Has Iain Martin missed the fixed parliament “Catch 22”?

Has Iain Martin missed the fixed parliament “Catch 22”?

Why would Labour support a Tory call for an election?

My previous article on Iain Martin’s Sunday Telegraph suggestion that there might be an early election has prompted him to respond on his blog with a post headed “Early elections and the fallacy of fixed parliaments”.

But in neither his Telegraph article nor his blog does he have a convincing explanation as to how MPs would vote by the required two-thirds majority to by-pass the fixed term parliament legislation.

For the only circumstances that Cameron would try to call an election would be if the polls pointed to a majority. Those same circumstances would involve Labour losing and it’s hard to see why Miliband’s party would allow the Tories to have their wish.

He suggests that there might be some “great issue – such as Europe or economic reform” at stake in which it would be “politically suicidal” for an opposition leader to block an election.

I don’t believe it. Maybe I am a cynic but narrow partisan party interests are always paramount when decisions like this are made.

Martin doesn’t deal with my substantive point that the overwhelming electoral priority for the Tories is to get the boundary changes through. It is paramount for the blues that the next election is fought on the new electoral map. Instead of requiring a CON lead of 11% for a majority the proposed changes reduce that to 7.4%.

I can’t envisage the circumstances in which Dave/George would give that up.

Mike Smithson @MikeSmithsonOGH

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