May seeks UK snap election

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 pm, April 18th, 2017 - 142 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: , ,

News from the UK:

Theresa May calls UK general election for 8 June

Prime minister makes surprise announcement outside No 10, saying she has delivered stability after the Brexit referendum result

Theresa May has called a snap general election to be held on 8 June, despite repeatedly claiming she was against the idea of an early vote.

In a surprise statement outside Downing street, the prime minister said: “After the country voted to leave the EU, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership. Since I became prime minister the government has delivered precisely that.”

She claimed Labour and the other opposition parties had opposed her. “The country is coming together but Westminster is not. Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach. The Lib Dems have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. Unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.”

May said she was laying down a motion in the House of Commons that will require two-thirds of MPs to back it. …

Well ahead in the polls and looking to lock it in before the inevitable Brexit turmoil.

142 comments on “May seeks UK snap election”

  1. Bill 2

    So, if Labour lend her the votes so that she clears the 2/3rds required for dissolution ….but why would they do that?

    Corbyn hasn’t been able to find his feet yet thanks to all the tripping coming from within the Labour Party – not to mention the endless hostility from msm.

    Anyway. Let’s say they do (or enough idiots within Labour who want rid of Corbyn at any cost do). I’d guess the Tory’s clean up in June – at least in England and Wales.

    What impetus would that add to the drive towards independence in Scotland and demands for a vote on reunification in Ireland?

    Yeah… interesting times.

    edit – just picking it right now. If the Blairites allow May to call an election – ie, if they vote against the best interests of labour, while the left within Labour don’t vote for a dissolution of parliament, then that will mark the beginning of the absolute end of the UK Labour Party in England and Wales.

    • joe90 2.1

      They’re in.

      Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed Theresa May’s call for an early election, arguing that Labour will offer the country “an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy”.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-early-general-election-2017-theresa-may-response-statement-june-8-date-a7688566.html

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        interesting.

        I guess they reckon they’ve found their feet

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          Yes, they discovered they are made of clay though. I admire your positivity when it comes to this. Reminds me of Berlin in 1945.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            I suspect the libdems and labour will gain seats, ukip I have no idea. But I think the conservatives will lose seats. Dunno about the election itself – any opposition victory will be coalition government, if it happens at all.

            Winners don’t usually call snap elections.

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m sorry. I have to stop laughing for a moment while I type. Where pray tell are Labour going to pick up seats? It won’t be in England so that leaves Scotland and Wales. Not too many to be won there. The LibDems will do much better I agree.

              • McFlock

                More than a few marginals in England, especially in the threat of a hard brexit.

                FPP still sucks, though

                • Gosman

                  As UK Labour are about to discover.

                • Gosman

                  Labour can’t even win safe Labour seats in England let alone marginals.

                  • dukeofurl

                    neither could national in northland !

                    Stoke on Trent 23 feb 17 labour win
                    Batley & Spen 20 oct 16 ”
                    etc
                    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_by-elections_(2010–present)

                    Only one seat they previously held they didnt win out of 7.

                    Conservatives lost Richmond Park to Libdems

                    Short of facts again Gosman

                    • Gosman

                      You miss my point. Incumbent governments usually lose byelections not take seats away from Opposition parties. This happened quite recently in the UK. You might like to sugar coat it but it is really an indictment on Corbyn’s Labour party at the moment.

                    • Phil

                      Short of facts again

                      Just like how you missed the fact that Richmond park has historically been a Lib Dem seat, and the conservative MP lost the by-election partly because he resigned from the party and then ran as an independent without the party machinery behind him?

                      Meanwhile, Copeland has been a stable Labour seat for its entire 30-plus year history and the region (under previous electorate names) has been solid Labour territory since the 1930’s.

                      I totally acknowledged that they’re both only one seat, and not able to be extrapolated to the UK as a whole. But, if you had to pick one party that would look at the those two seat changes and hear alarm bells, it sure as hell would not be the Conservatives.

      • Bill 2.1.2

        That’s quite astonishing.

        There are Scottish local body elections coming up in May. Last time I looked, Labour were sitting on or around 14% and on track to be essentially removed from the political map of Scotland.

        And that’s going to happen in the last few weeks leading up to the UK General Election.

        How do Corbyn and his advisers think that’s going to play out in msm?

    • Gosman 2.2

      Why would voting against an early election be in the interest of the UK Labour party? They are in opposition. Surely they want an opportunity to convince the electorate to make them the government.

      • Bill 2.2.1

        See my comment directly above. (To reiterate) The fact that those Scottish Local Body Elections are possibly or likely to see the disappearance of Labour from the political landscape in Scotland is not insignificant. (Local Body Elections there, unlike in NZ, are very much party affairs.)

        Had that happened with a UK General Election still a number of years away, then the opportunity would have been there for Jeremy Corbyn to finally seek some kind of positive working relationship with the SNP. (In other words, he could have limited any flow on effect for Labour in England and Wales.)

        But as it stands, Labour are weeks away from being decimated during the run up to a UK wide General Election…and I just can’t see how that plays out in any way other than badly.

