Another election?

I have seen no need for another election any time soon. The Conservative party has the endorsement of the electorate from 2015 for its Manifesto for a Parliament. All the time Mrs May is happy with that Manifesto, which she supported at the time, there is no lack of mandate. The government also has a major mandate from the referendum to get on with Brexit. There would be little  benefit from fighting the referendum again by proxy in a General Election, where  the polling shows the pro Brexit Conservative party is likely to win. If the Election simply confirms the referendum it  adds little. Were parties against Brexit to do better it creates difficulties in implementing the wishes from the referendum. Anti Brexit forces would claim the public had modified their mind on Brexit. The pro Brexit forces would say the election result was mainly about non Brexit matters. It may  not  be clear in a multi issue election.  Many people in the public just want their government to get and do the things that need doing, without any short term need for a new public discussion and vote about the direction of the country. There is plenty to do, and the government has plenty of ideas and Manifesto/referendum  commitments to carry through.

Some of those who wish Brexit ill favour an early election. It might slow things down a bit, create new uncertainties. Some who favour Brexit want an early election, thinking it would lead to a good win by the pro Brexit forces, making it easier to pilot through the Repeal or Continuity of laws Bill which the House must take up as soon as the Article 50 letter has gone. The government’s critics delight in pointing out a favourable comment about the single market in the last Conservative Manifesto. That was of course superseded by the decision of the people in the referendum. Both sides in that campaign said leaving the EU meant leaving the single market, which electors then voted to do.

The case for an early election would have to rest on  an inability for the government to get through this Parliament what it needs to get through to carry out the wishes of electors from 2015 and from the referendum. Alternatively Mrs May could seek a new mandate if she wished to make material changes to the 2015 Manifesto. I would be interested in your views.


  1. mickc
    March 20, 2017

    I agree with your views entirely. A general election now would be an unnecessary distraction from important work.

    1. Hope
      March 20, 2017

      Another desperate attempt by Osborne, Morgan and co to make another attempt to turn a general election in a second referendum. Well done May, first sensible thing she has done. No concis nc Major, Blaire, Heseltine all blurting tripe over The Weeknd supported, once again by the extreme left wing BBC.

      Now sack Osborne as Northern powerhouse nonsens and bring in proper standards to Westminster. £76,000 for a small part time job as an MP is far too much to ask the public to pay with additional expenses, pay from interest groups, kudos etc. either it is a proper full time job or it is not. Certainly no need for so many staff if the work was done by the MP.

  2. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2017

    I suppose what spreadsheet Phil probably completely fails to understand (as he does not have a sound science/maths/physics/ numerate background) is that when you raise a tax it does not product more revenue in the way a simplistic spreadsheet might predict. Indeed it often produces rather less over all the very many taxes. It changes people’s behaviour, it distracts them from productive activity, deters them for working or moving, pushes them abroad and creates more parasitic jobs for lawyers, more black economy, more bureaucrats and more tax advisors. Red tape does the same In short it damages the economy, makes it far less productive, reduces wages, kills real jobs and reduces the tax base.

    He also clearly fails to understand the anger when he rats on very clear manisto commitments and sents people out to argue black is white. Worse still he did not know how to do the apology and U-turn sincerely and fully. Time now for the U turns on IHT thresholds, probate tax, sugar tax, workplace pensions, employment “rights”, worker on boards, gender pay reporting, central wage controls, the absurd Stamp Duty levels, HS2, Hinkley, Lagoons, the appalling climate change act, the dire monopoly NHS and eduction systems and much else.

  3. Mick
    March 20, 2017

    I cannot see why Mrs May would want a GE she seems to be getting her way in Parliament, but it would be nice to see less labour/snp/lib???/greens
    On another note
    The last person to threaten us got his arse kicked, so if we have to just leave the table there’ll be the ones begging us for trade, Muppets

    1. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2017

      It would indeed be nice to see fewer labour/snp/libdims/greens especially those in the Conservative Party and in the Cabinet.

      “The last person to threaten us got his arse kicked”. Would that be Osborne? Has he resigned yet? Someone needs to talk to him, he is now damaging the party and himself even further by clinging on.

  4. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2017

    Clearly they did spot the huge IHT ratting (by time to resign Osborne) sensitivity.and so decided to introduce a new probate IHT tax II instead. They obviously think the public are so very, very gullible they would not notice the new IHT tax with a different name! A bit like they did years ago with tax and the “National Insurance” scam. Now with a total combined rate of about 44% or even 64% if you earn about £40 k+ then you start to loose your child benefits too at £50k+ and personal allowances at £100k+.

  5. LordBlagger
    March 20, 2017

    All the time Mrs May is happy with that Manifesto

    I detect the hand of the Spin Doctors.

    The breaking of the manifesto clearly has resulted in lots of emails, most of which I suspect point out that its fraud to promise something to get a job, then do the complete office.

    So the spin doctors are out trying to white wash the attempt to do so.

    Meanwhile Hammond is doing the large corporates businesses and setting the tax dogs to get the small companies. They don’t like the competition.

    1. getahead
      March 20, 2017

      “then do the complete (opposite when in) office.”
      Mrs May’s predecessor did a lot of that.

  6. John
    March 20, 2017

    It would be a distraction when we know what needs to be done this parliament term.

    The outcome where one is needed for me, would be if there was no deal and we need to opt for WTO. That to me is far better than EU membership but does the Commons have the MPs to vote that through if it came to it?

    If it does then okay, if it doesn’t then would we do better now than later?

  7. Jerry
    March 20, 2017

    You are right, there are no technical reasons to hold a snap GE, but is there any political – perhaps, and they stem from the behaviour of at least some Tory MPs in the past…

    First, the legitimacy of Mrs May and her premiership, she might have a mandate to enact Brexit, and the manifesto that all Conservative MPs stood on, but what of her mandate to be PM. If it was OK for some on the political right to doubt Mr Browns legitimacy as PM when he took over from Mr Blair then surely it is OK for others to now question Mrs May’s own legitimacy.

    Second, and this is perhaps more specific to up and coming Brexit and post Brexit legislation, does the now broadly pro Brexit government of Mrs May (compared to the broadly pro-EU government of Mr Cameron) have the support of a majority of its own MPs if there was no party whip? Could the pro-EU rebels not claim to be acting no differently to how the anti Euro rebels used to act prior to June last year (a similar excuse has been used by the anti Corbyn rebels on the Labour benches, citing Corbyn’s own tendency to ignore the party whip).

