Tory MPs Clash Over Possible Snap Election to Break Brexit Deadlock


Conservative Party MPs are at loggerheads over plans by the British government to possibly call a snap general election, perhaps as early as this week.

Senior party figures are warning that any attempt by Prime Minister Theresa May to force through such a move will be voted down, including by members of her own Cabinet, the Guardian reports.

Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan commented, “If we have a general election before Brexit is resolved, it will only make things worse.”

Meanwhile, Mark Francois, a member of the Brexit-supporting European Research Group (ERG), has said that there is “no chance” that the Conservative Party would back a general election under May’s leadership, stating “of course they wouldn’t, not after last time”.

The divide comes as the Prime Minister seeks to end the Brexit deadlock, possibly by holding a fourth parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal, which has already been rejected by MPs three times.

If this latest attempt fails she will reportedly consider holding a general election, although this would require the backing of a “super-majority” of two-thirds of MPs under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

If there was a sizable Tory rebellion against the move, it would be unlikely to pass.

Labour MPs are also considering a second vote of no confidence in Mrs May’s government if they believe that Brexiteer Tories will join them in voting to bring down the Prime Minister.

A recent poll by Deltapoll for the Mail on Sunday suggested that Labour currently holds a five-point lead over the Conservative Party, leading by 41 percent to 36 percent.

If this were to be the result of an election, it could leave the Tories on 264 seats to Labour’s 307, though this would mean Labour was still 19 seats short of an overall parliamentary majority, once minor parties are taken into consideration.

Labour could potentially consider doing a deal with the left-liberal Scottish National Party (SNP) in order to form a government in such a scenario, as the Tories have with the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

At the same time, an Opinium poll for the Observer found that Mrs May’s personal lead over Jeremy Corbyn had halved from 15 points to just seven.

Meanwhile, various potential candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party are manoeuvring for position, with Cabinet Remainer Jeremy Hunt, Cabinet Leaver Michael Gove, and former Vote Leave frontman Boris Johnson currently among the leading contenders.

The latest polling shows that when the various potential leadership candidates are matched up against Jeremy Corbyn, Boris is the only candidate to come out ahead over the Labour leader.

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