Here we go again… Theresa May has done another backslide again today, this time by announcing that she intends to hold a ‘snap’ General Election on June 8th 2017.
It is also in essence going to be a ‘second referendum’ on Brexit, something we were told wasn’t going to happen.
The media has already gone into meltdown, with their usual trick of publishing opinion polls, which of course no one trusts anyway.
So how is this all going to play out? Theresa May wants her own mandate from the British people, seeing as she took the role of PM inheriting David Cameron’s mandate.
This is essentially another vote on Brexit. Vote Conservative, if you wanted a full clean ‘Brexit’ from the EU. Vote Labour, if you want a half-hearted ‘Brexit’ with continued membership of the EU single market and freedom of movement. Or vote Lib Dem and have ‘no Brexit’, just forgetting that the last 12 months ever happened.
This puts a lot of voters in a precarious quandary. Already today, I have been reading comments on social media, from people that would never dream of voting Tory who are considering doing so, just to ensure that Brexit actually happens. The supposed risk is that a vote for UKIP would hand government to Labour (or worse, the LibDems!)
The LibDems do certainly have much to gain at this election, as they will be actively seeking the vote of those who voted Remain at the referendum.
Labour, on the other hand, have it all to lose. Do their voters who voted Leave at the referendum, turn to the Tories? Or do the voters who voted Remain, turn to the LibDems? Or do they just keep on voting Labour, just because their parents and grandparents do?
Do UKIP have any chance of winning seats? Or will their supporters vote Tory to ensure Brexit progresses?
North of the border, in Scotland, things could be interesting. Will voters in favour of remaining in the UK turn against the SNP in protest? And if so, who will they turn to?
Scenario 1 – the masterstroke
Labour lose a load of seats, and the Conservatives return a significant majority, echoing Thatcher’s landslide victory in the 80s, and Theresa May gets her mandate to deliver Brexit.
Scenario 2 – the risky gamble
The LibDems make significant gains, wiping out the Conservative majority, and leaving them in opposition; a LibDem/Labour/SNP coalition puts the brakes on Brexit as we know it, and keeps us in the single market with full freedom of movement, so essentially keeping us in the EU.
The cynic’s conclusion
Personally, as much as I’d like to see Brexit be concluded, I fear that Scenario 2 is likely to be the final outcome, and the establishment elites will finally get their way, and put all this silly referendum nonsense behind us. But things will not end ‘happily ever after’ as they do in the familiar narrative of the traditional fairy story, ‘they’ will just have to keep working harder and harder to keep us all distracted…