    A snap GE would clear the air on both those issues.

  8. sm
    March 20, 2017

    I believe a major factor is to delay the next GE until after the implementation of the Boundary Review, unless there is a catastrophe of such major political importance that Mrs May needs to establish a fresh mandate of confidence.

    (Oh, and I don’t understand why people have problems with CAPTCHA, since all I have to do is tick a box!)

    1. DaveM
      March 20, 2017

      Capcha doesn’t work well outside the U.K.

      I agree with your comment though.

  9. Richard1
    March 20, 2017

    I have not seen any need for an election either, although the dire state of the Labour Party makes it tempting to hold one. It’s possible – and should be hoped in the interests of the Country – that the gang of Marxists who have taken over the Labour Party will be replaced by more moderate voices. But the best way to remove the terrible theoretical threat of a far left Government might be to bury Labour in a General Election. On the other hand of course, as the Country moves towards and beyond Brexit, people are likely to see the need for the UK to be competitive and move to the political right, making a Conservative victory in 2020 more assured.

    But what about these 12 constituencies where the Comservative Party has supposedly broken the election expenses rules and by-elections might be forced? If thats on the cards maybe a general election would be better.

  10. alan jutson
    March 20, 2017

    No election until Brexit is finished.

    Only time to call an election is if the eventual recommended deal to Parliament is voted down by Parliament.

    Brexit is the biggest issue that needs to be resolved in this Parliament, we do not want to do anything that will disturb or delay that issue.

  11. Peter Wood
    March 20, 2017

    Good Morning,

    I believe it appropriate to for Mrs May to seek a new and fulsome mandate from the nation for 2 reasons:
    1) To remove any doubt about the legitimacy of her government with a larger majority,
    2) To confirm to the EU, and more importantly the major European nations, that the UK is fully behind the government’s Brexit plans and that discussions for our future relations need to be handled at senior government level with mutual respect.

  12. DaveM
    March 20, 2017

    I suspect the idea of an early election might appeal to May if it means she can delay kick starting Brexit until beyond 31 May thus making it much harder to leave at all. So when’s she sending the letter Mr Redwood?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 21, 2017

      It will go in on 29th March, about 8 month after the date Cameron promised he would delivery it. Costing a fortune every single day, causing uncertainty and delaying all the restructuring needed. Clearly the letter should have been written before the referendum and delivered on 24th June as soon as the votes were counted.
      Cameron, Osborne and the cabinet were grossly negligent in this regard and indeed in others.

  13. Denis Cooper
    March 20, 2017

    A general election would not change the composition of the House of Lords, whose unelected members have now emerged as the main parliamentary obstacle to the passage of legislation required for Brexit. Nor would it make them less inclined to obstruct the process no matter what was put in the Tory manifesto. On the other hand the introduction of a government Bill to amend the Parliament Acts and reduce their powers by cutting the maximum period for which they are allowed to delay a Bill to (say) one month could act as a deterrent.

    1. A.Sedgwick
      March 21, 2017

      Just a commitment to abolish the Lords in the manifesto would be the most sensible option and could be a “get out of jail card” for Labour or UKIP to the Conservatives detriment. I was amazed to read that Blair and Cameron had elevated about 600 current Peers.

  14. Old Albion
    March 20, 2017

    An election now, plays into the hands of Remainiacs.

    1. Jerry
      March 20, 2017

      @Old Albion; That is not what UKIP would say! Are you saying that europhobic parties stand no chance, nor a Tory party with Brexit as the main manifesto pledge – if so then perhaps we do need a GE, post haste, because apparently even Brexiteers think the Brexit mandate is weak…

      Oh and why are you always so rude, questioning others mental state, calling them (re-) maniacs just because they dare to think differently to you.

  15. norman
    March 20, 2017

    Not a good idea. There’s far too much urgent work to get on with, and it would only open up more opportunity for ‘aggravation’. The only advantage would be that it might give a stronger mandate, both in the House of Commons, and in Scotland. However, I think the electorate would see it as a waste of time and energy, and tax-payers’ money – which could back-fire in low turn-out and engagement, with possibly even some nasty surprises!

  16. agricola
    March 20, 2017

    It would be a distraction when there is much to do as well as Brexit. I will not boor you with a shopping list, the need for fixes are all too obvious.

  17. Mark B
    March 20, 2017

    Good morning.

    I think we have enough on our plate as it is.

  18. stred
    March 20, 2017

    Agreed about the election. Off subject, I have been tv free for a week and this morning turned the BBC on for the weather. Apart from the story about Trump being a puppet of Russia and his officials being caught meeing the Russian ambassador, presumably not in secret while planning to subvert the US, they lead on the MPs meeting to discuss the ‘filthy’ air in the UK,as described by Mary Kray. There were pictures of the filthy air coming out of bus and car exhausts and it certainly looked awful. Then they explained that the pictures were taken with a special infra-red camera to detect pollution.

    After a little thought, I realized that the billowing smoke would have been the hot air consisting mainly of nitrogen, water vapour and carbon dioxide, with a very small proportion of NO2 and probably hardly ay more particulates than background pollution, as the new buses and cars have filters.

    Later Mz Kray said, “now we have the 40 thousand deaths”, omitting to say that only a small % of these are attributed to NO2 and particulates, and that the new lower EU limits are exceeded in roadside positions where London Transport has ensured high congestion.

    Please consider the government paper showing that these pollutants have decreased by 2/3 over the last 20 years ( sent previously) and the paper by Italian scientists showing the comparative levels of disease attributable. Or perhaps the paper in Nature showing that Western Europe has some of the cleanest air on the Earth, while pollution levels in China and other far Eastern countries are far higher. I will dig these out and send them.

    It is sad that such ignorant politicians come to sit on committees to discuss subjects, without having read the relevant information.

