We all knew it was coming and, sure enough, Boris pushed through a bill in Parliament to allow a General Election to take place in just 38 days from now.
It should not go unnoticed, though, that in spite of suggestions to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote, this was blocked. Strange that Boris himself was elected by such teenagers as they were allowed to vote in the Tory leadership contest a few months ago. One rule for Boris, another for the rest of us?
Boris’s plan is to get a stonking great majority so that he can push through Brexit without opposition. Sound familiar? Yes, that’s the same plan Theresa May chose last year. Whatever happened to her?
You may have noticed that Boris is just repeating what Mrs May did. His “new deal” is her deal. His election plan is her election plan. It is all repeating-record territory. Boris might like to suggest to us that he has a new vision, but he is not really doing anything different from what has been attempted since 2016.
He is also much lower in the opinion polls than Mrs May was when she launched her disastrous election bid last year. True, Confused Corbyn is at a real low point as well, so there’s every chance that Boris will defeat the old codger.
But there’s a problem for Boris and Jezza in the form of Nutty Nigel. His Brexit Party pledges to stand in every seat. But that is dangerous. You can easily slip off if you stand on a seat. I suspect Nigel is in for a fall.
The switch from voting Tory to voting Brexit requires the former Conservative faithful to abandon their life-long adoration of their party. It turns out that most “leave” voters are prepared to put party first and “no-deal” second. That means Nigel will not get hoards of Tories switching to his little band. However, there is a problem for Boris, because the polls show that the “remain” voters among the Tory faithful are willing to switch parties. The pull of “remain” is stronger than party loyalty. Boris could be in trouble as well as Nigel.
Over in the Labour camp, they have a similar issue. The “leave” Labour voters appear to be more wedded to Labour than to “leave”. They will not defect in great numbers to the Brexit Party. It would seem from the polls that the people who wanted to defect from Labour to the Brexit Part have already done so, which means Nigel is in inevitably going to be in a minority party position, just as he was with UKIP. (He clearly didn’t get the message.) But for Jezza, there’s an issue with the Labour remain voters. They are confused about what their party is offering and could easily divert to the Lib Dems.
So where does that leave the rest of us? Exactly where we are now. Remain voters who swap parties at the election will balance out the leave voters who do the same. There’s still a 50-50 split in the country and that will be reflected in the General Election.
Boris could well return as Prime Minister but either with a small majority or in a minority Government. We’ll be six weeks closer to the new Brexit deadline and Parliament will be divided again. So, we’ll need another extension….! At that point, the EU will probably tell us to sling our hook and with MPs being so dead set against “no-deal” their only option would be revocation of Article 50.
Of course, this is all based on analysing the opinion polls – and they have been wrong in the past. So what are the bookies saying? They often get it right. The odds are that there will be “no overall majority”. That’s where most of the betting is going at the moment with a slightly lower chance of the Conservatives getting a tiny majority. In other words, the gamblers who bet on politics do agree with the opinion polls. Essentially, whichever way you analyse things, the result is the same – a total mess.
The chances that Boris will be able to wrap up Brexit for Christmas appear slim.