Theresa May calls UK snap elections for June 8

The UK Prime Minister -- riding high on a recent uptick in Brexit popularity and taking advantage of divisions in the Labour Party -- has called snap elections for June 8.

Theresa May had previously stated that she would not call an election.

The elections could put to rest the frequent accusation that May -- who came to power in an internal Tory Party process -- does not have a mandate. It could also be a club to beat Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon with, as a counter to a proposed Scottish separation from the UK.

Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith has assembled some key fragments of the early analysis of possible outcomes, including the possibility that a larger Tory majority in Parliament could magnify the internal divisions in the party, divisions that led to the chaotic Brexit referendum and May's ascendancy to the PM's chair.

Smith takes note of the fact that 20 Tory MPs are currently under police investigation for electoral fraud, and if any were to be charged, they could be barred from holding political office for three years. The number of MPs under investigation is without precedent.

As for me, I've just made another donation to Momentum, a pressure group dedicated to leading the Labour Party to a genuine, Sanders-style left-wing alternative to Tory neoliberalism.

Labour is particularly weak and divided right now; elections early are an opportunity to deliver a crushing blow.

Brexit popularity is at a recent high, so that will help shore up the Tory position.

May would get her own mandate.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has tried to throw a curveball with the threat of a Scottish referendum, which Sturgeon was pushing to take place in 2019. Even though May has the power to say no, that move would hurt the Union and help the SNP. Given the Brexit timetable, the SNP’s timing for a referendum would have been 2019, which was uncomfortably close to the originally scheduled Parliamentary elections in 2020.

Theresa May Announces Surprise Early Election for June 8 [Yves Smith/Naked Capitalism]

(Image: Policy Exchange, CC-BY0

Notable Replies

  1. This seems like a win-win for May. If she's re-elected, she gets her mandate. If she loses, then Brexit's someone else's problem and she can go take a holiday in the sun.

  2. 20 Tory MPs are currently under police investigation for electoral fraud, and if any were to be charged, they could be barred from holding political office for three years.

    Wh - why? I don't understand. Is there something special about fraud that would disqualify one from holding office? You Euro-socialists just hate freedom, don't you?

  3. She's not going to lose. Expected majority > 100, maybe even 200. She expects to get all the UKIP votes. The people who support Remain are split mainly between Labour and Lib Dem and both parties have repeatedly shown that tribal loyalty trumps actually winning elections. The Conservative secret is that they are just as tribal, but they conceal it till the count starts.

    However, 2 options:

    1. Her huge majority means that the Conservative Right can't defeat the government. Depends on the calibre of the new MPs. If the Bone-head wing of the party can't call the shots, she has the chance of at least slowing the ride to the abyss. But it will continue.

    2. Her huge majority leads to a far right takeover, resulting in civil unrest, especially up North, Scotland leaving the Union unilaterally, and the acceleration towards pariah banana republic continuing.

    I just checked house prices in one of the nicer parts of Scotland. It's amazing what a small detached house in the South-west will buy you up there. For now. Till the rush starts.

  4. Are any Americans here jealous that the UK election cycle is only going to be a month and a half long? With Trump already campaigning for 2020, I wonder how Americans stand it.

  5. Because Minitrue has been telling the proles for all its worth that we have always been at war with Westeuropa and now we are about to win. The proles sincerely believe that Westeuropa is the cause of their growing poverty, and that Emmanuel Goldstein sometimes appears as Donald Tusk, sometimes as Jeremy Corbyn or, in his multiple aspect, as the Law Lords.
    Ah well, in a couple of years we will always have been at war with Hibernia.

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