    1. stred
      March 20, 2017

      and Delhi 416

  19. Roy Grainger
    March 20, 2017

    You’ve left out the main reason why there shouldn’t be an election, it would be against the will of the House of Commons as expressed in the fixed-term parliament act. May could force an election under this act for example by having her own MPs vote against her in a synthetic vote of no confidence (ie. effectively lying about their view of the government) but it is clear that that would be entirely against the spirit of that legislation. Any MP, Lib, Lab or Con, calling for an election now needs to explain why they are proposing to ignore a law that (I believe) the vast majority of them voted in favour of when it was introduced. Repeal of that law would be possible but that was not in the manifesto of any party at the last election and it is clear that would also simply be a strategy which that legislation was specifically designed to prevent – an incumbent PM choosing an election date for purely political reasons.

  20. Andrew S
    March 20, 2017

    There is authority to trigger article 50 and proceed with Brexit discussions now. That should happen, then commence sensible achievable reforms in other areas, and economic development policies on energy and industry (tax reducing not increasing). Maybe next year there could be opportunity to remove the fixed term parliament act, which hinders rather than helps. This would also give time for parliamentary candidates to emerge who can see the public approval for Brexit. Who is to say a incoming candidates at this point are not remainers, hangovers from the Cameron/Osborne days? Why take the risk.

  21. MickN
    March 20, 2017

    What I would like to see is the new boundaries implemented before a General Election. Also I would like to see postal voting restricted to the old and infirm and those that cannot get to a polling station rather than the abuse of the system that is taking place now.
    More than this I want that article 50 letter sent NOW !!

    1. Jerry
      March 20, 2017

      @MickN; Are you really suggesting that the only way the current Conservative party stands any chance of winning the next general election is by changing constituency boundaries…

      If Mrs May has any sense she will dump this farce of a idea, because the average voter will see through it to what it really is. As older engineer might suggest, do not fix what is not broke, careless meddlers are more likely just to make things worse!

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      March 21, 2017

      I fully agree with the need for postal voting reform.

      With proxy voting available there is little need for even the infirm to vote by post. Proxies would be easier to monitor for fraud than post.

      1. Jerry
        March 21, 2017

        @NS; Proxy votes are far more open to abuse than a secure postal vote would be, at least with postal voting there is a fare to evens chance that the person named on the polling card cast the vote they intend, on the other hand with a proxy that intention is by definition entrusted to a third party who might very well give the vote to another candidate.

        The problem with postal votes is that they are far to widely available, for example how many residents of HMO’s truly need a postal vote, and would it not be possible to have secure mobile polling stations that visit registered nursing homes and the such, allowing perhaps even bedside voting?

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          March 21, 2017


          With a well tracked proxy system it is would be possible to identify multiple proxy holders. With postal votes there is no way to know who the puppet master is.

          1. Jerry
            March 25, 2017

            @NS; How does anyone track the intentions of the voter and their proxy, seeing that the formers intentions should be a private matter between themselves, any nominated proxy and the ballot box – how could a fraud (miss-appropriated vote) be detected unless those who wish to nominate a proxy first have to declare their voting intent to the electoral commission or who ever?!

            It is not who votes, acting as a proxy, but how they vote that matters, what is more there might be legitimate cause for one person to hold multiple proxies. But if that is a problem by all means legislate so that one person can not hold more than two votes, a proxy and their own, but how would that stop a “puppet master” having more than the one puppet in their show, all they will do is recruit some “puppet operators”.

  22. Denis Cooper
    March 20, 2017


    “Jürgen Hardt, the spokesman for the CDU/CSU Foreign Affairs group in the Bundestag said there would be “no high hurdles for Scotland to re-enter” though he urged Scots to focus on stopping Brexit altogether:

    “The golden solution would be for Scottish people to hinder the UK leaving the EU.”

    For instance, through a repeat independence referendum just as the UK government was heavily engaged in negotiations for the UK to leave the EU, which if won by the SNP could be followed by demands that the EU withdrawal process be put on hold for some period – some months, or some years – while Scotland was disentangled from the rest of the UK and at the same time it was agreed how Scotland could remain part of the EU.

  23. Prigger
    March 20, 2017

    Contrived delays and obstacles in Parliament by Remoaners are a definite.

    In Parliamentary Committees you expect objective questions seeking genuine clarification. Instead with questioning of the Brexit Minister, for example, questions were framed to ambush and entrap the Minister followed by a rhetoric somewhat divorced from the specific case in point to undermine prior and present claims of Brexiteers.
    The Opposition and individual Remoaners are scuppered if they do not somehow, by whatever means, debilitate the Brexit Tory party in the negotiations. Sturgeon’s seemingly outrageous claim that “The Tories will stay in power for the next twenty years” is their not so silly fear.
    So, they will attack via demands for an Independence vote ( soon ) and try to push from the Labour benches for an early election…they have absolutely nothing to lose, strangely, only a bad leader which will set them on course for better outcomes later.

    The Tory Party, under these circumstances, must allow itself an early election too. To have a later one will be based entirely on the perceived success or otherwise of Brexit negotiations. Too many unknowables!. EVERYTHING, even commodity prices on international markets will be perceived by the electorate as a consequence of Brexit.

  24. Paul Greenwood
    March 20, 2017

    I left a comment about DCFTA the other day but cannot find it. Since Turkey has a Deep & Comprehensive FTA with EU since 1963 it seems the EU can “cut and paste” agreements if it wants so clearly the UK can get a structured deal.

  25. Michael
    March 20, 2017

    The priority for the PM is to retain the trust and confidence of the electorate avoiding self inflicted wounds and banana skins. The Government must not be a know all Westminster elite. It must act and govern as one would expect with a vicar’s daughter in the lead.

  26. Doug Powell
    March 20, 2017

    No Election! We cannot risk losing Brexit now!
    Remember Ted Heath? He thought he was on a winner when at the height of the ‘3 day week’ he called an election with the war cry “Who governs Britain?”

    The answer came back – “Not you mate!”

    Be very worried of a pre Brexit election!

    1. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2017

      Indeed and May is basically another dire Ted Heath type in nearly every respect. She does though have the advantage that there is no real opposition.

    2. Jerry
      March 20, 2017

      @Doug Powell; But what is to stop a party, post Brexit, at the next GE standing on a “The UK should Re-Join the EU” ticket, and if the will of the people are as you fear there is an evens chance that such a party could win or at least be a major party in a coalition. As such the logical conclusion to your argument is that the next GE should never come…

  27. Anonymous
    March 20, 2017

    I think there would be enormous benefit in fighting the referendum again by proxy in a general election.

