is too divided to present itself as a credible alternative government
  • a conviction that the country is not too exercised by the right-wing social policies that the Conservatives have been introducing

All three of these are open to question. Additional to this is the inconvenient fact, from May’s position, that this is an election for a UK parliament not an English one – the Scottish Nationalists, Sein Fein & Plaid Cymru may come to play a very significant role as ‘king makers’ in the eventual outcome.

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And then there’s the joker in the pack. Inherent in May’s calculation is the very reasonable presumption that she can play ‘divide-and-rule’ over the opposition. However, if – and it’s a big IF – the Labour & Liberal Democrat Party leaderships sniff the political ozone, and come to the realistic conclusion that this is indeed an election for a generation, they might decide to oppose the Tories tactically in England. Don’t hold your breath but as they say: “a day is a long time in politics”.

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