Tuesday, 18 April 2017

May calls General Election for 8th June

Ouch. Like we don't have enough politicians moaning on as it is!

So 2 more months of this...oh, well. Maybe sometime for some political bets.

As to C@W predictions, only Antisthenes predicted a UK election this year and a May win.

I do wonder whether Labour will do much better than expected, on basis that there is much less of a UKIP threat and most of their seats are very safe. May I think will win, but not with a 100-seat majority that her lead would make you think?

How is everyone calling it? I see the FTSE is off 1.7% which is a bit of a tanking but then the NK war games had taken the edge of Asian and US markets and there was a bit of catching up to do after the Bank Holiday anyway.


andrew said...

Are the boundary changes in place?

Dick the Prick said...

It's sound politics. And it's a massive sop to those who would have been affected by the boundary changes.

I've not quite got my head around where this leaves us. I had it in mind that with Article 50 negotiations taking (up to) 2 years, then we'd have an election in 2020 as to our evaluation of it. I guess that would have been incredibly relevant to Remainers which has now been eliminated.

I do have quite an uneasy feeling that i'm being shafted but haven't isolated how so.

Dick the Prick said...

@Andrew - no, October 2018.

Nick Drew said...

No they are not, which makes it really interesting. If May can win (with a fair maj) on the old boundaries it would be a helluvan achievement

given that (with such carnage among Labs and Libs in 2015) it's Tory MPs now who fear the downsizing of Parliament more than anyone else - which was to have been a key feature of the changes - there will be much rejoicing in some Tory parts on that score

Nick Drew said...

sound politics...

Indeed. Get a reasonable majority; cull wasters like Liam Fox; heads down for the main event with a proper mandate

Tell you who'll hate this - Sadiq K. He doesn't want a proper Lab leader in place while he's stuck as Mayor

Interesting to see what the Tory manifesto will say on a range of key matters, Scotland head of the list

This will have been brewing for weeks, so Tories will be 1,000 x better prepared than railway toilet man, with his Easter pronouncements and all

andrew said...

Question to the floor:

As the defining question for the last few years is brexit (cons) or bremain (lib)
What is the labour party for?

Nick Drew said...

that's the joke: Corbyn is pro Brexit, many of his MPs will find it very hard to campaign on that line

(there's a scenario where she gets such a big majority that the parliamentary Tory party will be very hard to discipline)

Anonymous said...

The biggest risk for May will be the IR35 changes in the Public Sector. Clinicians are already downing tools, so she can expect the next 7 weeks to throw up at least one NHS in crisis article. Fortunately Corbyn would be unlikely to make much hay out of it.

It's the effect on various projects too - NHS England has centralized contractor authorisation, and hasn't the staff, so I'd guess they're maybe a month or more behind with the paperwork, in which time people will have buggered off. So more potential headaches.

If the shift to umbrella companies has been large enough, there may be an embarrassing drop in VAT receipts to explain away as well.

So, potential for a lot of self-inflicted wounds there, but as this really is a Brexit Election I can't see those issues deflecting from Brexit itself.

I expect May to win with an increased majority, Labour to retain most of its safe seats with reduced majorities as dyed-in-the-wool Labour stay at home and the Lib Dems and Tories get out and about.

I suspect this will kill off UKIP too, a vote for Tory is a vote for Brexit, so why vote UKIP this time round?

Blue Eyes said...

Nobody predicted it? I certainly called for it. With bells on. I also said that there were plenty of signs that May was trying to arrange the deckchairs so that she would be forced into an election.

Very pleased overall, although it looks like I picked the wrong week to give up looking at politics online.

Blue Eyes said...

As for the manifesto I imagine we will be looking at a 500 page tome of tightly-written small print. Giving the Lords no room for titting about. We will also see a hard line on Heathrow and grammar schools. Giving opposing Tories no room for titting about. Probably something full-fat for the Scots, too.

Blue Eyes said...

As for party lines this election will be very easy for Remoaners: vote LD.

The Tories will offer a centrist post-EU framework. Corbyn a hard left post-EU vision. The LDs a principled stand on whether we should in fact leave.

Blue Eyes said...

Oh I forgot UKIP. They will have to settle for the votes of people who are still cross that we are in the EU and there are still forriners here. Zero seats in 2017. Carswell may hang on as an Indy.

Anonymous said...

Having Corbyn as Labour leader, with powerful forces inside his party implacably opposed to him and prepared to swallow a Labour defeat to get rid of him, was for May always like holding an ace of trumps, the only question being when to play it.

Sensible move, in that Cameron's majority was very thin, and that a few byelections when Brexit gets sticky could have made her position difficult.

Hope she increases her majority, but not by too much. Will Ken Clarke still be in the House?

Ideal outcome for Tories would be increased majority but a respectable Labour performance and JC staying on - very unlikely I fear, remembering the bad press he got when 38% of Labour voters went Leave (as opposed to 37% of SNP voters with their brilliant leader).

Anonymous said...

DTP - Ms May is not a principled woman, so your fears are not groundless. Just hides it better than Boris (but doesn't have his entertainment value).

Electro-Kevin said...

A clear Tory win with lots of Europhile Tory MPs (because, face it, most of them are) and the BBC/Remain/Miller saying "Ah. The people have voted clearly and in large numbers for Europhile MPs and so we must have a Soft Brexit." Which also accords with Mrs May's appointments: Doomster Hammond and Soft-Border Rudd with visas for coffee shop workers and an effective amnesty for illegals.

"Kev's never happy !"

May has had a mandate for nearly a year now and should have been moving forward her back bench MPs but hasn't. This is back pedalling and making it seem like Soft Brexit was the People's choice.

I'd be still inclined to vote UKIP were my local Tory candidate not a Eurosceptic.

Al said...

The boundary changes are going to make things interesting where I am. Local MP supports BC which means reduced constituency. Towns being moved out are vehemently opposed. I can see a lot of people voting against current MP for this reason alone.

Anonymous said...

This is not a Brexit election - it's a post Brexit election. Brexit is locked in on both sides. The only issue is the cost to the UK economy either directly (exit fee) or indirectly (loss of markets).

In the interregnum, when the promised nirvana is not yet available, and the wasted heartlands are revolting, there will be the call for hard right policies (aka free trade, liberal employments laws (without that cheap Polish labour), low tax (no social safety net).

We have been well and truly f**ked by the politicians and the banging of the Brexit drum. May is getting herself (and one assumes her party) ready for the new hard world of a sovereign Britain.

andrew said...


...tightly-written small print.


If you remember how well Hammond's defence of the NI change worked, if she has any sense it will stick to broad principles like

'We will leave the EU by 1/5/19' (or whenever)

'We will not cut funding to the NHS'

'We will be nice to dogs, cats and donkeys'

'We will be nasty to the French and maybe the Italians on alternate thursdays to provide some variety'

The electorate has a (correctly) very low opinion of people who try to get clever and small-printy

Steven_L said...

Brexit is locked in on both sides.

Well it looks like the tories are campaigning along the lines of "it's us or a coalition" which is probably fairly accurate. Nothing is 'locked in' to a coalition is it?

They won't go into any detail whatsoeverabout anything because they 'can't give up their negotiating position'. But they'll need a strong mandate to get a 'good deal'. They'll focus everyone's attention on Corbyn and Sturgeon and nasty the EU politicians making threats against us.

The tory tactics will work and the they will be back with a majority of 40-50 seats.

Charlie said...

I'm tempted to take a punt on May getting a triple digit majority. Her oppo are that bad.

tolkein said...

Best news for Labour - and for the hope for a proper Opposition - for a loing time. Ev en JC can't hang on if Labour loses a ton of seats. So, likely, a credible leader of Labour and proper scrutiny of Government proposals in the future.

Professor Pizzle said...


JC isn't in the winning elections business. It's not the point. All he wants is the Labour name, brand, organisation, and the access that grants to credibility, money and media.

Ask the wonderful Iowahawk once said about every hard left organisation:

1. Identify a respected institution.
2. kill it.
3. gut it.
4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

Blue Eyes said...

Andrew I realise as the elected representative of the Remoaners on this site you have to put your case forcefully, but did you actually read my comment which you so dismissively dismissed?

I wrote that I imagine a complex manifesto for a specific purpose. Nowhere did I write that I would really like such a thing, now did I state that such a thing would be popular in its own right.

Perhaps you would now like to address the point I was making, rather than the non-point you responded to?

EK stop being so paranoid! Theresa May - if she wins this snap election - will have a platform set out [presumably] largely as she has now, but with a significant difference. All Tory MPs elected on 8th June will be elected on a platform as set out as Theresa May has been setting out since she took the throne. You might have been following a bit, but to recap: we are leaving the EU. We are leaving the single market/EEA. We are taking back control of immigration policy. We are taking back our territorial and fishing waters (did you see the non-news from the Danes this morning before the election swamped the headlines?). Our farmers will be tilling British earth with British hoes. The point is that Theresa May has set out crystally clear what her platform is, and after the election there will be no excuse for Remoaner Tory MPs to go against anything in that platform. Secondarily, if she wins big then there will be little opportunity for the Ken Clarkes of the party to have an impact on the big picture.

Contrary to your perma-fear, there has actually been no resistance by Tory MPs at all. Except Ken.

But after the election there will be no resistance from the Lords either, because it will all be in the manifesto. (That was my earlier point which was so badly explained that even the Remoaner élite couldn't understand it.)

I am on record as saying that Theresa is likely to win a 100+ majority. As the only C@W regular who predicted both a Tory majority and UKIP's tally in 2015 you may all defer to me on such matters if you wish ;-)

Blue Eyes said...

*nor, obviously

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue - OK.

Anonymous said...

re DTPs fears of being shafted - BBC are reporting that EU leaders approve of May's decision, and think that with a hefty majority May can ignore her Eurosceptic backbenchers, and negotiate the kind of deal which will make Leave voters wonder what the point of leaving was.

We shall see.

CityUnslicker said...

There won't be any boundary changes for those who are worried. That is another can kicked well down the road.

However, 3-figure majority for the Tories....on current terms - that is for the birds. I find it hard to see where the seats come from as Labour will still get nearly 30% of the vote when all is said and done. They won't be winning many in Scotland and the lib dems will win a handful. I guess perhaps if the lib dems split the vote for remainers then there are a few 3-way marginal that may go blue (imagine being a remainer, voting lib dem and then getting that result - heart of stone etc.).

But I don't see where 40-odd seats come from. But what would I know, I was very surprised to see this happen at all.

Charlie said...

Having watched the first five minutes of the six o'clock news, I think I'm going to have to get into a box for fifty days and come out when it's all over.

The standard of public debate in this one is going to be at an all time low.

BBC making out that Richmond Park is about to be repeated across the country.

Blue Eyes said...

I caught a few seconds of Sky doing vox pops. They couldn't find anyone who said they would vote Labour. Some said they were Labour supporters but that they would vote Tory to get rid of Jezza.

In London there will be a LibDem surge. It may be enough to get them some seats or it may be enough to split the lefty vote and let Tories in.

In the Midlands and North and maybe even Wales Labour voters may just stay at home. The polls which show a huge Tory lead are based on differenial turn out - so in the current situation they may underestimate May's lead!

CU no offence but I am sure you thought that UKIP were going to do well in 2015 ;-)

Dick the Prick said...

@BE - Ukip did do fantastically well in 2015, it's just that it didn't translate to seats. Churlish, perhaps, but important to remember.

Blue Eyes said...

Not churlish, but a good observation. Indeed much to the soft lefties' appalledness, the "right" won 55% of the vote in 2015. So even without the Jezza effect we might expect the Tories to capture a good chunk of that support now that UKIP have achieved their single issue.

andrew said...


I count myself as the unelected representative of the
"brexit or remain, it will make little difference in the large"
faction (membership 1).

As you wrote that post (1.21pm) and did not say 'this is tosh' etc in the post, I jumped to the conclusion that you agreed, at least to some extent, with what you wrote.

My apologies for not reading the small print carefully enough.

If your substantial point was that a long detailed, complex manifesto will get the house of lords to stfu:

again, no.

my supporting argument being all the comments above (including this one :).

On political betting, I see nothing interesting yet other than

lab vote percentage 25-30% @2.48:1
con vote percentage 45-50% @4.1:1

Blue Eyes said...

If you are basing your constitutional theory on comments you read at C@W then you might be surprised when events turn out differently :)

I seem to recall various C@W commenters wholeheartedly believing that the Supreme Court case was a Remoaner Establishment Stitch-Up. Worse, (from a personal vanity perspective) when I suggested precisely the outcome which eventually arose, C@W commenters told me I was naïve, a moron, und so weiter.

I am pretty certain the the Lords will uphold the Salisbury Doctrine and I am pretty certain that Theresa May's strategists will be presuming the same thing. Thus, faced with the prospect of a relatively certain win her team will be drafting a document which binds both the Lords and her wilder Commons colleagues into a detailed plan for government.

It won't be long until one of us will be proved right...!

Anonymous said...

"The BBC think that with a hefty majority Theresa May can ignore her Eurosceptic back-benchers."

BBC wishful thinking.

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon 9.49 - Why are they STILL back-benchers ?

Charlie said...

Watching the ten o'clock news and all the "hard Brexit" nonsense, you'd think that nobody voted Leave last year and that May has called a coup rather than an election.

BBC going with a "May has broken her no-election promise" line, which doesn't sit particularly well with their previous "May is unelected" line. Anyone would think Labour's low support is a temporary blip that May is exploiting, rather than a terminal decline thanks to infiltration by communists.

Electro-Kevin said...

Charlie - There wouldn't be an election had Remain accepted the bloody result in the first place.

Dick the Prick said...

A semi-final thought if this election turns out as predicted; it really has blown to smithereens Osborne's legacy and his strategic political ability. If anything, it makes him look like a total chump.

andrew said...


With the benefit of hindsight some (not me) think Lennon/McCartney should really be McCartney ... (and some Lennon)


With the benefit of hindsight Cameron/Osbourne should really be something we just do not talk about anymore.

CityUnslicker said...

BE - I would not pass a GCSE in Psephology. Happy to admit that!

Dick the Prick said...

@CU - neither would Kellner!

Anonymous said...

If the result of the election is that the remaining Blairites (who are looking more and more out of step) then good. If they are replaced by Conservatives then then that's even better. Even JC would be pleased with that result.

Blue Eyes said...

Loads of sitting Labour MPs are not standing again. As the Beeb points out, an incumbent has a better chance of surviving and landslide. Also, the replacement candidates are more likely to reflect the current leadership's worldview.

This could be a bloodbath.

Remember when Thatcher was asked what her proudest achievement was, she said "New Labour". May's proudest achievement may be to reduce the Labour party to a rump McDonnell vehicle.

This is going to be a win, win, win, win for the country.

Steven_L said...

Coral have just given me 20/1 on McDonnell for next Labour leader. If ND is right (for once) that's a nice round £100 in my pocket :)

Suff said...

Blue, lets hope it's a landslide. I think all those incumbents have suddenly realized that with the European scapegoat gasping it's last breath, they will now be expected to do the job they have been paid for.
If May wants a real legacy, she needs to route out the communists in the educational system. There's a distinct voting tendency between the age groups and if she doesn't stop the rot, Corbyns views will be classed as far right

Blue Eyes said...

Yes, you are right. Clearly schools do not teach the difference between root and route. I would want a rout of bad teachers, personally. ;-)

Nick Drew said...

rot, root, route, route ...

it's all there