    It would confirm the mandate for Brexit beyond dispute. It would also prevent Mrs May from being criticised for being unelected.

    1. Anonymous
      March 20, 2017

      The BBC’s Countryfile has been at it again. The BBC always states that, in Brexit, we want immigration stopped. No we don’t. We just want a sensible points and visa system reintroduced and for it to be enforced properly.

      Remainers’ main arguments seem to be predicated upon two assumptions:

      A) Brexiters are racist

      B) Brexiters did not know what they were voting for

      Thankfully we have Newmania here to prove my point.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 24, 2017


    2. enock
      March 20, 2017

      May was elected by her constituents and her party had a majority vote by the electorate. Sturgeon is muck stirring, slap her down please.

    3. DaveM
      March 20, 2017


      Whereas I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that the PM has presidential powers without us having a presidential election, someone should remind Sturgeon that we don’t elect our PM, we elect a local MP and the leader of the largest party becomes PM.

  28. E.S Tablishment
    March 20, 2017

    PM May’s lack of a direct voter mandate is being used by Sturgeon and will be used by other parties. Each minutia will be used to defeat Brexit and May simultaneously.
    Mrs May is not the weakest link in Brexit negotiations. But her position and that of Tory-Brexit strivings can be better underpinned with a stronger Mrs May.
    If rhetorically called upon to call an election early, Mrs May should surprise everyone and say “Yes”. With one victorious election under her belt and Brexit negotiations still in progress, it will give her more time post-Brexit too to gear up for the next election to follow.

  29. eeyore
    March 20, 2017

    I hope Mrs May will crack on with the mighty labours the voters have dumped on her, that Conservative MPs won’t take unmanly advantage of her small majority, and that she in her turn doesn’t try any more embarrassing monkey tricks with the small print such as we saw in the Budget.

    Then she will be a great and happy Prime Minister and all (except Remainers, who will never learn) will praise her name and call her blessed.

  30. WingsOverTheWorld
    March 20, 2017

    Brexit is not, or rather should not, be an issue of party. It is why the decision of leaving the EU was given to the people in the first place. It is above party politics. Respecting the demos – and you would hope all parties in a democracy would respect the demos – requires the decision to be implemented, which, nearly a year later, it has not been. The danger this country faces is from narrow minded politicians, who seek to use Brexit as a means of gaining support from pro-EU ideologies, rather than trying to get the best deal for this country first and having a unique manifesto after our sovereignty is returned. I do not believe it is in our interests to seek a mandate at this stage – it would muddy the water, and would also be hopelessly ineffectual as it would in large part rely on our EU counterparts, of whom we have no control.

    I have faith that May “gets it” and her vision for Britain is a genuine mix of protecting the JAMs and getting the best out of Brexit, even if I normally ascribe to more libertarian ideals. Encouraging growth is key to her vision, and non-intuitive as it may be, lowering and simplifying taxes would be the best way to get a rising tide to float all boats. I hope your manifesto reflects that nearer the General Election. However, May’s is currently the best vision of the UK available for the likes of me, regardless.

  31. Eh?
    March 20, 2017

    Labour is planning an election, soon.

    Labour will get its way only if it presents more unworkable delays in Brexit’s path. It will.

    Labour as a Party in the whole has no choice. Corbyn needs at least a good lose in an election to solidify the Left. The Right of the Labour Party needs a lose of any kind but soon! MPs have ages and career paths. ..perhaps reducing options for a “life and employment after a parliamentary career. “High stakes.
    Their “patriotism” by “honouring ” the Brexit decision of the British people is zero. They are fighting as never before for their jobs. No Labour constituency, not one of their jobs ,is safe under Corbyn

  32. Ian Wragg
    March 20, 2017

    Just when do you intend getting on with Brexit.
    Are you waiting for further challenges so you can delay.

  33. Bert Young
    March 20, 2017

    An Election at this time would be ill-timed and wrong . Not only would it impede Brexit and add confusion to the process , it would also be playing into the hands of the SNP who would see it as a triumph to its complaining . There is no doubt that the Conservatives would increase its majority due to the disarray in Labour and the extreme disatisfaction with Corbyn , but the “win” would not have the real psychological impact normally associated with it .

    There is a mandate in place and it must be honoured . The Hammond fiasco is an illustration of how easy it is to overlook a commitment ; there are no excuses for this error of judgement and timing and he has to pay for his mistake . Equally Theresa has to learn that she dare not stop her responsibility of keeping a controlling finger on the work of her Departments of State ; it is an easy thing to be distracted in the belief that everyone is doing their job properly , she now knows that the consequences can be fatal .

    Brexit must not be delayed . It is the most important feature in the history of our nation ; it has the support of the people who want change and a new opportunity . As one who did not vote to join the “Common Market in the first place because I had always valued the strength and value of the Commonwealth , I want to see my faith restored in the dignity and independence of this country .

  34. Sean
    March 20, 2017

    I agree that Mrs May, doesn’t need to call a General Election.
    Although her feet dragging on Brexit is making us start to wonder why now she wants to tour the uk.

    Come on leave the EU already and use the money to fill Hannan black hole or call the election.

  35. JM
    March 20, 2017

    At present the PM is being taunted that she lacks her own mandate. This is constitutionally illiterate, but it does resonate politically. It is undeniable that she has a slender majority, which will make life difficult, although given the weakness of the present opposition, this may be no bad thing.

    If she were to trigger Article 50 and call a snap election, the election would inevitably be about Brexit. If it is the case that the notification is to be quite full, there will be a hiatus whilst the 27 decide upon their response. That provides the electoral window.

    If the PM does not go now she will have to go long and wait until 2019 at the earliest once the negotiation is complete. Events may have conspired to make it less propitious by then. On balance I would favour goingbmow.

  36. David Edwards
    March 20, 2017

    I agree.

  37. David Edwards
    March 20, 2017

    That should have read ‘I agree – now is not the time for an election’

  38. adams
    March 20, 2017

    This is what we need John . Whenever the next election comes . What a constitutional mess the UK now is . Once out of the EU monster we should get a federal system for the whole of the UK and maybe Ireland would join that . Shambling along as we are is not an option .

