British Prime Minister Theresa May has surprised many by calling for a general election to be held on the 8 of June.
After the Brexit vote in June of last year, many immediately called for a general election in order for Parliament to better reflect the mood of the country in respect of the largely unexpected victory for those favouring Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
In many ways, this new general election may practically function as the ‘second Brexit vote’ that many have been calling for. Many allege that a statistically significant number of voters cast their ballots for Brexit as a protest vote against the governing elite, without thinking that it would actually win.
As it stands now, most members of Theresa May’s Conservative party support Brexit (although some moderate rebels exist in the ranks).
Labour which like the Conservatives at the time, campaigned against Brexit, have remained committed to delivering a Brexit on Labour terms though as with the Conservative party, a significant minority of Labour MPs are opposed to Brexit.
The third and fourth largest parties in Parliament, the Scottish Nationalist Party and Liberal Democrats, are stridently opposed to any kind of Brexit.
The current Parliament was to have been in power until the year 2020, ostensibly after the Brexit process had been complete.
Many, including supporters of Scottish Independence found this to be unfair as many in Scotland, including Sottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have said that they prefer to live in an independent Scotland inside the EU than in a United Kingdom outside of Europe.
By contrast, the United Kingdom Independence Party, formerly led by Nigel Farage, will look to gain seats from voters in favour of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’.
The election may indeed settle some of these disputes, but the make up of the new Parliament will almost certainly impact on the direction Brexit takes, there is even a possibility that the new Parliament could derail the Brexit process, depending on which parties come out with the most seats.
In order to formally dissolve Parliament, May will need to secure a super-majority of current MPs to vote in favour of proroguing Parliament. Otherwise, she will need to intentionally lose a vote of no-confidence.
That being said, because of the tensions surrounding Brexit, she should be able to attain the necessary 2/3rds majority necessary to dissolve the current Parliament and the election will likely happen.
Those who wanted a ‘second vote’ on Brexit, may now be able to, at least in a roundabout way, have one.
The election will occur virtually a month to the day after France elects a new President in an election where the Eurosceptic Marine Le Pen has been polling well.