The Prime Minister lacks the support she needs in the Commons to deliver the will of the British people. She must, therefore, call an early general election, says Peter Bingle.
Timing is all in politics. So too is the courage to do what is right for both party and country. That is why Theresa May must call an early election next May or June.
I can still remember hosting a client dinner on the Sunday of the Tory party conference in Blackpool in 2007. Everybody was expecting Gordon Brown to call an early election. The Labour Party was on election elect after a party conference in Bournemouth which deliberately raised the probability of the PM going to the country for an endorsement.
My guest at the dinner was one of David Cameron’s closest advisers. He told my clients in a candid and brutally honest manner that the objective of the conference was to give the impression that the Tories wanted an early election when the reality was that if he went early Gordon Brown would win easily and that would lead to Cameron and Osborne resigning.
Two days later Osborne made the best speech of his political career, Brown lost his nerve and the rest is history. Until his dying breath Gordon Brown will be rightly haunted by his terrible error of judgement.
It is becoming clearer by the day that there is not a majority in the current House of Commons to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act. It is constitutionally dangerous to have a House of Commons which is both unwilling and unable to deliver the will of the people. So elections must be held in order that the PM wins a decisive mandate, a large overall majority and there is a House of Commons once again in tune with public opinion.
The PM is in an interesting political position. No serious commentator really believes that Jeremy Corbyn can win a general election. Whenever she goes to the country the PM will win yet there are too many Tory MPs prepared to make her life difficult. Why let them play their silly games and make a difficult political situation over delivering Brexit even more troublesome? Hopefully Tory MPs who aren’t prepared to accept the electorate’s decision will stand down if and when an early election called.
When the PM finally decides it is in the national interest to go early Jeremy Corbyn will have no alternative but to pave the way. It is inconceivable that a Labour leader would deny voters the opportunity to have their say. So even though an early election will be the political equivalent of turkeys voting for Christmas Corbyn has no option other than to agree. To be fair many Labour MPs actually want an early election. They know they are doomed and believe/pray that a election disaster will lead to Corbyn resigning or being forced to stand down. I think they don’t know him or his advisers if they think that is going to happen.
So an early election needs to happen. Parliament must better reflect the will of the British people. The PM needs to learn the lesson of King Canute. Some things are inevitable and cannot be stopped. The people have spoken. Politicians must listen and take heed.