    1. enock
      March 20, 2017

      Tories are still integrating UK military into EU force (France/Germany). Why might that be?

  39. David Murfin
    March 20, 2017

    No election. Get on with leaving. Nine months and a lot of EU contributions have been wasted because the government did not plan for a result it did not expect.

  40. Brian Tomkinson
    March 20, 2017

    I see to need, or enthusiasm amongst the public, for a general election. There is frustration that progress has been so slow in fulfilling the result of the referendum and triggering Article 50. Powerful forces are striving to cling on to their elitist positions and show scant regard for democracy or the opinions of the electorate. Please advise the PM to get on with it.

  41. The Prangwizard
    March 20, 2017

    Is Dithering Doris going miss the post? She seems easily distracted. Something happens, she delays. Only a few days to go.

    She is scuttling around to appease everyone who bleats about wanting to remain. She insults those who want out.

    1. The Prangwizard
      March 20, 2017

      And no, there should be no election of course. Talk of it is an attempt at destabilisation which we should not have to face. There is in my view no justification; it may be tempting to some but it should be resisted.

  42. Pat
    March 20, 2017

    Aside from which there is the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

  43. Antisthenes
    March 20, 2017

    An election now is a distraction and throws up all sorts of complications. No doubt a resurgence of the Lib-Dims at the expense of Labour is likely and the Conservatives would increase their majority. So that would be an attraction but as it the way of all forecasts that may not be the outcome at all. Waiting until 2020 also has it’s dangers especially as our PM and Chancellor appear to lack competence and are far too left leaning in their sympathies. Recent events point to them enacting policies and making decisions that may create and environment that stops the Conservatives winning the 2020 election. Allowing Tim Farron or Jeremy Corbyn into no 10. An appalling idea.

    The Conservative majority is slim and as 13 constituencies have been investigated for electoral irregularities and rerun votes possible in some of them so that majority is under threat. Certainly the parties reputation is. Not that other parties do not use the same accounting practices. They do but that is now a distant memory. A few months or even weeks back a general election would have probably been en excellent idea but Theresa May in her usual dithering way did not take the opportunity. Now an election is much more of a gamble as is waiting for the designated one. I believe the Conservatives like Labour have elected the wrong leader. The only difference is Corbyn is obviously so and May is not yet. However if she continues to perform as she is that may become apparent all too soon.

  44. Simon
    March 20, 2017

    The Manifesto (if any one in the Government actually cares) says “Yes to the Single Market”.

    Reply And was replaced by both sides in the Referendum saying out of the EU meant out of the single market, which UK voters voted to do.

    1. Richard
      March 20, 2017

      This is untrue. Mr Hannan, Mr Farage, Mr Banks and Mr Boris Johnson all made very clear that they did not advocate leaving the single market, and that following the Norway model was a very good plan.

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      March 21, 2017

      Reply to reply

      As I understand it government negotiators will attempt to keep tariff free access to the EU market, continuing with arrangements is always easier than changing arrangements, so the manifesto is still being followed. If external parties refuse us access without recourse to WTO terms that is hardly abandoning a manifesto statement.

    3. Jerry
      March 21, 2017

      @JR reply; How many more times, that is untrue, both official groups might well have said what you claim but not all (fully legal and entitled to) campaign groups did, some actually campaigned to stay in the Single Market upon a successful Brexit.

  45. Leslie Singleton
    March 20, 2017

    Dear John–I increasingly think the less of all elections in principle, thinking first and foremost that the idea that electees have better judgement just because they have been elected has no basis. Previously there was no choice but not any more and we should have more referenda. Take Clarke and his dismissal of the Referendum as being an “opinion poll”. How perfectly fatuous. When the opinion is of everybody that is it so far as I am concerned. The sampling problems associated with opinion polls do not apply to referenda but they do very much apply to the very small and unrepresentative sample that get elected–those that are tele and photogenic, good at kissing babies, toeing the Party line etc. No time at all for “that’s the way we do it”–we need to find a better way.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      March 20, 2017

      Postscript–Obvious to a blind and deaf man or woman that Scots do not want a second Referendum any time soon. Why should the SNP be able to say different just because their members have been elected? There is not even a smidgeon of a reason, never mind a logical one.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        March 20, 2017

        PPS–For some reason my original post to which this is the PS has not passed moderation–I’ve not said what John wants to hear again I guess.

  46. John E
    March 20, 2017

    But Mrs. May isn’t happy with that manifesto. We saw that over the N.I. budget fiasco. I think it’s fair to infer from her treatment of George Osborne that she was very unhappy with the economic policies. She was sitting there quietly seething and filling with bile and resentment. She wants to act as a fresh government and therefore she should seek a fresh mandate.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      March 20, 2017

      Dear John–And never mind the worst case possible consequences, eh? I’m with John on this.

  47. MikeP
    March 20, 2017

    How on Earth could we have any sensible negotiations with the EU27 if they thought that those across the table on our side might well change after a UK election. They could stall or, more likely, offer and publicise incredibly poor terms as a way of precipitating defeat for Theresa May. We know the next two years are already complicated by French and German elections but we needn’t add to that by our own efforts.

  48. ChrisS
    March 20, 2017

    Ideally, I would have preferred Mrs May to have sought a fresh and much larger mandate however when she was made PM it was essential for her to minimise uncertainty and give the Country firm direction. This she achieved, despite repeated and unjust criticism that she didn’t know what to do.

    She has said repeatedly that there should not be another election for very sound reasons and she needs be consistent. Otherwise she will be accused of opportunism or flip flopping.

    However, if she starts to suffer defeats in the Commons over issues such as Grammar Schools or anything whatsoever to do with Brexit, she should have a bill in her pocket ready to bypass the fixed term parliament act and call for an immediately election.
    The country will entirely understand the need and she will win overwhelming support.

    In the meantime I hope that the Conservative party branch in Broxtowe will select a new candidate to represent them.

    (159 Words )

  49. acorn
    March 20, 2017

    Little point in having another general election, it would change nothing. All democracies eventually vote themselves out of existence via nationalism with a hate theme, to a one party state and eventually, to a supreme leader or “El Presidente”. Such systems don’t need legislatures with 650 MPs and 804 Lords to rubber stamp El Presidente executive orders issued from Downing Street, as the last nine months has proven. Or a Supreme Court come to that.

