With MPs now on their Summer holiday after a pretty amazing few months, Peter Bingle looks at where things stand in Westminster.
MPs are genuinely in need of their month-long vacation. Politics is stressful during the best of times but the pressure and strain of the last few months has taken its toll. Our parliamentarians are exhausted.
MPs expect an Autumn general election. The Tory/DUP coalition has an overall majority of just one and there are so many Tory malcontents that the chances of the government hanging on until Spring 2020 are well nigh impossible.
Tory morale is high or at least a lot higher than it was during the final dark days of the Theresa May premiership. There has been a sizeable Boris bounce in the opinion polls and thus far the new PM hasn’t put a foot wrong. Opinion polls suggest the public are impressed. The challenge will be to add another ten points to the Tory polling numbers.
Labour morale is at rock bottom. The golden Jezza years are over. He looks old and tired and his front bench team are at war with themselves. The gulf between Jezza’s senior aides and the rest of the party has turned into a chasm. The policy of deliberate obfuscation on Brexit has turned into a liability and the calls for Jezza to resign grow louder by the hour. The public squabbling will intensify over the summer.
Lib Dem morale is high following good local council and European Parliament election results. The Brecon and Radnorshire result will ensure their mood remains buoyed during August. They have benefitted most from Labour’s ambivalence on Brexit. If we leave the EU on or before 31st October, however, what is the point of being a Remain party?
The Brexit Party finds itself in a very difficult position. As the by-election result showed, there is a very real possibility of the Brexit Party ensuring that Brexit never happens. What a delicious and delightful irony. Of course, on the basis that Brexit is delivered by Halloween, then the party becomes an irrelevance.
So there we have it. A topsy turvy body politic in which all the old certainties are no more. Boris is the one big beast and if the gods look favourably on him, he might just be the person to deliver a big win for the Tories. The possibility of Jezza winning an election now seems implausible if not laughable. How different from those glorious chants at Glastonbury!
In September everyone will hopefully be refreshed and ready for battle. Can’t wait …?