        • Gosman 2.2.1.1

          I was being a tad flippant. I agree completely with you. This isn’t in the interest of the UK Labour party at all. It is a disaster in the making.

  2. ropata 3

    I hope UK Labour can sort itself out before then. Down with the Tory wreckers.

    • Gosman 3.1

      Pretty sure the state of the UK Labour is why May called the snap election. To win Labour would require the biggest turnaround in modern UK electoral history as far as I am aware.

      • joe90 3.1.1

        Or Brexit looks like it might be a long, slow, career ending nightmare so she needs to win and win big to strengthen her hand and ram through her favoured but unpopular hard Brexit.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Quite possibly so. That just highlights Corbyn’s failure even more though.

        • joe90 3.1.1.2

          In her announcement May talked about the LibDems. the SNP , un-elected Lords and a disloyal opposition playing politics so I doubt it’s solely about Labour.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.2.1

            No, it is purely about the weakness of Labour. It is no coincidence she made her move after the most recent poll put Labour behind for the largest gap in 60 years.

          • joe90 3.1.1.2.2

            No, it is purely about the weakness of Labour.

            Arse. She sees a long, slow, career ending nightmare.

            This is the right approach and it is in the national interest, but the other political parties oppose it. At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together but Westminster is not. In recent weeks Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the EU, the Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill, the SNP say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the EU and unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way. Our opponents believe because the government’s majority is so small that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course.

            https://www.ft.com/content/18f95130-2423-11e7-a34a-538b4cb30025

        • Richard McGrath 3.1.1.3

          “…she needs to win and win big to strengthen her hand and ram through her favoured but unpopular hard Brexit.”

          As opposed to a slow, gradual Brexit spread out over 25 years.

    • Siobhan 3.2

      Not a chance…the New Labour crowd would rather see a Tory Government than someone not towing the neo liberal line 100%.
      Rather like the Democratss handing power to Trump rather than giving Bernie a chance..and given Bernies really just a company man at heart..it shows you how stuffed up and divided the ‘Left’ really are, world wide.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/21/peter-mandelson-i-try-to-undermine-jeremy-corbyn-every-day

      Down with the Labour wreckers!!

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        Yet why aren’t people jumping at the opportunity to back Corbyn then?

        • Siobhan 3.2.1.1

          Why are people voting for more of the same?
          Why are people voting for the destruction of Health Care (NHS) and the undermining of free quality education?
          Why are people voting for a dysfunctional and exploitative housing model?
          Why are people voting for a decline in real wages and living standards??
          Why are people voting for more wars?
          Why are people voting for politicians blatantly in the pay of major Corporations and Financial institutions?

          Well, I could answer that…but i’d rather not get kicked off The Standard this early in the day…

          • ropata 3.2.1.1.1

            The British people are nihilists bent on self destruction?
            Dirty Politics, Media conspiracy, Electoral fraud?
            The UK Left is a mess and Labour Blairites are complete asswipes?
            Jeremy Corbyn is a radical commie and the UK public prefer RWNJs?
            Rise of fascism and fear built on generations of ignorance and poverty?

      • red-blooded 3.2.2

        Siobhan, it’s not “the New Labour crowd” or “Labour wreckers” who have endorsed the early election – it’s Corbyn. This is really bad judgement and it’s going to decimate his party. Maybe he sees it as a way to clear out those he sees as unsupportive and start again with a tighter team, but if he does I think he’s kidding himself. He can’t pick which seats will be won and therefore which MPs returned, and even if he could he’d still have the House of Lords to contend with. UK Labour are going to feel the results of this early election for a long time, and Corbyn didn’t have to enable it.

        • DS 3.2.2.1

          Actually he did. An opposition party cannot viably say “no, we don’t want a new election” – if a government is so bad, why are they wanting to keep it in power?
          He’d never live it down.

          • red-blooded 3.2.2.1.1

            Actually, he didn’t. The British have a set parliamentary term (5 years) and it’s only meant to be deviated from in extraordinary circumstances. May’s pretext is pretty flimsy; he could have refused to play into her hands. Yes, it would have been damaging for Labour and for him, but this election is likely to be more damaging – that’s why she’s doing it.

  3. Ovid 4

    It’ll be an interesting election. I don’t foresee a change of government, the Tories have a 21% advantage in the polls. But it will be interesting to see if the SNP improves their standing in Scotland. I know 2015’s 56 of 59 Scottish Westminster seats is pretty much a high-water mark, but if they increase their majorities in those seats that would be a pretty compelling argument for Indyref 2.

    The other question is whether UKIP is now a spent force. Having achieved Brexit, does the electorate see any purpose in them any more?

    Also have the Lib Dems rehabilitated from their time in government with the Tories?

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      They dont need an increase in a vote in Westminster to show the argument for a new ‘indyref’
      Scotlands parliament has voted for it, in a strange way, not now but later ?

  4. ropata 5

    May and the Tories do not have the guts to complete their insane Brexit plan. Pity whatever incoming government. Perhaps Labour or the SNP will stand on a pro EU platform?! Effing hell what a mess.

    Nigel Molesworth (of St. Custards fame) makes as much sense as anyone

    can revele that hed gurl MAY will anounce fifth sector pathfinder gold star plattinum status for st custards raffia work program at 11.15am— nigel molesworth (@reelmolesworth) April 18, 2017

    yes @alanbeattie the fule FARAGE is a blot on the nobel name of NIGEL i uterly diskard him— nigel molesworth (@reelmolesworth) March 29, 2017

    • Gosman 5.1

      Maybe Labour could stand on any platform that could won them more votes. Unlikely I think.

      • ropata 5.1.1

        A “soft Brexit” could be a vote winner for the UK Left. The Tories are full steam ahead on the “hard Brexit”, no doubt pandering to the racist vote

        • Richard McGrath 5.1.1.1

          WTF has a “hard Brexit” got to do with race? I’m looking forward to a complete rout of UK Labour in June. They should allow the Scots to vote on leaving the UK at the same time. The sooner the English taxpayers are freed from their parasitic grasp, the better for both sides.

          • ropata 5.1.1.1.1

            Racist => BNP => Brexit
            See?

            Scotland leaving will be terrible for the English as the Left will be extinguished in England, and the enlightened and intelligent Scots will not be there to bring sanity to the “British” Parliament.

            • Richard McGrath 5.1.1.1.1.1

              So you’re saying most Brexit supporters are BNP members? Bollocks

  5. millsy 6

    Well,I cannot see Labour winning this one. Corbyn needed more time but he isn’t getting it. I suppose the Blairites will be happy. Once the dust settles they will be able to take full and absolute control of the party for at least a generation. Under new leader, Dan Jarvis, with Liz Kendall as shadow chancellor,they will be in lock step with the Tories on war, austerity​ and privatisation.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Why did he need more time? Wasn’t the electorate desperate for his ideas? He’s anti-austeriry and anti-economic status quo.

    • Richard McGrath 6.2

      Austerity = living within your means. Good at both individual and national level

  6. So many hot takes from the UK about how bad the lib dems are, so little time to fav them all. XD

    It does indeed look like this is political positioning from May, an avid champion of that classic political move, “accuse the opposition of playing political games when they call me on my own political games.” If the Lib Dems and Labour can pull together a valid coalition government, that’s the one chance to get a soft Brexit that’s left, so surprisingly I would actually call this good news. It’s a 7-week chance for them to change the public’s mind on hard Brexit.

    That said, it doesn’t help that British Labour is repeating NZ Labour’s own stupid mistakes in not supporting their populist leader sufficiently to allow him a chance to win. They’re likely to sabotage their own chance to pull the country back from the brink if they can’t lean together.

    • Gosman 7.1

      You think Labour is going to be able to form a coalition government with the LibDems do you? That woyld entail the LibDems getting another 20 percent of the vote. Unlikely I suggest.

      • It depends on how much of that national vote is concentrated on certain seats. The Tories have about 40%ish of the popular vote. Were the UK running a proportional system, there’s no way they could form a coalition. However, with several seats three-way races between various parties, (thanks to UKIP and the Lib Dems, and in one case, the Greens) and with the Conservatives advantaged by FPP in general, I think they’re likely to win a majority in Westminster unless something dramatically changes from latest polling, given the Lib Dems’ own unpopularity killed off their half-hearted electoral reform measure.

        I’m just not ruling out the possibility they could lose to a broad coalition of Labour, the Lib Dems, and the SNP, but it would require both Labour and the Lib Dems getting their acts together, which to date there is no indication they will do, and it would require Labour getting its act together about Scotland enough to work constructively with the SNP. Labour’s right is dead keen on opposing their own leader, and the Lib Dems are still in the shadow of their previous disastrous coalition with the Tories. They have enough of the popular vote on their side, they would just need some good campaigns in key constituencies, and maybe an electoral alliance to allow Labour and the Lib Dems to avoid trying to snipe seats that are currently reasonably solidly red or yellow.

        The thing is, May can lose this snap election in two ways: One is if Labour forms a coalition, the other is if the Conservatives have to, as she’ll be forced to back down from her hard Brexit position, regardless of who she ends up in bed with. She’s gambling she’ll get a stronger result in order to give her a mandate for a hard Brexit, but polling indicates that Brexit’s popularity is actually shrinking, not growing, so it’s really down to whether people hate the opposition more than they hate her policies. Most supporters Brexit still has is just because the UK wants the issue done with, and the people voted for it once. I think that support will erode the more the public has to hear about what negotiations are really going to be like. (All indications are that the UK will get a really bad deal, at least looking at it from their perspective)

    • mikesh 7.2

      What’s the difference between a soft and hard landing, and who decides which one they get? Do the continental negotiators have no say in the matter?

      • The soft landing is staying in the single market (the EU’s extended free trade zone) and continuing some sort of semi-open border with the EU. The main obstacle to this is the Conservative Party, who have decided that the Brexit result’s reliance on anti-immigration talking points require them to exit without any deal that requires freedom of movement between Britain and the EU, (ie. they will basically go back to tariffs with the EU and have to negotiate other trade deals, and most likely lose a lot of the financial services businesses currently set up in the UK for purposes of access to Europe) but still cut constitutional ties to the EU, freeing themselves of EU regulation, EU mandates, EU courts, etc… There’s no particular indication as to what parts of the EU leave voters really objected to, and most people from either side had been presuming a leave vote would mean a soft exit prior to the vote occurring, which would mean Britain had a little bit more cash, didn’t have to listen to EU laws anymore except insofar as it would be relevant to selling them UK products, and could quit various european institutions.

