On your marks for the General Election in… 2018?
In four years and three months Britain will go back to the polls for the 2020 General Election. All Jeremy Corbyn’s planning is leading to that date, and all of his opponents are planning on removing him in time for that to make sure he never fights a general election.
But what if that assumption was wrong?
Perhaps the most intriguing speculation of the week came with rumours coming out of George Osborne’s camp that part of his platform for Party Leadership will include scrapping the Fixed Terms Parliament Act. The Act, introduced to give stability and certainty to a Coalition, is much-disliked and it’s abolition could be presented to the party as removing one of the unpleasant legacies of the best-forgotten years of sharing power.
Suddenly, the Prime Minister would have the power to name the election date again, and the temptation to “go early” would be great. Faced with that risk, Labour’s moderates could try to bring down Corbyn prematurely and, if they fail, strengthen his position. So even the threat of an early election, even if he doesn’t go for it, plays into his hands.
Osborne prides himself on being seen as the master political tactician and, as many have said, “this would be so George.” So, George, are you going to do it?