Tory Civil War: Johnson's Feud With Rebels Comes to a Head, Oct Elections Likely
Parliament is back in session Tuesday, September 3. Remainers and some Tory rebels want legislation demanding Johnson request yet another delay from the EU.
However, Johnson gave a speech today vowing not to seek another Brexit extension under any circumstances. And he won't. No one can force him. Until he gives the "Queen's Speech" such moves by Parliament are not binding.
He scheduled the Queen's Speech for October 14 as noted in Boris Johnson's Deviously Clever Brexit Strategy Unfolds
With the Queen's Approval, parliament will be suspended from September 9 through October 14.
Should the rebels side with Labour, Johnson will strip the rebels of Tory party membership and call for an election on October 14.
An October 14 election would give time to an incoming prime minister to seek an extension. Of course, that presumes Johnson would lose. Polls suggest Johnson will win, perhaps by a landslide.
That was an excellent speech. Key Snip
If there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum. Or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay. I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t.
But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible.
And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against Corbyn’s pointless delay.
I want everybody to know – there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.
Hillary Benn, the Shadow (opposition) Brexit Secretary put out a laughable series of eight Tweets regarding a bill he concocted that is supposed to stop a no deal brexit.
Then bill demands the Prime Minister must send a letter to the President of the European Council requesting an Article 50 extension until January 31, 2020.
As noted above the notion is preposterous for many reasons, the most import of which is that the bill is not legally binding.
Putting Corbyn to the Test
Earlier today Corbyn said he wants a general election after legislation blocking no-deal gets passed. Such legislation will of course be totally useless.
Since the Fixed-Terms Act requires 2/3 majority, Labour votes will be needed for an early election to happen.
Putting Benn to the Test
How Many Rebels Are There?
Guardian Live Blog Closing Summary
- The prime minister will seek to hold a general election on 14 October if Parliament votes to hand control of the legislative timetable to the opposition on Tuesday, a government source said. Boris Johnson claimed Brussels would not engage until the possibility of legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit or a reversal of the whole process was removed and called for MPs to back him.
- He sought to ramp up the pressure on those Tory MPs minded not to do so as the Commons prepares to debate legislation designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit. MPs were left in no doubt that Tuesday’s vote would be treated as a confidence vote by No 10 and the consequences for voting against Downing Street would be withdrawal of the whip. The work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, was one of those who urged Johnson not to go down that road.
- In an address outside Downing Street, Johnson indicated he would refuse to ask Brussels for a delay to Brexit, even if a law was passed requiring him to do so. Johnson said there were “no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October - no ifs or buts”.
Removing the Whip
Point number two is the critical one.
Party members voting against Johnson will be removed from the party.
UK Election Polls
UK Polling Trends
Ever since Johnson insisted he would deliver Brexit, Tory polling numbers soared.
Best Outcome for Johnson
The best outcome for Johnson would be for Hammond and all the Remainers to be outed then for Johnson to win in a landslide.
I suspect, when push comes to shove only a few Tory rebels will be willing to fall on their sword. And if Johnson calls for elections on October 14, it will be very difficult for Corbyn to block the elections keeping Johnson in power.
Potential Johnson Landslide
The problem for the opposition is the Liberal Democrats want to Remain while Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn wants a customs union or a vote on another referendum (depending on what strikes his mood at the moment).
In a first-past-the-post system (UK and US), where the winner is the one who gets the most votes as opposed to a proportional system such as Germany, Johnson might win with a huge landslide.
The chart shows that Brexit party members started returning home mid-July. That trend is likely to continue as long as Johnson stays firm on delivering Brexit.
One never knows how an election would turn out, but if the polls are believable, Johnson has to really put the screws to Labour and the rebel Tories.
The likely worst case scenario for Johnson is a small majority with a few rebels additionally losing their seats.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock