This morning, Theresa May announced plans to call a snap election on the 8th of June. The move provoked shock in Westminster, as her government had repeatedly rejected calls for an early referendum since the Brexit vote last year.
No doubt the Conservative's dizzying lead in the polls had something to do with this snap election. The latest YouGov poll puts the Tories 21 points ahead of Labour, and isn't the only recent poll to suggest a huge Tory majority. The electoral calculas average would give the Conservatives a 112 seat majority.
In many ways, this seems like the right time for her to call an election. While Labour struggles to present itself as a credible force, May is incredibly popular. Her government is largely yet to face Brexit's most complex challenges, and by calling an election now she's able to give her government some time to recover from any post-Brexit economic and social fallout.
Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act (2011), the government has three options to call an early election. They can repeal the act, which would get caught up in the Lords with the current state of the parties and could take a year to pass under the Parliament act, she could face a vote of no confidence, which isn't an ideal way to head into a new election, or she can put forward a motion that secures a 2/3 majority in the House of Commons. With Labour's announcement that the party will support an early election, May will have little trouble persuing the third option as votes for will exceed the 434 vote threshold.
This does all leave one constitutional oddity, though. The Manchester Gorton by-election is set for early May, and a spokesman for the Prime Minister has confirmed that it will go ahead. Whoever wins that by-election will be the MP for a matter of days before parliament is disolved.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS