No 10: if deal loses again, there’ll be general election

Number 10 has said that Theresa May will table a vote on her deal in the House of Commons tomorrow – and that a victory for her vote is the best hope of ‘avoiding’ a general election.

The BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg tweeted presumably referring to EU elections:

However, ministers appear to be saying privately that May will call a general election if the vote is ‘blocked’ or her deal ‘falls apart’:

This looks like a tactic by the notoriously unreliable May to force Tory MPs – and the election-shy ‘Tinge group’ – to back her deal. But it will be hard for her to row back on.

If an election does go ahead, Labour’s job will be to ensure that this is not a single-issue election, which the media will no doubt pull out all the stops to portray.

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  1. Labour is the only party with a post Brexit plan. The Tories have got nothing.

    I cannot wait for a general election.

  2. General election?
    Nah. Ain’t about to happen.
    project fear Mk XIV – works well on tories.

    1. You and I could be wrong, but I know where my bets lie. Skwawkbox, however, is right :

      “This looks like a tactic by the notoriously unreliable May to force Tory MPs – and the election-shy ‘Tinge group’ – to back her deal. But it will be hard for her to row back on.”

      … except for the last sentence. May is the all-time expert on rowing back, and the rats in the sack aren’t going to give up easily on the chance of leadership.

      A dose of reality :

      Even if the start pistol is fired, Labour is not in a great position – at best level-pegging in the polls, and with the Party over-influenced by the Israel lobby and having to choose on a policy over Brexit that currently divides the majority of grass root voters from the leadership.

      The best post-election position, given a win, is obviously to be able to focus on domestic policy rather than fighting a battle on the overall economic front as the vultures close in. But that presupposes a ‘Remain’ position. Of course – that is probably the best pre-election strategy rather than staying in the Tory shadow and fighting over the same votes whilst others drift away.

      1. I pretty much agree with that.
        Labour would be smart to fight on a remain platform – maximum distance from tory policy – but I suspect that isn’t going to happen, should an election happen.
        The ‘Labour Option’ on Brexit is probably the best Brexit option there is, but it may not be clear to the voters, and the media won’t help.

  3. “However, ministers appear to be saying privately that May will call a general election if the vote is ‘blocked’ or her deal ‘falls apart’:”

    Ha, ha, ha ,ha… the May tin pot dictatorship ain’t gonna call a GE.

      1. Actually – I’ve known a few that you can trust. That was an issue that came up when talking to a couple of good Labour friends at the weekend – and we all agreed.

        We all knew Tories who, given the political differences, would make judgements based on the merit of the case.

        I would, actually trust Dominic Grieve, for instance, even when I disagreed with him. Similarly – note the way personal relationships work in the accurate portrayals regarding the Callaghan government in the play ‘This House’. It is accurate.

  4. Labour would be far better placed if Brexit was seemingly ‘resolved’ in one or another. The new battleground will be about PM Boris shamelessly licking the boots of Trump while decimating British agriculture and the appalling social crisis we have over health, education, housing and poverty. Corbyn would be on fertile ground tackling that with PM Blowhard over egging the Tory angle; arguing over nuances of the Customs Union when a fair proportion of people don’t know what it means and even more don’t want to know! Let the Tories own their own mess and then vote.

    1. Disagree respectfully
      On one side you want Boris and No Deal, selling NHS to American Health Companies
      On the other limp dema and tinge neverenders
      In middle only Brexit that honours the result 52/48

  5. One could theorise that, had Labour forced a GE with a no confidence vote, we might well suffer at the polls from the election being seen by brexiteers as a devious way of holding a second referendum.

    As things stand if May were to call a snap election now it could only be seen as yet another bid to save her reputation (pfft) and we might hope to do better than the polls indicate… again 🙂

    1. It would be far better to fight the new PM over non Brexit issues. Labour isn’t a Remain Party as some are claiming. The danger of an election over Brexit is of course Labour could quite easily lose that; then we have 5 years of PM Johnstone. Get him up there first, sideline Brexit.

      1. Paul, I don’t understand why you say “would be far better” – it’s not like we have any choice over the timing or the issues/fakery the Tories & MSM choose to run with.

  6. ‘…May will call a general election…’

    In this instance, she will require ‘…support of two-thirds of its [House of Commons] total membership (including vacant seats), to resolve “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election”, which means at least 434 MPs.

    The question is, does she have the numbers? Certainly the TIG-ers are not for it + the Labour right wing faction of PLP (est. +-120) + the Conservatives who are not bothered about which way Brexit goes, but are intent on stopping Corbyn-led government (+-40% of their MPs).

    No. It wont happen.

    1. No Labour MP would dare vote against a general election. It would be immediate political suicide; whereas a snap election means they are unlikely to be deselected before it happens.

      But I would not want to bet which way the Tories would jump.

  7. Yes May perhaps yet again attempting to use a sledgehammer ‘Project Fear’ against the Tory Hard Bexiteers, DUP, and now perhaps even The Tinge too?
    Who will blink first but perhaps this sledgehammer is made of glass?
    Labour’s proposal re a Customs Union & a Soft Brexit as one possible option was good but sadly lost and another one similar but with cross-party support came closest of all the 8 options (lost by just 8).
    Could be a GE & hopefully Jennie will have them emergency PPC selection plans in place.

  8. Position should not change from 2017, only possible caveat would be a confirmatory vote on Labour soft Brexit v Remain with 60% minimum to overturn 2016 vote
    Need to deal with enemy within, rogue MP’s will bring us down at first opportunity
    Agree message on AS, Safest country in Europe for the Jewish community, least anti semitic party in country, Gold Standard complaints procedure
    Attack is best form of defence, get your retaliation in first
    Drop McDonnell tax grab on companies, preference for suppliers with highest standards
    Forget universal income, concentrate on making safety net secure and irreversible

  9. Separating the withdrawal agreement from the political declaration may fool some.. Those that have read the withdrawal agreement will know that one of the articles (184) refers to the political declaration. Anyone who does vote for the withdrawal agreement will in effect be agreeing to future relationship talks based on the framework in the November 2018 declaration even though the declaration is not presented for the vote. Although the speaker has accepted the vote as it is different to the previous there is a question of presenting an incomplete document for the vote.

    The backstop is also part of the withdrawal agreement.

    The only way forward is a general election but the Tories are afraid to go to election.

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