        The hard version is where they negotiate a deal that doesn’t include any freedom of movement or immigration provisions, which likely means no free trade with Europeans in the foreseeable future. Scotland and Northern Ireland both view hard Brexit as unacceptable and voted quite soundly to remain in the EU, and had the law not been circumvented in the courts, would have blocked such a hard exit plan, however judges ruled that Westminster could decide on its own, (which, functionally, is virtually identical to saying “England can decide for the whole UK”) and this is causing a fair amount of support for leaving the UK in both areas, with Scotland looking likely to leave. They will likely have to make concessions with regards to Gibraltar, either ceding it to Spain or arranging for it to stay associated with the EU, and as there’s no need for the EU to maintain too much of a constructive working relationship, heads of state who want to remain in the EU but have more reluctant voter bases will likely want to see them pay for exiting. They will give them an exit deal with few if any concessions and attempt to embarass the UK however they can, to make it clear that leaving will not be consequence-free. They may even secure concessions about guaranteeing a Scottish independence referendum so they can decide on possible re-entry into the EU as a bargaining chip, as even Spain, one of the most vocal critics, has been clear that if Scotland secures independence they will actually back Scottish membership.

        Mainly, the only thing stopping the EU from essentially not even trying to make any exit concessions to the UK is that they might be reasonably keen on some mutual defense arrangements.

  7. mosa 8

    Corbyn is being written off already surprise surprise by the usual corporate mouth piece’s.

    He has six weeks to sell the message that its not all about brexit but the current economic direction and how neo liberal policies are hurting millions of british people.

    Brexit should not be allowed to influence on its own the underlying issues of this general election.

    This is Corbyn’s only chance to change the narrative on the 8th of June.

    The battle against the neo liberal machine in the UK has begun under the cover of Brexit.

    • Gosman 8.1

      He’s has had longer than 6 weeks and has taken Labour further behind than where it was when he started.

      • mauī 8.1.1

        I wonder how many people would be willing to put their money on an incumbent western government 6 or 12 weeks out from an election in the current climate..?

  8. Gosman 9

    The cognitive dissonance over this from some is a wonder to behold. A realistic political analysis would acknowledge the failure of Corbyn is the reason for this snap election and will likely lead to a massive victory for the Conservatives in June. That is what you get for allowing your activist supporter base to select your parliamentary leader.

    • r0b 9.1

      Yeah democracy is such a pain.

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        At the moment for the UK Labour party it is.

        There is nothing stating that selection of leaders of political parties should be done on a democratic basis because it leads to better outcomes. Indeed the examples of Trump and Corbyn (and Ian Duncan-Smith) show that allowing the members to choose leaders tend to lead to more extreme choices. In the US this was still electable. Not in the two UK examples though.

  9. Gosman 10

    To all those Corbynistas here who think the reason Corbyn has done so appallingly is due in large part to hostile media I just have one question. Doesn’t the UK have a media environment closest to what you think is ideal? There is a strong State run non commercial media and a range of daily newspapers from most parts of the political spectrum. There are even strong media watchdogs where complaints are dealt with openly and promptly. What more do you want?

    • Ad 10.1

      Well, they don’t want The Guardian, because it never told them what they wanted to hear.

      They don’t want The Mirror, because they’ve forgotten the language of the proletariat.

      They don’t want any left equivalent of Fox News, because that would be both too naughty and too successful.

      They want something else, and you should stop being so rude as to ask them what that is.

  10. McFlock 11

    gossy, I’m sure you’re just bored, rather than shitting yourself that if May gets humiliated even if she wins but loses seats then the anti-tory sentiment might also be reflected here in september.

    After all, you’d either be bored or crapping yourself to be behind more than a third of the comments in the entire thread, surely…

    • Gosman 11.1

      Anti-Tory sentiment??? Why has this sentiment not been reflected in the polls and byelection results to date?

      May wouldn’t be doing this if Corbyn hadn’t been such a monumental disaster for Labour.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Ah. In your panic you missed the “if” in my statement. If she gets humiliated at the polls. That would denote an increase in anti-tory sentiment, no? If the tories lose a chunk of seats, even if they stay in power?

        Maybe you’re just drunk.

        • Gosman 11.1.1.1

          Yes and IF my Aunt had a penis she would be my Uncle.

          This whole situation highlights the failure of a strategy many lefties advocated and still advocate for NZ. That is what I find so delicious about it. I suppose that is kind of like being drunk.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1

            So your pick is that the conservatives will gain seats then, not lose any?

            • Gosman 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Depends on how well the LibDems do but highly probable. The real question is how bad UK Labour does in England. I suspect very badly indeed.

          • mikesh 11.1.1.1.2

            “Yes and IF my Aunt had a penis she would be my Uncle.”

