Brexit: Elections Likely After Johnson Calls Macron, What Happened?

-edited

Johnson and Macron agree on a 3-Month extension after a phone call initiated by Johnson.

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

  1. Johnson is so far ahead in the polls that he would rather gamble on elections.
  2. 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.
  3. A Johnson win would strengthen the case for another Scottish Referendum
  4. Labour does not want an election now but has to pretend that it does

Eurointelligence Take

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.

Desperate Needs

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.

Poll Results

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

Comments (56)
No. 1-18
djwebb1969
djwebb1969

I hope the Brexit Party field 630 candidates and make large inroads into the Tory vote.

Quatloo
Quatloo

It is also possible that Macron was bluffing all along and didn’t want to be held personally responsible for what would happen on Brexit.

Je'Ri
Je'Ri

So, are you ready to concede that while "No Deal" is a possibility, it is nevertheless essentially off the table? The French were never going to wholeheartedly embrace losing yet another year of UK money flowing into EU coffers to subsidise their (French) profligate ways.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Macron was not bluffing BJ called it off.

Mish
Mish

Editor

No deal certainly is not off the table. As I explained before - Elections before WA signed make it more likely

wootendw
wootendw

"Not getting it done by October 31 has strengthened Johnson's hand, as I suggested."

It certainly strengthens his hand, but for what? He could pass May's deal if he really wins big - and it wouldn't matter politically for 5 years.

HenryV
HenryV

Well, Mish’s logic tells me that Labour really need to vote for Johnson’s election then, and get the deal through to nullify at least in part the Swinson threat. We will know in a couple of hours.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

I have said for days that a long extension is good for Johnson, and he works to achieve it. Mish disagreed. Now it seems that we have a long extension. Suddenly it is good for Johnson. ;)

Anyway, it seems that the EU is content with the destruction this deal will cause in the UK. Meanwhile, the English elite can be satisfied as they are about to kill the Corbyn project. And a lot of people will celebrate Johnson for it... I have no stake in the game but this seems to be a very sad outcome.

Soon we will see if it is really over.

Anda
Anda

Someone had better have done their homework on how seats will be allocated for this poll layout. E.g.

2015 Con got 36% of vote 330 seats Ukip 12% of vote 1 seat 2017 Con got 42% of vote 317 seats

Now you have libdem vying and brexit party, maybe it follows the above, maybe the reverse, maybe libdem takes seats due to brexit party vote and not con.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

The most interesting question is this- what if elections can't be scheduled by Thursday (or Wednesday)? What will Johson do then? I do think Mish is right- SNP and the LibDims want elections now, but what if they don't actually deliver?

avidremainer
avidremainer

Well, What will happen to the Brexit party in this election? The rules for all broad casters in a UK election mean that each party will receive time in proportion to votes cast in the previous election.The Brexit party did not stand in the previous election and is therefore guaranteed no time whatsoever on TV and radio. One further point, Survation was the only pollster to accurately call the 2017 election. Every other pollster were calling a 50 seat Tory majority. Predicting the outcome of the next election is for the birds.

JustASimpleMan
JustASimpleMan

Last time out May was an unknown electoral performer who started off from a very positive position, the rot started when she put fox hunting in the manifesto and it went downhill from there. Corbyn was largely untested and got massively supported by anyone who didn't remember the 70s and 80s. Doorstep feedback was very positive.

This time, Johnson is a proven electoral performer in most target demographics, whereas Corbyn has now become even less welcome on the doorstep than the Jehovah's Witnesses before 8am on a Sunday. The pollsters won't be quite so embarrassed this time.

As for Farage, the less air time he gets the more votes he'll score. However, TV coverage is determined by how many seats a party is standing in, not whether they got votes or even existed last time out. Any party standing in 1/6th of seats gets coverage, which is why we don't have to suffer election broadcasts by the SNP in the kilt-free part of the country.

.

dansilverman
dansilverman

Mish, you are my one stop shop for all my Brexit news. Arguably one of the defining political events of our time. The MSM is pathetic and corrupt in covering this complicated and politically charged issue. Keep up the good work.

HenryV
HenryV

Well I have been reading around tonight, and from an anecdotal perspective let me tell you that support for Johnson in normally supportive places has absolutely fallen off a cliff edge. It is an overnight sea change. Even if he gets his election it will be something he bitterly regrets. His only option of survival, even short to medium-term is to team up with the Brexit party but I doubt whether his arrogance will let that happen.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"I have said for days that a long extension is good for Johnson, and he works to achieve it. Mish disagreed. Now it seems that we have a long extension. Suddenly it is good for Johnson. ;)"

For starters there likely wont be a long extension. There will be elections. The killer for Johnson was the possibility of delay after delay with no elections.

Hell of a lot of votes today for election

Mish
Mish

Editor

Wootendw made the point "A big win will also make hard-line Brexit Tories more insistent on a 'good' deal, however they choose to define 'good'. "

Agreed - In fact I wrote a whole post on that previously

soundopinion
soundopinion

Watch Brexit Party rise in the polls to above 20% and Conservatives fall below Brexit Party in the actual election. This is merely a repeat of May/June/July MEP Election outcome where Brexit Party made huge gains at the expense of the Conservative Party.

Oct 25 2019 Poll Avg. vs Actual December Election 36% Conservative fall to 20-23% 24% Labor fall to 15-20% 18% Lib Dems rise to 20-25% Most of Remainers will be here 11% Brexit rise to 23-27% BJ may be begging Farage to do a deal.

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

Sorry, Mish, but just can't understand your closing statements, and have read more than the two recommended times.

In any case, Corbyn is correct that No Deal is not yet off the table, not just by end of 2020 but by Thursday 11pm. Maybe I'm being way too simplistic and naive, but I wonder if the Macron gambit is entirely over. The EU have announced they will offer the flextension, but haven't yet finalised the written agreement. Perhaps Macron is holding off until the next two days in Parliament reveal whether or not a clear path forward is forthcoming or if they are going to remain in endless Mexican stand-off in which case, perhaps 11pm becomes significant again.

Today, for example, they got into lengthy squabbles about who gets to set the date, how BJ cannot be trusted to do so but because they distrust him so much they won't have an election to kick him out, the Father of House suggests they go forward to 3rd reading of the Deal and forget about elections, others insist that the Bill (Brexit) is anathema and these are the ones Boris needs to help get a vote for an election over the line without wrecking amendments and on and on and on.

Mish has framed this partly as BJ's main motive being to get re-elected. Not saying it ain't so, but I think along with that is the desire to be a PM with a working majority to deal with Brexit (i.e. not a Brino majority). Boris wants to be successful and get things done.

But if in the next 48 hours Parliament demonstrates the determination to stop him getting anything he wants done including an election or anything else, then I suspect Thursday 11pm might still be in play, and maybe Macron is still involved, albeit BJ himself could throw a spanner in the works as PM.

I also think that his letting Oct 31st go without some sort of fight is going to cost him a strong majority, and quite possibly the election altogether. A whole slew of 'hard' Brexiteers are going to swing to TBP.