  50. oldtimer
    March 20, 2017

    The primary task for the government is to serve the Article 50 notice and then legislate and negotiate terms to implement Brexit. That will, according to Paul Goodman, be an all consuming task for ministers and their departments. An early general election would be a distraction from this essential task and therefore something to be avoided.

    Nevertheless it is not difficult to imagine that there be some (even many) in Parliament who will be more than happy to disrupt proceedings, compromise the UK’s negotiating position and delay legislation needed to implement Brexit is an efficient and orderly way. It is therefore possible that the government may be put in a situation where it cannot get the needed changes and legislation through Parliament. It follows that it is entirely possible that, in such circumstance, the government may feel the need to call a general election on the issue. Those obstructing legislation may well be seeking just such an outcome. In those circumstances the government would need to choose its grounds for an early general election in clear and unequivocal terms.

  51. margaret
    March 20, 2017

    Surely if they want an independent Scotland part of the EU they can wait until we are out. According to article 49 they then can re apply as an independent country to join the EU.

  52. lojolondon
    March 20, 2017

    John, some people who want another election, want to remind our MP’s that they depend on our votes for their jobs, and hopefully to replace those MP’s who ignore voters with one who respects our views. Specifically on Brexit.

  53. Denis Cooper
    March 20, 2017

    Off-topic again, Ruth Davidson has ripped into Nicola Sturgeon:

    “So you’ve got this ridiculous, I think deceitful proposition from Nicola Sturgeon. She’s saying to the people of Scotland, we must drag you back to a place you don’t want to go, to answer a question that you’ve already answered, I just didn’t like that answer, on the grounds of leaving Europe – which we’re going to do anyway, and we might not even go back in.”

    The key point being that “we’re going to do it anyway”:

    “The First Minister insisted yesterday that she remained to committed to rejoining the EU after independence, but indicated it may not happen immediately.”

    In other words, with or without a repeat independence referendum in the autumn of 2018 or spring 2019, and whichever way the Scots voted in any such referendum, Scotland will be leaving the EU alongside the rest of the UK, probably in the spring 0f 2019.

    So over to the EFTA/EEA faction to curdle her blood with their increasingly hysterical predictions of immediate economic, financial and social catastrophe if the UK withdrew from the EU by any route other than the one they prefer:

    “David Davis is leading Britain into an elephant trap”

    “What he still doesn’t seem have grasped is that the moment we leave the EU (and the European Economic Area) to become a “third country”, we are automatically excluded from this electronic system: to be faced with all the need for paper documentation and inspection procedures which could soon have lorries backing up from Dover to London and beyond …”

    Etc etc etc; the Brexit apocalypse would start straight away on B-Day + 1, with empty shelves in the shops and severe food shortages and massive lay-offs and riots and all; it would not hold back for a few years while Scotland tried to wheedle its way back into the EU.

  54. Jason wells
    March 20, 2017

    I believe that we should have another election right now so that we can stick it to these would also allow T May and the government to consolidate its position with a fresh mandate. A fresh election would also show up the SNP for offering us nothing more than tunnel vision. So Yes lets have another election.

  55. rose
    March 20, 2017

    Yes, pay no attention to the siren voices calling for an election. They are not benign. The irresponsible, unpatriotic media would love one. That should be warning enough.

    1. rose
      March 20, 2017

      How can we stop people like the BBC talking about a “divorce” – as if we are in a Mormon marriage. They never make it clear whether we are the husband with 27 wives, or one of the wives. The former, I think, from the sums being demanded.

  56. Robin Wilcox
    March 20, 2017

    As long as the Government can still get legislation they need passed then I’d much rather they get on with delivering Brexit than get distracted with another General Election.

  57. Peter Lloyd
    March 20, 2017

    There is no need for a general election, and the public elected the Conservatives on the basis of a 5 year term as per the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

    Theresa May has a clear, legitimate mandate as Prime Minister and her commitment to help deliver Brexit and a fair agreement with the EU has been her priority and is something on which she has been clear and unwavering .

    If an election is called it will be a sign of weakness in the PM, government and in the Conservative Party. It will be a diversion, a delay and all the balls will be thrown up in the air, the most damaging of which will be the argument that will ensue about whether the General Election votes are about the economy, social issues, taxation, Brexit or any number of other matters. That’s why the separation of the Brexit issue via a dedicated referendum vote was correct and very important.

    Very few people want an election and they seem to be centred around Remainers who can’t buy into Brexit at all and Brexiters who just want to rub the noses of Remainers in another defeat for them as a punishment. Both are wrong and the latter is deeply unpleasant and divisive. Both should be ignored.

  58. Oggy
    March 20, 2017

    The Government already has enough to do without the distraction of an early election.
    It would just give more air time to the likes of Blair, Farron and Heseltine and to be honest I’m sick of listening to them bleating and whingeing.

    One point to note is that the Government has not yet implemented/delivered on the results of the EU referendum which it said it would, so holding another poll without delivering on the first would be seen as a betrayal.

  59. Elliot Kane
    March 20, 2017

    I agree entirely. I’ve been baffled by the number of commentators who keep suggesting that May should call an election for any number of reasons that have no real logic behind them, IMO.

    As you say, the Conservatives were elected to govern. They are doing so without difficulty. May does not need a personal mandate, any more than Brown or Major did before her.

    The idea that Brexit somehow requires a new mandate is, if anything, even flimsier. It just gained the greatest mandate ever given in British electoral history and May is carrying out that mandate. Were she NOT doing so, that might be cause for an election, but she is.

    IMO, the only possible reason to call an early election would be if the government is, for some reason, unable to govern. As has always been the case, in fact.

  60. woohoo
    March 20, 2017

    29th. Hooray!!!

  61. Newmania
    March 20, 2017

    Both sides in that campaign said leaving the EU meant leaving the single market, which electors then voted to do.

    Nonsense. Leave promised that Trade would carry on unimpeded and that there would be net gain to the Nation of £350 pw, we know leave voters believed this. The only reason the single ,market was mentioned by Leave at all was in the last two weeks to clear the way for its anti-immigrant onslaught which was wot won it.
    You seem to wish to couch this post a threat to use Corbyn’s nonexistence to rack up more Brexit supplicants but that threat is already in action .That is why we are getting UKIPs Brexit and nothing close to the median wish of the people which was for some small adjustment

    Half the country has zero representation in Parliament so it could not be worse than it is . A general election would re fresh the arguments and the same lies could not be reheated . It could provide no further mandate as no Political Party supports remain and one is otherwise unelectable it would mean you would have to make your frankly ridiculous claims publicly and it might , whatever the result provide overwhelming evidence th a the “People” do not wat to be frog marched to poverty unemployment inflation and International irrelevance

    This is why there will be no general election whatever anyone pretends

  62. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2017

    The danger is that with J Corbyn even a dopey ex(?) remainer & lefty ditherer might get a large majority and then be able to ignore the (rather too few) sensible MPs in the Tory Party.

    Perhaps then pushing more of her mad lefty ideas – like workers on boards, gender pay, ever higher taxes, sugar taxes, central wage controls, attack of the self employed, more employment “rights” and other totally misguided interventions.

    Why is May delaying yet further to the 29th March every days delay is a waste of time and money get on with it. She has not even announced the 23rd of June UK liberation day holiday yet.

    Osborne still not resigned I see. Has the man no shame, he should have gone with Cameron taking his punishment threat budget and IHT ratting with him!

  63. Jeff Wyatt
    March 20, 2017


    I have not written to you before. May I first say how much I enjoy reading your comments, makes a change to read and hear straight talking sense from a modern politician, I agree with much of what you say, especially the anti EU stuff. Are you sure you should not be joining UKIP ?.

    Ref a calling of a snap Election. I think one should be called. Whilst T May and Mr Davis and Mr Fox and Mr Johnson are saying the right things I for one would like to see them putting these things down in black and white so the People will have the opportunity to vote in a clear mandate giving Election on THE most important issue of all of our lifetimes. The other Parties also having the opportunity to do the same. In my opinion what will definitely come out is Labours complete melt down and Mrs Mays moment in time when she can convince people like me that she does not harbour past Remain credentials and lack of commitment to deal with the appalling inward legal and illegal immigration that the majority of fellow Brits are fed up with.

    1. Simon
      March 20, 2017

      She would need an election to reduce third world migration sharply now. She won’t of course. Lest it offends the Islamic community.

  64. Tad Davison
    March 20, 2017

    Mrs. May has a mandate. It was given to her party at the last election. She assumed office after the cowardly abdication of another, and as long as she sticks to what the people voted for, I can’t see a problem. Except, that if there were by-elections because of election expenses fraud, or perhaps through natural wastage, her majority might be dangerously diminished.

    The difficulty might come were she to try to usher through primary legislation that wasn’t in the last manifesto and for which no-one voted, especially if it relates to an area that is likely to get people’s backs up. And that scenario itself is difficult to comprehend because the parliamentary timetable going forward is likely to be very full of matters relating to our leaving the EU. A five-day parliamentary week is even being mooted (quite how Gideon would fit it all in, is anybody’s guess)

    Personally, I’d now like to see a period of stable, uninterrupted government. Political volatility is often necessary to effect the types of change the people want. Now that we’re on the cusp of actually getting that change, long denied to the people, instability would surely be a bad thing and counter-productive.

    Tad Davison


  65. Ian Groves
    March 20, 2017

    I would like Article 50 triggered next week and then a snap General Election called for May while the EU get themselves sorted out and ready to negotiate.
    I want to see a Tory manifesto along the lines of the White Paper on Brexit and then a huge Tory majority giving a secure mandate to the Brexit direction the government has already outlined. I also want to see pro-Remain Tories lose their seats in areas that are mostly Leave.
    If the above happened, I would have fewer worries that every vote in Parliament on Brexit is in danger of being defeated or diluted by pro-Remain troublemakers.

  66. John Probert
    March 20, 2017

    I do not wish for another general election. However leaving the EU will take some considerable resolve and I do think that it should be seriously considered. We need to put Mrs May on the strongest footing possible so that she can lead this process through with
    a strong mandate. I feel Mrs May is popular and the electorate know she is our best hope
    of leading this country. An early election with a weak opposition may pay off in the longer
    term before we get bogged down in EU negotiations

  67. David Webb
    March 20, 2017

    I fully agree. The Conservatives were elected in 2015 on the commitment to hold an in-out referendum on the EU and honouring the result. So unless this Parliament prevents that being done, then there is no good justification for choosing to hold an election before 2019 at earliest.

  68. Gawd!
    March 20, 2017

    Mrs May says she is going to send the Article 50 letter next Wednesday. Is she a belletrist or simply unsure of her spelling and needs a fresh pair of eyes to look at it? Mr Osborne is good with words.

  69. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2017

    So according to the Express today spreadsheet Philip wants to fix his bottomline by mugging pensions yet again. Which is just increasing income tax by the back door. So breaching the Manifesto yet again. Just stop the endless waste, taxes are far too high and complex already often well above the Laffer point you foolish man.

  70. Lindsay McDougall
    March 20, 2017

    I would like to see a General Election as soon as we have actually achieved Brexit, so that Brexit (apart for the Lib Dems) is no longer an issue.

    It has to be remembered that ring fencing is already getting in the way of a sound fiscal policy. There is nothing magical about the 2015 manifesto and a new one may be better.

    I trust that you know how to force a General Election ahead of time.

    More urgently, monetary policy is a disaster. Even with inflation at 2% and rising rapidly, the BoE refuses to raise base rate. For all sorts of good reasons, we need houses prices to be cut by about 30% relative to wages, certainly in London and the South East. Sack Carney. Sack him now. George Osborne will give him a job on the Evening Standard.

  71. Bob
    March 20, 2017

    What needs to be done is scrapping of the TV Licence.
    The BBC is a major disseminator of pro EU anti Brexit propaganda.
    The politics programs on Sundays have become platforms for the purpose with processions of Remainers streaming through the studios preaching their doctrine unchallenged.