            If your mother had had a penis perhaps you would never have been born!

            Talking of what ifs: what if Mademoiselle Le Pen wins the the French presidency and immediately starts talking “frexit”? What effect might that have on the British election? What if Melanchon wins?

        • Johan 11.1.1.2

          Why doesn’t this clown called Gosman get his own fuckin website. Each comment he puts the downer on the British Labour Party and for what purpose? Saying the same thing over and over in all his comments, “I hate Labour”, makes him sound like a biased idiot. What makes him think that the policies of the Conservative Party with unimpressive Theresa May as its leader is good for the United Kingdom?

          • Richard McGrath 11.1.1.2.1

            He hasn’t said he hates UK Labour – just that they face electoral annihilation on June 8. It’ll be biblical. I can hardly wait.

  11. Gosman 12

    For those here who still cling to the illusion this is not about exploiting the weakness of the UK Labour party

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/18/it-could-be-disastrous-labour-mps-nervous-as-poll-countdown-starts

    “In private, a number of senior Labour MPs said they were very worried. One MP said she was in complete shock and felt sick thinking of colleagues at risk of losing their seats in the Midlands.

    A former shadow cabinet minister said he and others in the party were in a “mad panic”, with some colleagues thinking about whether it was possible to replace Corbyn with a caretaker leader in time for the election”

    • DS 12.1

      In case you haven’t noticed, the Guardian has been trying to destroy Corbyn since before he won election. Corbyn was actually doing OK up until the failed coup against him by the PLP, a PLP that has had the full backing of every major media outlet.

      In context, the article might as well read “Corbyn eats babies for breakfast.”

      • red-blooded 12.1.1

        Hey, I wish it was that simple, but you’re ignoring the fact that the failed coup was a reaction to dreadful polls. That’s not “doing OK”.

        Corbyn has accepted Brexit, which gives an opportunity to the Lib Dems as the protest party. It would be nice to think that the British public would back Corbyn’s vision of a more caring society, but they’ve given bugger all sign of this so far. I see this election as a painful one for British Labour.

        • DS 12.1.1.1

          There were no dreadful polls before the coup (Labour being roughly level with the Tories, or even a point in front). The coup was launched because the PLP have never let Corbyn actually lead, and have sought to undermine him at every opportunity. It simply used the Brexit referendum as an excuse.

  12. Sanctuary 14

    The first thing I saw in the UK press today was a bunch of whining Labour Blairites wondering out loud if they could dump Corbyn. So, dissent from the PLP. What a surprise. Fuck them, those entitled, arrogant pricks and their cheerleaders in the Guardian like that sanctimonious witch Polly Toynebee look set on delivering on destroying Labour rather than ever allowing it to be socialist again. And when they are done, all the ex-Blairite MPs will get nice new well paying jobs on the boards of newly privatised health companies, where they will blame everyone but themselves for the collapse of the UK left, just before they climb into the Jag to go pick up the kids from boarding school.

    • Anne 14.1

      You sound like Jonathan Pie.

      My initial thoughts? F***k the British voters. If they are so dammed thick they can’t see what’s coming, then they deserve what’s coming. Mind you, I often think the same about NZ voters. Cynical? Well, when you’ve been around the traps a long time it’s not surprising.

  13. Nzsage 15

    Seems like I’ve inadvertantly wondered onto “The Gosman Show” website.

    How do I unsubscribe from him?

  14. Ethica 16

    I suppose the Tories will have the services of Cambridge Analytica to do the individual profiling and fake news messaging to every voter that worked so well for Trump. It is particularly easy to target specific marginal areas.

  15. Carolyn_nth 17

    Just out on UK news sites.

    Tory MPs face being prosecuted for electoral fraud while they are fighting the upcoming general election campaign

    14 police forces have sent files to the Crown Prosecution Service relating to the Tory 2015 ‘battle bus’ scheme, which it has been alleged led to Tory candidates breaking strict spending limits on elections.

    The CPS is currently reviewing the evidence and considering whether to charge the MPs with breaking the election spending limits, which are put in place to prevent those with wealthy backers from gaining an unfair advantage during general elections.

    A spokesperson for the CPS confirmed to The Independent on Tuesday evening that any charges would have to be made before the date of the general election, which Theresa May wants to hold on 8 June subject to a vote in Parliament tomorrow.

    • Peroxide Blonde 17.1

      Yes Carolyn, the prospect of daily news items on various prosecutions of up to 30 Tory MPs for electoral fraud would have been a significant factor is May’s calculations.

      With a margin of 12 MPs she would have been concerned about a number of teh prosecutions going all the way.

      “Criminal charges against more than 30 people, including a raft of Conservative MPs and their agents, are being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service over election expenses at the last general election, Channel 4 News can reveal.”

      https://www.channel4.com/news/exclusive-cps-considering-charges-against-over-30-people-including-tory-mps-over-expenses

      • Gosman 17.1.1

        Alternatively she could have asked all of the impacted MP’s to resign and have by-elections in each electorate and then win them all handsomely given the disarray UK Labour is in.

