Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

UK Elections 2017

A bird in hand is worth two in bush.
A week is a long time in politics.
Never count your chickens before they are hatched.
The best laid plans of men and mice go awry.
Theresa May’s announcement on 18 April 2017 of her decision to call election to House of Commons on 8 June 2017 was a surprise as the House was elected on 7 May 2015 and had three years left. Just a few days before she had said she will not call for early elections. More surprising was the fact that 522 members of House of Commons on 19 April 2017 voted for early election.
Opinion polls had given 20-point lead to Theresa May. She relied on them and hoped she could return with a bigger majority. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Labour Party, could have opposed early election. He too went along. Scottish National Party abstained from voting.
Opinion polls are unreliable. They were wrong about UK Elections 2015, Brexit referendum, and USA Presidential Election 2016. It is reckless to go for early elections. Arvind Kejriwal did that in 2014 after 49 days in office. He hoped Delhi Legislative Assembly elections will be held together with Lok Sabha 2014 elections. That did not happen. Mahindra Rajapaksa did that at the end of 2014 and lost the election in the beginning of January 2015. He had more than two years left. There is no guarantee that Theresa May will return as PM, leave alone with a higher majority. It is wrong to consider Theresa May as clever, rational and shrewd. It is said David Cameron calling for Brexit referendum was ultimate gamble of ultimate gambler.
Theresa May blamed opposition parties in House of Commons and House of Lords for jeopardising Brexit negotiations. House of Lords can only delay a bill. House of Commons can reject changes proposed by House of Lords. Conservative Party with its majority in House of Commons could have carried out Brexit negotiations.
Scotland and Northern Ireland opposed Brexit. SNP wants Scotland out of UK. Theresa May had not granted referendum on Scottish Independence. In 2015 SNP won 56 seats out of 59 in Scotland. If SNP repeats its performance demand for referendum will be hard to reject.
Some EU officials hope after elections UK will reverse its stand on Brexit.
On 9 June 2015 we will know how many of 522 MPs who voted for early election have returned to House of Commons.

Updated: April 23, 2017 — 9:46 am

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