May Election on the Horizon: What to Expect

May Election on the Horizon: What to Expect
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2023-11-18 01:01:10

  1. Is A Spring General Election On The Horizon?
    1. The Possibility of a May Election

Is A Spring General Election On The Horizon?

In a week of political turmoil, Labour leader Keir Starmer found both comfort and concern in the recent challenges faced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Despite the pressure, Starmer took a moment to comment on Sunak’s decision to appoint David Cameron as the new foreign secretary, hinting at the PM's shaky grounds on competence and change.

The Labour Party itself, however, wasn't without its own strife. A considerable number of Labour MPs, including key figures on the frontbench, rebelled against Starmer by voting for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. This defiance brought to light internal divisions, overshadowing Sunak's troubled commitment to halt illegal immigration—especially following a significant Supreme Court ruling that challenged the government's Rwanda asylum seeker policy.

The Possibility of a May Election

Amidst these political challenges, the rumor mill is buzzing with speculation that Sunak might call for a new general election as early as May. The PM added fuel to the fire by not dismissing the idea, especially in the face of parliamentary or legal roadblocks to his Rwanda deportation plan.

Sunak stated emphatically, "We’ve got to get the Rwanda plan up and running. I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. People are sick of this merry-go-round, I want to end it, my patience is wearing thin like everyone else’s."

Determined in his stance, there's the perception that Sunak may pursue this bold move despite Labour's lead in opinion polls. A shadow of concern lingers among Tories, with a former cabinet minister expressing worries about the PM's vulnerability to internal party pressures and potential votes of no confidence.

After sacking Suella Braverman, Sunak inadvertently highlighted the unrest among Tory backbenchers. A letter from Braverman criticizing the PM's betrayal and outlining her plan to stop the boats indicates that she will continue to be a formidable adversary from within the party ranks.

Inside Labour circles, the sentiment is growing that Sunak may indeed opt for an early election. An insider proposed that with the Conservative party bracing for losses in the upcoming local council elections, combining it with a general election could be a strategic play. "They’ve been looking around for ages for something to run a 2019-style election on and the small boats could be it," the insider revealed.

Former Tory minister Simon Clarke echoed this sentiment, suggesting that an effective legislative response is crucial, but if the laws face obstruction, taking the issue to the electorate may be the next step. Posting on X, Clarke asserted a strong stance, stating, "We should be crystal clear: half measures won’t work."

A Tory backbencher suggested that timing could be key, framing a May election as a tactic of damage control to retain as many parliamentary seats as possible for the Conservative party. "It’s about damage limitation now," the MP suggested, conveying a sense of inevitable defeat yet emphasizing the importance of preparing for a robust opposition.

Interestingly, Sunak's consideration of a May election finds favor with the public, with recent polls indicating a substantial majority in support of an election by next spring. While Sunak's cautious nature may typically lead him to delay, the pressure of public opinion and political currents might corner him into making the decision sooner rather than later.

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