Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Why did Theresa May just call for a snap election.

In addition to the number of conspiracy theories floating about, of which my favourite probably is election expenses, I can think of several reasons:

Economic downturn / Post-Brexit blues.

I personally supported Brexit, and have outlined reasons in several past posts, so I won't go into reasoning why. However, rather a lot of us acknowledge that we might see some interim fluctuation, perhaps even yielding a recession. Downturns, in general, lead to voter dissatisfaction with the current regime, regardless of whom that might be. So were they to believe there's a likelihood of an upcoming recession - even if it's not relevant to Brexit - calling for an election before this downturn would make a lot of sense.

Catastrophic Corbyn polling

I spot an increasing amount of dissatisfaction with Corbyn, even within his own ranks. And were you to look at his current polling figures, Corbyn's Labour is currently trailing the Tories by an absolutely ridiculous 17-21% in polls. This can't carry on for much longer before dissatisfaction turns to a desire for change, and I doubt Corbyn would survive yet another revolt - regardless of how fervently his hardcore supporters would fight.

At this stage, even Daffy Duck could produce better polls for Labour, and were a relative populist like Alan Johnson to grab the seat, the performance of Labour could suddenly become far more threatening from the perspective of the Tories.

And leaving only 7 weeks for the political parties to get their campaign machines in gear leaves way too little time for Labour to oust Corbyn in a renewed leadership contest. They have no option - they have to run with Corbyn. And following the predictable election disaster, I would be shocked to see Corbyn carry on.


Sturgeon has been a huge pain as of late, with her renewed calls for a second independence referendum. Regardless of how ludicrous it might seem on account of their abysmal economic performance during - what is essentially considered - good years, and regardless of this just might be a bluff (I doubt she makes these calls for anything but political experience, having no interest in a referendum at all) - the simple fact is that anything but a comprehensive Scottish victory would be considered a loss to Sturgeon. Ie, were non-SNP parties to win more than 2-3 seats, the loss would be Sturgeon's.

Finally, I just want to add a minor comment about the election spending issue. Some materials were incorrectly registered as state, rather than local spending. The totals we are talking about here are £38,000 - in 29 constituencies. That amounts to little over £1,300 per candidate, but we you to filter out the most significant (nearly £19,000 by a candidate in South Thanet), it would be less than £1,000 per constituent. Sure, if there is evidence of intent, it should be dealt with. But some of these suggestions I have seen in relation to this is sheer hyperbole. All things considered, the amounts are small fry compared to total spending by these 29 constituents.

There are also claims of other improprieties, but those are more speculative, and less thoroughly documented.

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