Theresa May will not call a General Election

The British political system is in a frenzy. Since the EU referendum, the Conservative government has been preoccupied with factional battles. Theresa May attempted to resolve these party disputes through ministerial appointments of opponents, but resignation after resignation has reduced her effort to nought. The only thing that helped to maintain a semblance of unity was their shared hatred and fear of Jeremy Corbyn. This is no longer enough of an incentive. Outright disagreement, defying party whip, and criticism of Theresa Mays dismal performance has become commonplace. Especially by members of the ERG. 

Factional disputes are also rampant within Labour. Right-wing Blairite MPs despise Corbyn. They seem more likely to support Nigel Farage or Tommy Robinson than a Socialist. No clear majority of opinion is present in either party. It is unclear what actions a prime minister or a party leader can do to bring about a sense of direction for their party and for British society as a whole.

Neil Clarke has looked at some of the obstacles to unity for Labour. The rampant ideological opposition to Socialism within the Labour backbench is a major cause. Even if Labour wins a majority in the next General election, it is very unlikely Corbyn will be able to implement some his key policies, due to the hostility the right-wing of the party have towards those policies. Corbyn’s plan to build millions of social housing to reduced rent will be opposed by landlords’ MPs, which is almost a third of parliament, and over 20 per cent of Labour. Even with a majority of 60 MPs, Corbyn would not be able to pass a social housing development bill if these MPs oppose. This is one of many areas in which Corbyn is likely to face rabid opposition. Despite the popularity of Corbyn’s policy with the general public, it is unlikely to win support from a large section of the theparliamentary party due to the lack of parallel between the public and so-called representatives. 

In the conservative party, another general election will also prove ineffectual. If the Tories win a similar number of MPs to what they have now, and ERG members continue to opposeTheresa May, it will be impossible to pass legislation.  The polling shows, there is unlikely to be a decisive winner in the next general election. If Labour and Conservative return with a similar number of MPs to what they have now, the stalemate present within the major parties and parliament will continue.

However, the evidence indicates, Corbyn is in a much stronger position than Theresa May. He has the option to remove large sections of the Blairite remnants before the next general election. The new selection changes adopted at the Labour Party Conference, though not ideal, does produce the option to remove the pro-war, pro-austerity ‘Centrists’. Alongside that, Corbyn continues to support the democratic mandate of the EU referendum. Removal of pro-austerity career politicians, who are intent on overturning the democratic mandate supported by a large number of Labour constituents will increase the party’s appeal and the chance of a large parliamentary majority. Theresa May does not have either of these options: she can’t deselect MPs and she definitely cannot move away from the austerity that is integral to the parties ideology. 

Conservative strategist are aware of these facts, and as a result, will advise against a general election. Only option remaining is to crash out of the EU with a no deal, and then blame Corbyn using the propagandists in the mainstream media.  

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