Peter Bingle believes talk of a general election before Christmas is misplaced. But what is clear is that there is no way the government can last until 2022.

At the end of Strauss’ great opera Elektra, the ‘heroine’ goes bonkers and there is a dance of death. There is no other opera quite like it. All Tory MPs and party managers (including Number 10 advisers) should acquaint themselves with the last twenty minutes. The Tory Party looks ever more likely to go bonkers over the next few weeks as the PM tries to impose a deal on her party which it doesn’t want.

Michel Barnier can’t believe his luck. He is dealing with a government that has thrown away all the optimism and excitement generated by the vote on 23rd June 2016. Passion and optimism have been replaced by obfuscation, chaos and weakness. The PM’s determination to secure a deal at almost any cost risks destroying her party as it seems ever more likely that she will require the support of Labour MPs to secure a majority in the House of Commons.

The reason for the PM’s problems is becoming more and more obvious. To deliver a successful Brexit required a Brexit supporting PM supported by a Brexit supporting Cabinet. By trying to ensure a pragmatic Cabinet balance between Brexit and Remain supporting ministers, she has ensured a political disaster of almost Herculean proportions.

There will be some who argue that talk of disaster is misplaced because the Tories still lead in most opinion polls. It is certainly the case that voters are no longer enthused by Jeremy Corbyn in the same way as at the last general election. It would be the height of political folly, however, for senior Tories to believe that there are no circumstances in which voters would not opt for Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

What astonishes Number 10 watchers is the lack of political acumen amongst the PM’s closest advisers. The Chequers’ agreement was dead from the moment it was published because it contained no politics. It seemed to snub the views of 17.4 million people (many not traditional Tory supporters) who voted for Brexit in the referendum. Tory MPs representing Brexit supporting marginals in the Midlands and the North immediately recognized that the implementation of the Chequers’ deal would result in them losing their seats at the next election. If they could understand realpolitik why couldn’t the advisers at Number 10? Just bizarre.

The Labour Party has sensibly taken a temporary vow of silence on Brexit whilst the Tory Party implodes. Poor old Elektra seems almost sane in comparison!

Talk of a general election before Christmas is misplaced. What is patently clear, however, is that there is no way the government can last until 2022. Tory Party managers are hopefully looking at the most propitious times for an early general election. The most obvious is an election in June 2019 when there should/could be a post Brexit bounce. The only proviso (and it is a big one) is that for the Tory Party to win a sizeable majority in a Brexit election there has to be a Brexit supporting Tory PM! It follows that Theresa May cannot lead her party into such an election.

Politics is a strange business. It can be brutal but it can also baffle. What is happening at the moment to the Tory Party is more than baffling. It defies logic and any element of common sense. To win a majority at the next election the Tory Party has to be seen by voters as a Brexit supporting party. When will the PM’s advisers tell her? The political dividend of Brexit for the Tories has been needlessly thrown away.

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