Britons Support an Early General Election by Two-to-One

Protestors hold placards near the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 5, 2019. - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Thursday for an early election after a flurry of parliamentary votes tore up his hardline Brexit strategy and left him without a majority. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / …

More than twice as many Britons support an “immediate” General Election to select a fresh Parliament as those who oppose, as the predominantly remain composition of the House of Commons remains the primary roadblock to Brexit moving forward.

Results of a snap YouGov survey found that 50 per cent of the public would support the calling of a General Election, while only 23 per cent were opposed.

Conservatives were the most likely to support a General Election with 62 per cent in favour compared to just 24 per cent opposing. Labour voters were also far more likely to support an election than supporters of minor parties, being in favour by a margin of 48 to 25 per cent.

The poll comes amidst the prospect of another possible Brexit delay, as parliamentarians rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed timetable for passing his deal through the House of Commons.

Number 10 has indicated that Johnson may call for a snap election if the European Union agrees to the third delay of Brexit, which would destroy his chances of sticking to his pledge of leaving the EU on the 31st of October, with or without a deal.

The prime minister lost a working majority in the House of Commons in September and has already called for a General Election twice. However, due to the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, requesting a snap election requires a two-thirds majority in the House.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has shut down Johnson’s requests, giving him the distinction of being the only opposition leader in British history to block a general election — leading to accusations in the house and elsewhere that he is running scared of a vote.

Mr Corbyn’s reticence to support an election may be due to the Labour Party’s declining poll numbers, which suggest a potential Tory victory. A Labour spokesman also said on Wednesday that the party’s priority is to ensure that a no-deal Brexit is completely ruled out before backing a snap election.

The decision by Corbyn and the Labour Party to block a General Election has left the current Johnson government in a state of limbo, unable to enact the prime minister’s pledge to deliver Brexit on time.

Labour’s unwillingness to allow British voters to go to the polls has led some to call their political tactics anti-democratic. Brendan O’Neill of Spiked described the current situation as a “parliamentary dictatorship”, writing that:

“The shamelessness is quite staggering. They plot ceaselessly against the people’s democratic wishes and then they cushion themselves from our judgement by continually blocking a General Election. The end result is something like a parliamentary dictatorship.

“We now live under a parliament that is acting against the democratic interests of the people and which is preventing us from protesting about this fact at the ballot box.”


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