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“I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we have agreed that the Government should call a general election to be held on the 8th of June.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaking outside No.10 in London a few minutes ago.

Pic: Theresa May to make surprise Downing Street statement – Politics live (The Guardian)



UK Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

So, what now?

Bernard Purcell writes:

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, who, with her party, is currently more than 20 points ahead of her nearest rival in the opinion polls, called for a General Election on 8 June.

Because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act that was agreed as the price of Liberal Democrats going into coalition with David Cameron’s Tories in 2010 Mrs May cannot – as so many of her predecessors could – call a snap election.

She needs a two-thirds majority of Commons MPs so needs the support of Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party.

If the Mrs May’s poll lead translates into General Election votes it means that many Labour MPs will find themselves on Wednesday in the position of turkeys being asked to vote for Christmas.

Early calculations suggest that if the election goes Mrs May’s way could come back with a far greater majority than her current 17 seats, perhaps as many as a hundred seats.

Given that at the moment her only mandate to be in Number 10 came from Tory MPs in post-Referendum party leadership contest – after David Cameron abdicated all responsibility for the mess he left behind – that would be very welcome to her and her supporters.

It should be noted that this forthcoming election will be contested on existing electoral boundaries, which will favour Labour – or at least ameliorate an otherwise unappettising prospect for the party.

The Prime Minister justified her call for a fresh electoral mandate by saying the opposition parties – Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalist Party – had all pledged to thwart her government over Brexit.

As such she is looking for a fresh Brexit mandate. The Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron was quick to accept the challenge and embrace the mantle of the official Brexit opposition – a move that should help his party recover its disastrous losses in the last election.

Labour, typically, was slow to react but still faster than it has been. In a statement issued in Jeremy Corbyn’s behalf the Labour leader accepted the electoral challenge – but conspicuously avoided any reference to Brexit.

Irish citizens living in the UK do have the right to vote in UK General Elections, as UK citizens in Ireland likewise can elect TDs to Dail Eireann.

Bernard Purcell is editor of the London-based Irish World.

Pics: Getty

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49 thoughts on “Snap!

      1. 15p

        well it’s potentially bad news, so inda won’t be giving it any attention. He’ll distract himself with visits to GAA clubs and openings .. the usual handy, non-confrontational stuff that he loves to do. hates being bothered by anything negative.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        Seriously, am I the only one who sees Terry May standing in the brit equivalent of the Oval office rubbing her hands and cackling at the outright chaos she’s caused?

          1. rotide

            Even before Murtle’s link that graph didn’t look that alarming judging by the indices.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            I noticed that too, on a second glance. But it was good for a laugh, which was just what I needed.

      2. Janet, I ate my avatar

        France won’t be far behind.
        The amount of my friends scrambling for naturalisation before its too late.
        Going double Nationalité myself.

        1. Nigel

          Too-pure lefties quailing at imperfect candidates is universal it seems. If all else fails just vote for the one Putin isn’t funding, people, so long as you vote!

  1. bisted

    …be careful what you wish for…this could provide the muse for a two limerick day from Moynes…

    1. Nigel

      Very ballsy: ‘At present, up to 20 sitting Conservative MPs are the subject of criminal investigation by 16 police forces. If any of the candidates are charged and found guilty of an election offence, they could be barred from political office for three years or spend up to a year in prison. The whole case is unprecedented: this is the largest number of MPs ever to be investigated for violations of electoral law. In the past, cases of alleged election fraud have usually focused on a single MP. This time, there are so many cases that police forces across England have taken the unusual step of coordinating their investigations.’

  2. Junkface

    If this doesn’t finish off Jeremy Corbyn I don’t know what will. Britain is in a right mess over Brexit

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    I hope Scotland announces they’ll be holding IndyRef 2: Electric Boogaloo the same day!

    1. Formerly known as

      Yes, that would be great. There is no excuse left for PM Maybe to disallow it.

  4. Murtles

    The only thing she’s missing is a parachute. You’re right Tessy, bail out and let next crowd wade neck deep into the mess that is Brexit.

    1. Starina

      i think it’s more that she’s making sure she can hang on to power for the next five years rather than having an election after brexit causes everything to go t1ts-up.

      1. Murtle

        Exactly! I don’t understand why everyone is dismissing this as lunacy, it seems like a shrewd strategic move by the tories.

        1. Bob

          Shrewd indeed.
          If only the people see it that way and can see how the less well off are going to suffer the most, perhaps they wont vote for ukip or conservatives this time round.

  5. Nigel

    Ooh, apparently June 8th is right in the middle of A-Levels and University exams so screw you 18-25s!

  6. ivan

    I wonder if the LibDems said “vote for us and we’ll run another EU referendum” what’ld happen?

    there was a low-ish turnout for the referendum last year, and there’s significant buyers remorse.

    1. Harry Molloy

      I was reading the comments section in the financial times this morning in relation to this story where nearly every commenter is a lifelong conservative voter but are all voting for lib dems this time in the hope of them trying to reverse this.

      I think we can expect to see a big push for lib dems by businesses and the financial services industry.

  7. Nibbers

    Corbyn should make a deal: he’ll agree to a snap election if she will allow Scotland to have their new referendum on independence

  8. Formerly known as

    UK Labour are a rabble. The Lib-Dems did what the Greens did in Ireland. The SNP are the real opposition to the Tories. Mayhem Maybe has done nothing worthwhile. Hopefully, there is some backlash.

  9. The Real Chris

    I have fun remembering this letter from the 2015 election, which had an impact on getting the Tory majority win.

    ‘We run some of the leading businesses in the UK. We believe this Conservative-led government has been good for business and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation.

    David Cameron and George Osborne’s flagship policy of progressively lowering corporation tax to 20% has been very important in showing the UK is open for business. It has been a key part of their economic plan.

    The result is that Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year and businesses like ours have created over 1.85m new jobs.

    We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk. In a personal capacity we therefore sign this letter.’



    But don’t worry little Englanders, the Tories, well they have your best interests at heart. Maybe write them another nice letter.

    HA HA HA!

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