  16. Gosman 18

    This article highlights why UK Labour will likely lose big in these elections

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/18/hes-got-no-oomph-corbyn-divides-voters-in-labour-held-lancaster

    ‘ “I don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. It’s just his manner. I don’t think he’s got any oomph about him,” said Susan Dobson, 56, a lollipop lady on the Marsh. She had voted Labour all her life but was thinking of switching her vote, largely because of Theresa May. “I’m not usually a Tory but I think she’s doing a good job. I’ve never voted Tory before but if she could get in again, I will.” ‘

    • DS 18.1

      You’re actually correct, though not in the way you think.

      The Tories will win because the mainstream media (including the Guardian, whose article you post) has spent night and day demonising Corbyn. They dig up things (or the Blairite wing of the party) to act as concern trolls.

      (This may conceivably backfire when voters get to see Corbyn in an actual debate, since expectations would be so low).

      • Carolyn_nth 18.1.1

        Apparently May says she won’t participate in TV debates for the election.

        • DS 18.1.1.1

          Smart (if cowardly) move. Corbyn needs a chance to show himself to voters without the endless negativity.

  17. Gosman 19

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/18/pollsters-believe-general-election-is-foregone-conclusion

    Maybe Corbyn can turn it around in a little over 6 weeks. I believe the term would be ‘Greatest comeback since Lazarus’.

  18. Armada 20

    On the 4th of May Local Government elections will be run in England, Wales and Scotland.
    The campaigns are already in-flight.

    Labour will be obliterated in Scotland: they will possibly get single digit support. They will have no heart left for the general election. Their only Scottish MP, morose anti-Corbynista Ian Murray in Edinburgh, will loose his seat.
    Scottish Tory Unionists (that now includes Labour) were running an anti 2nd Independence referendum campaign in the Council elections. They will possibly change that to a pro Brexit campaign. Labour Scotland, under Kezia Dugdale, will screw up, be Unionist and side with the Tories.
    The SNP are actually running a local issues campaign but the constitutional issues are never out of range. They too will probably have to adjust their campaign in light of the June GE.
    Fighting Brexit to remain in the EU by having a 2nd Referendum on leaving the UK is what the SNP are about now. They will probably devise a rolling campaign to take the Council seats wins as endorsement for IndyRef#2 and use the GE campaign for a mandate to proceed with #IndyRef2 with or without Teresa May’s consent.

    Teresa May wants a cast iron mandate to negotiate with the EU. She has said she will not allow a Scottish referendum until the exit is fully settled, including the necessary votes in all the European parliaments. The SNP wants the referendum in 18 months when the Brexit settlement is clear. That will allow them to apply to remain in the EU or EFTA or some variation on that theme. They now have huge EU support for being a member.
    Teresa May will use a big GE win to refuse Scotland a referendum. The SNP will have to consider holding the referendum without May’s consent. They might appeal to the UK Supreme Court and/or the European Courts to argue that May cannot withold consent. The SNP and the EU will want Scottish Independence to have ligitimacy.

    The layers of complexity are fascinating.

    • McFlock 20.1

      interesting comment and a lolfully-appropriate pseudonym 🙂

    • dukeofurl 20.2

      Armada, werent you the one making crazy predictions about Irish politics 2 months back ?
      How did that turn out ?

      • Armada 20.2.1

        Yes, and all in good time.

        “Privately, middle-ground Fianna Fáil TDs accept that they will be the ones to bring Sinn Féin in from the cold in the coming five to 10 years – once, of course, Sinn Féin has moved on from Adams.”
        http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/fianna-fáil-sinn-féin-coalition-only-a-matter-of-time-1.3049498

        In my view, and the view of FFers i chat to, this can happen immediately an election is called.

        Taoiseach Enda Kenny has put back his retirement until the Stormont pawer sharing executive is sorted and the principals of the EU Brexit negotiation terms are set. That would have taken matters to June or so.
        However May’s GE annoucement has messed that plan up. The ripples from May’s call will be felt in Belfast and in Dublin.

        Thank you, O’noble one, for giving me the opportuinity to update this matter.

        • dukeofurl 20.2.1.1

          No need . I have put the Irish Times on my tablet screen so I can keep up without your pearls of wisdom andwild speculation.

  19. McFlock 21

    Gosman rough count: 34 out of 82 comments to tell us resistance is futile.

    Nah, not bovvered at all lol

  20. ropata 22

    This twitter thread (discussion between @reckonsemoji and @jordantcarter ) gives a good overview of UK pol omnishambles

    Blair campaigning for the Lib Dems. Labour MPs refusing to endorse their leader. Lib Dem leader embroiled in homophobia and then the Tories.— 🤔 Reckons Emoji (@reckonsemoji) April 18, 2017

    More…

    ?? Reckons Emoji? @reckonsemoji 5h5 hours ago
    Teresa May has looked at her available options and decided to risk it on a public vote. Which, if you recall, worked well for Dave Cameron.

    ?? Reckons Emoji? @reckonsemoji 5h5 hours ago
    It’s the clearest sign of the paucity of ideas in the dark narrow Brexit corridor that is current UK politics.

