US News Britain is bracing for a possible third general election in under 5 years

15:10  09 july  2018
15:10  09 july  2018 Source:   qz.com

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The 2017 United Kingdom general election took place on Thursday 8 June, having been announced just under two months earlier by Prime Minister Theresa May on 18 April 2017 after it was discussed

Labour needed to demonstrate that last year ’s general election gains were a staging post on the road to national power; that destiny was calling Jeremy I first advanced the theory that Labour’s electoral coalition might simply be becoming less likely to turn up in off- years under Ed Miliband as a possible

a close up of a flag © Provided by Quartz It took the UK prime minister less than 12 hours to appoint Dominic Raab as the new Brexit secretary after David Davis resigned overnight amid criticism of Theresa May’s new proposals for a deal with the European Union. But the swiftness of the replacement does little to conceal the scale of the schism within her Conservative Party—and the threat to her leadership.

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For one thing, Britain could be on the precipice of its third general election in just five years. After all, three of the Brexit department’s five ministers have resigned. Meanwhile, Raab is relatively inexperienced and was only drafted into May’s cabinet in January. He had been seen as a young rising star with leadership ambitions for the Tories and now he’s tasked with taking on the epic challenge of Brexit.

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Didn't Britain just get a new prime minister? It's been a busy year in politics here. Media captionHow the surprise general election unfolded - in one minute. Since then, almost three million people have applied to vote - more than a million of whom are aged under 25.

As Britain braces for Brexit, will Scotland break away? Under Britain ’s Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, elections are held every five years , but the prime minister can call a snap election if two- thirds of lawmakers vote for it.

Another general election isn’t a left-field proposition. Current and former politicians have been floating the idea:

Sure, this may seem like standard political tussling from the opposition. But even May’s loyalists seem to be suggesting that she should soon face a leadership challenge. The result of that will make it clear that she no longer has enough votes in parliament to pass the Chequers deal, something May had hoped to do this week. Recent polls also show there is an appetite for a new general election from the public in the event that May is ousted. Bookmakers have even slashed the odds on one being called soon.

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The 1784 British general election resulted in William Pitt the Younger securing an overall majority of about 120 in the House of Commons of Great Britain , having previously had to survive in a House which was dominated by his opponents.

However, voters in Scotland under 18 are not entitled to vote in European Parliament and UK general elections .[10]. In Great Britain , most electors are enrolled during the course of the annual canvass, which Electoral Registration Officers are obliged to conduct every year between August and

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In full acknowledgement that she may need the votes of opposition MPs, members of the rival Labour Party have already been offered the chance to attend a briefing on the agreement by May’s senior advisors.

And so after a mere 48 hours of respite, May is back to being held hostage by a rebellious faction of her own party—even if they don’t have the votes to actually see her off. That means that Britain is being led by a prime minister who lacks a parliamentary majority on the most fundamental issue to face the nation in decades.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves Downing Street to deliver a statement on Brexit to the House of Commons on October 9, 2017 in London, England. Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to tell parliament that Britain can 'prove doomsayers wrong' when it comes to Brexit amid continuing speculation of a cabinet reshuffle.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) © Getty LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves Downing Street to deliver a statement on Brexit to the House of Commons on October 9, 2017 in London, England. Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to tell parliament that Britain can 'prove doomsayers wrong' when it comes to Brexit amid continuing speculation of a cabinet reshuffle. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

In any scenario, Davis’s resignation renders the June 6 agreement at Chequers—which saw May’s entire cabinet at least nominally ascent to a “soft” Brexit strategy (paywall)—pointless, considering that the main achievement was one of unity. After months of battling her party’s warring factions, May had seemingly seen off an uprising from the staunchest pro-Brexit ministers and, finally, gotten them to agree to the kind of post-Brexit trading relationship that Britain would seek with the EU.

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This combination picture shows opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn voting in north London and British Prime Minister Theresa May voting in Maidenhead on June 8, 2017, during Britain ’s general elections (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP).

The embarrassing leak comes as Britain 's final national electoral test before next year 's general election begins. David Cameron is braced for defeat at the hands of Nigel Farage in The document suggests language to be adopted under three scenarios – from winning no seats to winning five seats.

Britain is bracing for a possible third general election in under 5 years © Getty Britain is bracing for a possible third general election in under 5 years

The Chequers agreement—and the extent to which even ministers like Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson seemed to row in behind it—would also have solidified wider support within the party.

But the directness of Davis’s resignation letter, which told May that it looked “less and less likely” that the party could “deliver on the mandate of the referendum,” and that it would render the control by Britain’s parliament of its own affairs “illusory rather than real,” is a stunning blow.

Raab’s appointment is itself an indication of May’s predicament. He is staunchly in favor of Brexit and, in June, he robustly criticised the Northern Ireland backstop agreement, which saw the UK agree to keeping the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland open indefinitely in the event it can’t come to an agreement with the bloc.

Brexit Symbolfoto    (Photo by Bildquelle/ullstein bild via Getty Images) © Getty Brexit Symbolfoto (Photo by Bildquelle/ullstein bild via Getty Images) May, however, has got one thing going for her: Nobody else (paywall) has been able to concoct an alternative Brexit plan that seems in any way palatable to the EU. That’s mainly because the plans that the “hard” Brexiters favor would almost certainly result in the imposition of a border in Northern Ireland. Even the strategy agreed at Chequers bears more than a striking resemblance to the “a la carte” proposals that the bloc has consistently rejected.

The only way out of this incessant loop of squabbling may be to go to the polls. But one thing is for sure: Given Davis spent only four hours in talks with his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, in 2018, he won’t be missed at the negotiating table.

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