Brexit: Elections Likely After Johnson Calls Macron, What Happened?
The Tories, Liberal Democrats, and SNP are all on board for elections.
Rather than attempt to press through the Withdrawal Bill that would be loaded with amendments, Johnson instead has decided to press for elections.
Saying vs. Doing
Making Sense of the Contradictions
- Johnson is so far ahead in the polls that he would rather gamble on elections.
- The Liberal Democrats desperately need elections to pick up seats from Labour. That is their second agenda. Their first agenda, outright staying in the EU is dead.
- A Johnson win would strengthen the case for another Scottish Referendum
- Labour does not want an election now but has to pretend that it does
President Emmanuel Macron has finally agreed a three-month Brexit extension, with some provisions for an earlier exit. But the really important part of the story is that he did so after a phone call with Boris Johnson.
If the government loses today's scheduled vote under the fixed-term parliament act, it will edge towards the position of the LibDems and the SNP. Both parties are bringing legislation this week for a one-line bill that overrides the FTPA and sets an election day for Monday, December 9. Unlike Labour, these two parties are desperate for elections. The LibDems are the only full-on Remainer party in England, and would stand to gain many seats. The big prize for the SNP is a second independence referendum, which has a much better chance to succeed with Boris Johnson in Number 10 than with the UK continuing to languish in the EU.
The latest opinion polls are telling us why the Tories are so keen on an election. Opinium has the Tories at 40%, up 3% from last time. Labour is unchanged at 24%. It is our expectation that Johnson would win an election with a sufficient majority to deliver on his Brexit deal by end-January.
If parliament were to vote in favour of an election bill in whatever form, there would be two weeks until parliament is dissolved. This would open up a short window for the Brexit legislation to pass. We think it is more likely that it will pass afterwards.
The most likely scenario we are seeing now is for elections to be agreed this week, followed by an election at some point and a re-emerging Tory majority.
I have been talking about the desperate need of the Liberal Democrats and SNP to have elections for weeks.
It appears they finally realized that. They have also given up hope Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would ever work with them.
As I have pointed out, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson cannot stand Corbyn. She may as well get something out of this mess and that would be to trash him in an election.
The Liberal Democrats are headed nowhere if Johnson's withdrawal agreement passes. Instead, they seek all the hard-core Remainers.
Those sick of referendums will surely not like Labour's platform of negotiating a Brexit with the EU then campaigning against it.
Most Likely Scenario
Eurointelligence's most likely scenario is the same as mine.
I have been posting polls for weeks.
Not getting it done by October 31 has strengthened Johnson's hand, as I suggested.
Did Johnson Cave In?
It may seem like it was Johnson, not Macron who caved in, but we have not seen the final extension wording yet.
Alternatively, and more likely, Johnson has simply decided to gamble on elections, running on a Get Brexit Done platform, vs Corbyn's majorly inept proposition of seeking a deal and campaigning against it.
Phone Call Explanation
Regardless of what Corbyn has stated, Labour wanted the WA passed before an election so it could attack Johnson on other issues. To achieve that, all Corbyn had to do was support Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement.
Read those last two sentences a couple of times. They explain the phone call.
If France pressed Labour to pass the WA or approve elections, Labour would likely have chosen the former, while blaming France.
Johnson would rather run against a splintered Remain group and a splintered Labour party than getting his Withdrawal Agreement passed now.
Corbyn has made some serious miscalculations. Macron brought this to a head.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock