As a committed Remainer, you might think I’d be pleased that there will be another General Election in June. An opportunity to stop the madness that is Brexit, perhaps. And yet, as optimistic a person as I try to be, I’m not terribly excited. Truth be told, it’s rather filled me with gloom.
Theresa May would have you believe that the election is necessary to stifle dissent from other parties within Westminster to Hard Brexit. And to turn the screw on Remainers within the Lords. Rubbish. Her majority is slim, but workable. She does not need any other party to pass the legislation that she wants. And the Lords aren’t up for election. And even if they were, they’ve hardly put up any sort of meaningful resistance to hard Brexit so far.
The reality is that the Conservative party is experiencing popularity that it hasn’t seen since Thatcher’s ‘Task Force’ retook the Falkland Islands. There’s a fabulous opportunity to add 50, maybe even 100 seats to the Tory majority. And a couple of years extra to their term. The Labour Party are in a state of total collapse, haemorraging voters, like myself, by the hundreds of thousands. Corbyn has turned them into a shambles.
This election is simply an exercise in taking advantage of the moment, to fill up Westminster with a bit more blue. This is exactly the sort of thing that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 was supposed to prevent. The election, in short, should not be happening.
So we’re doomed. Probably. But one should try and be a little optimistic. Where there is life, and all that. This election is perhaps the last chance to stop Hard Brexit. How so? Well…
The EU referendum left the UK in a bit of a political muddle. Remainer MPs stuck in Leave heartlands. And Leavers in pro EU territory – one Tory has already lost his seat to the Lib Dems in the aftermath of Brexit. There’s perhaps more uncertainty in voting intentions than ever before. One can but hope there’s enough uncertainty in the market to translate to an upset of sorts.
I will vote for the Liberal Democrats. They are the sole party of any substance that are campaigning to keep the UK in the EU. For any chance of that happening, they desperately need to win back the forty nine seats they lost in 2015. Even then, the best hope is for a Liberal/Labour coalition. Which will still almost certainly mean we leave the EU, but would also likely mean we stay in the Single Market. Given the current situation, I’d take that. Gladly.
But I couldn’t overstate how unlikely this is to happen. I shall promote the Liberals. I shall cross my fingers. I shall vote on June 8th, as will Mrs P incidentally. But I shan’t be getting terribly excited about the whole thing. Not unless events turn significantly for the better. SAD.