    ?? Reckons Emoji? @reckonsemoji 5h5 hours ago
    Is Labour about to do worse than 1983? Will the SNP snag those remaining Scotland seats? Are the Lib Dems coming back, the swines? Lordy.

    ?? Reckons Emoji? @reckonsemoji 5h5 hours ago
    EVEN IF THE TORIES WIN THEY STILL HAVE TO DO BREXIT AND THEY DONT WANT TO BECAUSE THEY KNOW IT’LL BE AWFUL AND YET THEY HAVE TO BECAUSE YOLO

    ?? Reckons Emoji? @reckonsemoji 5h5 hours ago
    If Tories win they reset the five year clock on their term, gives them some post-Brexit space to work with. Increased majority would help.

    Jordan Carter? @jordantcarter 5h5 hours ago
    But they will have a bigger buffer against the crazy brexiteers so might have a chance to back off a bit

    ?? Reckons Emoji? @reckonsemoji 5h5 hours ago
    Not really. A50 has been triggered. EU won’t wait, they’re insistent. Tick tock, tick tock…

  21. Michael 23

    I think the French election is probably more significant. If Le Pen wins, Europe fragments into fascist baronies again. As for Britain, I think it will fragment too. In the short term (which is the limit of the political horizon in western societies), I think May’s gamble will pay off for her big time, especially if she (and Corbyn) manage to decimate Labour’s seats in the House of Commons. It looks like UKIP and SNP will be the other winners in this contest. After that, Scotland on the way out and a nasty, xenophobic England. What’s not to like about that, if you’re a Tory (which I’m not, so I concede I may have the pathology a bit mixed up)?

    • aerobubble 23.1

      What happens to the stay voter? Does Lab target them? unite lab stauch voters with turnoff conservative europeans? May says shes for a soft brexit, so Lab says its for that as well as a final Brexit vote, stay or leave but this time with a real deal for the public to see, none of the mystery of the last referendum. Lab dither or get out in front giving Brits a real referendum on Brexit?

      • DS 23.1.1

        Labour is actually between a rock and a hard place on Brexit. Much of Labour’s heartland voted for Brexit, yet its liberal wing are obsessively Remain. Corbyn himself is a Bennite eurosceptic (i.e. he would have campaigned for Brexit had he not been party leader and forced into a particular position).

        • aerobubble 23.1.1.1

          Labour back soft brexit with a final referendum on its terms, this would mean an alternative to Mays’ all in approach. Labour brexiters will stay as Labour is for brexit, and lots of eu stayers will vote Lab for the reset referendum.

    • Grafton Gully 23.2

      A nasty, xenophobic England where –

      “The individual citizen must again have the sense that, even if he finds himself in the simplest and lowest position, that his life and opportunities are assured. He should see that his own existence is rooted in the existence of his people and that he must serve his people with all his strength.”

      http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goering1.htm

    • Richard McGrath 23.3

      “Fascist baronies” – you mean sovereign nations?

  22. peterlepaysan 24

    This will be an interesting election.
    The british media are very anti Corbyn, as are a lot of labour mps.
    The labour party membership seem to rather like Corbyn.
    May is a hopeless debater.
    The scottish/EU question circles this debate like indigenous americans circling european wagon trains.
    May was the best compromise choice the tories could come up with, in a hurry.
    May will not go for public (unscripted) speeches.
    The brexit result will have galvanised previous somnolent voters.

    I think I recall Jim Bolger saying “Bugger the polls, the only one that counts is on the day.”

    The smug gosman posts may yet coms back to bite him.

  23. saveNZ 25

    I don’t know why Labour can’t call for a 2nd referendum on Brexit to clarify if Britain really wants to leave the EU. With such low voting turnout with Brexit, and the media telling everyone that remain had it in the bag – a decision so important for Britain should have been allowed a 2nd referendum vote – that had more Briton’s actually voting.

    If Labour campaign on something like that they might win. EU was not perfect but a Britian under May without the EU is sounding pretty scary. The stupid Brits bought a lot of Brexit onto themselves because like the NZ government they are in denial about migrants coming for work.

    Germany and France had much stricter criteria for work and benefits from other EU countries and did not get the flood of people on their infrastructure. British government said, we want to lower wages in areas like care work and want as many people coming here as possible. The result is a mess, with services like the NHS and welfare grinding to a halt, housing too expensive for those on normal wages and nobody happy with the state of things in Britain.

    As for Corbyn, I am a fan of him as a politician, but when the MSM did the soundbite from him it was calling for more help for those on benefits, disabled and those at the bottom. while completely valid, sadly I think those in the middle want to hear something that includes them because 21st century democracy is not about the government redistributing wealth it is about making the most people better in a country better off and want to vote for you. Having yourself missing from politician’s lips can make it seem like you are irrelevant and not really a reason to rush to the ballot box.

    With the brainwashing of consumerism, the lack of reporting on real issues anymore, the neoliberal ‘economic’ is everything being called from every corner, the increasing ‘charitisation’ of public services like libraries which makes it feel like every day you are being asked for money to support public services (this has an impact on people’s ability to keep giving), sadly the “lets help the bottom” approach Labour takes as a campaign won’t be successful unless they think hard about trying to make Britain better for the most people possible.

