Theresa May has called a snap General Election for the 8th of June. This announcement follows her repeated claims that “the next election must be held in 2020”, yet the thin majority of 17 Mrs May holds within the house of commons has, it would appear, broken her resolve.
The Prime minister declared that she was seeking to” ensure strong leadership”, blaming opposition parties for forcing her hand. However historically it has been the opposition from within her own party that has restricted the government stretching its legislative muscles. Repeatedly she has been forced to back down due to the demands of backbench MPs within the Conservative party, including the recent controversial cuts to disability benefits.
With Labour polling the lowest it has been since Gordon Brown was in office, a safe majority might seem inevitable. This would stabilise her position and present her with the individual mandate for Brexit negotiations that she currently lacks.
Despite Guardian correspondent Owen Jones’ claim that Mrs May is “a patently dishonest politician”, May will see little repercussion for this political manoeuvre, indeed following the Fixed Terms Parliament Act (2011) the snap election will be subject to approval of a two thirds majority vote in the house of commons.
However, with the rising strength of calls for a referendum from Nicola Sturgeon, and Nationalist support growing in Northern Ireland, might Mrs May be gambling the future of a United Kingdom to secure the Conservatives’ position?