A disclaimer: this is not a full blog.
Why is this, I hear you cry?! Surely so much has happened that we simply must be brought up to speed, damn you Between the Lines!
Well, shut up. I’m going to tell you.
Then I’m going to tell you why, yet again, it might all be irrelevant by the time you’re reading this.
Here’s the deal.
- The EU has granted us an extension to Article 50 to January 31st. Johnson’s pledge to deliver Brexit, do or die, by October 31st is dead in the water.
- Johnson has tried to call an election yet again – this was blocked yesterday evening in the House of Commons.
- Why? Because Labour think an election might be an absolute disaster for them – they are polling terribly, are in a state of constant civil war, and are currently adrift in a typhoon in a rapidly-deflating life-raft.
Ok, So Now What?!
Despite yesterday’s setback, the government will today table a one-line Bill designed to grant an election on December 12th.
This might pass.
WHY TODAY AND NOT YESTERDAY?!
I know, it’s exasperating. But there’s some reasoning behind it.
- Despite Labour’s refusal to budge, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have joined forces to try and help an election happen.
- I know, it seems bonkers at face value, but both of them benefit if an election happens before Brexit is sorted: the Lib Dems can campaign as the only true Remain party, and the SNP could try to kill off the Scottish Tories, win more seats, and push for a second Scottish independence referendum.
- If Johnson tables this bill, it could win a majority – it is a Bill, so only needs a simple majority. Yesterday’s vote was under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, where 2/3rds of the House of Commons would have to agree to it, not 50% +1 extra vote.
So… We Are Getting an Election?
*hits head on desk*
I know. I know.
But. Because it’s a Bill, it could be amended.
- The SNP want to introduce a Bill that reduces the voting age from 18 to 16/17, as well as one to allow EU nationals living in the UK a vote, too.
- These would be awful for the Tories if either passes, as neither of those demographics are remotely likely to vote Conservative, giving added power to opposition parties.
- If either of these amendments are successful, the Tories will likely pull the vote.
So, we won’t actually know what’s happening until the close of play today. If the stalemate continues, it’s hard to know what comes next.
But there is a very real chance that neither amendment passes (or is even selected), so we could see an election finally, finally be announced.
And I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. So take all of this in, immediately forget it, and face the new day.
Because while nothing stays the same in politics, in this day and age it’s changing faster than a chameleon on a disco ball.