    If Labour supported remain, they should campaign on another referendum – many Britons will want that chance to have their say and would vote Labour to stay in the EU.

    And try to get some empathy for those stuck in the middle who are tackling the gig economy, insecurity, weather devastation like floods, reduced services and their tax payers dollars being wasted on crap like Nuclear power stations built by the Chinese and with guaranteed price gouging written in… and in the age of ever falling costs for wind and solar too..

    What can you say, except that the UK politicians seem similar to the National party like Dinosaurs actively trying to get the Meteorite to destroy them faster.

    • Anne 25.1

      Nice one SaveNZ. I haven’t kept up with British politics to the same extent as many here, but Corbyn is becoming a bit of a disappointment. He doesn’t seem as politically savvy as I imagined him to be. Having said that, I’m well aware of the anti-Corbyn campaign which reminds me of the anti-Cunliffe campaign we experienced in NZ in 2013/14.

      All the anecdotal evidence pointed to a large portion of the British population not bothering to vote because they thought the Remain camp was “home and hosed”. If there was a second referendum I suspect there would be seismic shift in the outcome which surely would settle the matter once and for all so why doesn’t British Labour go for it?

      • Peroxide Blonde 25.1.1

        Bollocks.

        There is no comparison between the ant-Corbyn sentiments and the nasty ABC shit of Robertson/King and acolytes.

        Cunliffe had great successes in Telecommunications, Immigration and Health ministries. Corbyn ZERO experiences of any type in ministerial roles.

        Cunliffe was an excellent performer in Parliament, whether on his feet and off the cuff or set piece prepared speech. Corbyn in woefully shite in the chamber.

        Cunliffe had a clear overarching strategy and world view based on solid values/
        Corbyn may hold some similar values to Cunliffe but he could not spell Strategy!

        • Anne 25.1.1.1

          And bollocks to you too. I was replying to saveNz’s comment @ 25 and was referring to the way Cunliffe was treated by the media (plus some of his colleagues) and the not unsimilar treatment meted out to Corbyn by media (plus some of his colleagues). Nothing to do with their political prowess, competence and former achievements. That’s another subject.

          • Gosman 25.1.1.1.1

            Boo hoo. The big bad media is not being nice to our guy. Boo hoo hoo.

          • saveNZ 25.1.1.1.2

            I agree with Anne, Cunliffe was treated disgracefully by some in Labour and in particular the media. Now they are doing it to Little.

            There are lessons to learn from it and Corbyn. Very hard to win when your own colleagues are stabbing you in the back, let a lone a relentless media that is propaganda instead of news, and now crying croc tears about fake news.

            The MSM invented fake news, first!!

      • saveNZ 25.1.2

        I’m not saying I think Corbyn is not politically saavy, but the MSM are defiantly reporting certain soundbites that don’t include middle Britain.

        I admire Corbyn for his stance and his lack of pandering to polls, BUT, the sad thing is that in UK Labour the middle ground to win is between Corbyn and the UK rabid warmongering Blairite Labourites. That is the fertile ground to win the election!

        Voters are tired of being asked to pay more taxes, when the money is just wasted by politicians for crony out of touch rubbish. Politicians need to do a bit of austerity themselves and wake up to the future.

        For example the nuclear vs sustainable power debacle. What a fuck up! Britain had an early lead in wind power and then they blew it and got side tracked to nuclear.

        They are experts in off shore oil rigs which could easily keep that industry going post peak oil by converting their off shore rigs to wind power. Nope, they screw up and get the Chinese to build them a nuclear plant at 14 billion pounds but also price gouging on the power and the safety aspects – hello global climate change and Fukushima . Toshiba has just gone bankrupt building a nuclear power plan for the US.

        Then Trident, a colossal waste of money, modern warfare is is not having 64 Trident Nukes at a cost of 200 billion pounds. The lesson from Iraq is – you can’t deploy them. Probably drone technology would have been the better investment. But too many fingers in the pie for Trident and Nukes.

        Then getting the Chinese to build major infrastructure like nuclear power for a massive profit.. What sort of defence and economic strategy is this – it’s crony capitalism and stupidity of the worst kind!

        So I’m pretty sure nobody trust politicians decisions anymore!

        UK Labour are better to campaign for austerity for politicians and their stupid decisions than voters pay ing more taxes for politicians stupid decisions.

    • Richard McGrath 25.2

      And if there was a second Brexit referendum which was narrowly won by the Remain campaign, would you suggest a third vote?

      • saveNZ 25.2.1

        Nope – it just has to have more than 75% of British citizens for the Leave vote to be carried out with something that important.

        Under Brexit something like 30% of Britain’s did not vote.

        The media told everyone that Remain had it in the bag.

        If they win again to leave with more than 75% of Britons voting it will be a uniting force. At present is seems like a chaotic disaster.

  24. saveNZ 26

    I mean I was shocked to see they have UK libraries run by children’s charities now…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/15/i-ordered-50-tiny-tambourines-john-lewis

    For those that think NZ can’t get worse with more power to Tory’s, it can! Look at the UK!

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