  72. Antisthenes
    March 20, 2017

    Doomsday or freedom day depending on ones predilection is to be March the 29th. Everyone and their uncle are pontificating and spreading their to them sage advice on what are the ramifications of Brexit. I doubt much will turn out as forecast as it rarely does. Human nature never predictable and often perverse and factors mostly as yet unknown unknowns are going to shape the Brexit future. The quality of the opposing negotiation teams are yet to be observed. A most important factor to the outcome as often it is not the evidence that wins the day but the one best at giving and refuting it. In fact the outcome will in the end boil down to which side has the best poker face and the most intimidating supporters. Does not auger well for Brexiteers who wish for a complete and unequivocal break from the EU.

  73. nigel seymour
    March 20, 2017

    Absolutely no reason to consider an early election. The government needs to stay focused and trust the leave voters that took part in the ref. We know next to nothing about how the EU will approach negotiations and now PM confirms the 29, the wheels will at last start turning.

    Who would welcome it?

    All remainers inc Blair, Clarke, Heseltine, Osborne, Soubry, Morgan, Major, Miller, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru,
    Labour as they have absolutely nothing to lose
    Lib Dems as they have absolutely nothing to lose
    SNP as they have absolutely nothing to lose
    London Mayor as he has absolutely nothing to lose and is a liar and real threat
    EU as they have absolutely nothing to lose
    Gibraltar as they have absolutely nothing to lose

  74. Mick
    March 20, 2017
    I’ve got a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne chilling ready for next Wednesday 29th March ?

  75. Andrew Woodward
    March 20, 2017

    Agree there is no need for an election now. The mandate is clear and there is work to be done. No need for self-imposed distractions. The time for a new election is after we finally get out of the EU. Only then will there need to be a new and clear manifesto of how to make the best of the new opportunities. This will include policies in all those areas where the UK Government has been forbidden from having any policies. Also a lot of the stuff brought into UK law by the Great Continuity Bill will need to rationalised pdq. I hope and trust that Mr Redwood and the more sensible of his colleagues are now developing the ideas for whole areas for rules and regulations which can be scrapped so we have a true Great Repeal Act, and for finally being able to have a real Conservative programme for the government of an independent sovereign state.

  76. Mock Turtle Soup
    March 20, 2017

    Prior to the theoretical next referendum on any matter whatsoever:
    1. The Labour Party, Lib Dems and Scottish Nationalists will oppose the very idea of it unless it is for a million Scots to dictate.
    2. The result will be invalid unless in agreement with LibDems, SNP and Labour
    3. It will be at least nine (9 ) months before the Will of the People is reluctantly and largely acknowledged.
    *4. Of course, no referendum in reality will ever be allowed by the dictators in the mock UK Parliament

  77. Sir Joe Soap
    March 20, 2017

    Thank you for signing the letter to the BBC. Tonight’s news was totally biased. One would think that the nation had been forced down the route of Brexit by an alien power. No. This has been sanctioned by a majority vote and should be celebrated.
    We need the news to CELEBRATE this liberation, not treat it as a national disaster!

  78. anon
    March 20, 2017

    With the saved contributions the UK could select at random 30 people a day and give them a million each. I am pretty sure that would work well just to make the point for a while.

    Just get on with it , quickly.

  79. Peter D Gardner
    March 20, 2017

    The common thread through all events since 23 June has been continuing efforts to undermine, delay, dilute or prevent Brexit on any pretext and by all means available. Tis disparate campaign will continue until Brexit is finally delivered or ended in some other way. Since Mrs May became I have constantly pointed to her lack of leadership, insight anda sense of Britain’s destination and progress from here. Thus while this campaign against Brexit continues we now face, under Mrs May’s current plans as far as they may be judged, two years before any major agreement will be reached with the EU either on the terms of withdrawal or the terms of a future relationship, during which events beyond her control may intervene with damaging effect. Withdrawal and a new relationship can be secured in their essentials in very much less time as a I have expounded before.

    We now have a report f an interview with David Davis in which he is reported to have said the government has still not costed the ‘No Deal’ possibility. In my view that should be the starting point from which to develop the objectives of the negotiations.

    There appears to be an absence right at the top of government of clarity of purpose in the negotiations. The syndrome of ‘Paralysis by analysis’ was clearly evident in the evidence given by David Davies to the first sessions of Parliamentary Committees considering Brexit after the referendum.

    I would urge you, Dr Redwood, to do all in your power to ensure that the necessity to secure Brexit in its essentials without further delay, rejecting utterly the temptation to be drawn into secondary issues and non-essential detail, is clearly understood and given effect by Mrs May and her team.

  80. Ed Mahony
    March 20, 2017

    I just wish they’d impeach Trump or he’d resign. I can’t think of anything else in politics now except Trump. The world is a more volatile place with him around as President. He’s a disgrace to the Presidency of the US and to Conservatism in the Western world, and will be more of a hindrance than a help to the Conservatives here in any election and, again, more of a hindrance than a help to the future success of Brexit.

    (I also despair how any Tory here can support him).

  81. Freeborn John
    March 20, 2017

    There should only be an election if the current government cannot get its Brexit legislation through parliament without amendment, for example the Great Repeal Bill.

    May has wasted a lot of time invoking Article 50 and continues to do so. The prevarication has encouraged opposition in the courts and Lords. Now she is really up against the clock. Br it needs to be signed, sealed and delivered by April 2019 or run the risk of the Lords delaying it beyond a 2020 election that would then be fought on stopping Brexit.

    I also feel the government have to announce that British business should operate on the assumption that WTO rules will apply from Brexit day. Otherwise the EU have an advantage as the clock ticks down. May has also foolishly made a unilateral concession in seeking a defence pact with Germany indicating she may be a poor negotiator. A comprehensive free trade agreement should be seen as a nice-to-have but not essential and public opinion has to be prepared for the likelihood WTO MFN trading with the EU if May is to have a creditable ‘walk away’ option in the negotiations.

  82. Michael Purches
    March 21, 2017

    Calling what may be seen as an unnecessary election is a strategy fraught with uncontrollables. If the public get the slightest whiff that they are being taken for granted they stay home in droves. Or they may choose to concentrate on a topic different from the one intended. Or force majeure may take over the headlines. Domestic political history is full of examples, general and by, from Patrick Gordon-Walker to Zac Goldsmith via Ted Heath.

  83. APL
    March 21, 2017

    JR: “I have seen no need for another election any time soon.”

    Hasn’t Parliament ( Your party actually. ) passed a law making a parliament fixed term?

    Reply, Yes, but Parliament could always change its mind

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