A vote this year is rated as just an 11% chance
At the weekend we saw reports in the media about the possibility of the huge divide in the Conservative over Brexit being of such a magnitude that an early, 2018, general election was the only way of ending it.
I thought the Sunday Times report was over-egged simply because Mrs. May was so scarred by her failure to retain the Tory majority last year that there were no circumstances in which she would take such a gamble again. The idea of her going into another campaign for which, as we saw, she was so psychologically unsuited to handle is hard to comprehend.
It is also hard to see another party leader being put in place this year for it is convenient for both sides within the party to leave her in the role until Brexit at the earliest. In any case the party’s processes make it difficult to oust her.
Sure it only takes 48 CON MPs to write letters demanding a confidence vote of he parliamentary party for one to be triggered. But the other key number is that for her to lose that ballot requires 150+ CON MPs to vote against her and there isn’t that level of support.
On top of that there appears even within the parliamentary party to be a lack of appreciation of the Fixed Term Parliament Act and what is required to trigger an election.
The other factor that helps Mrs. May is that the Tories have established what is looking like a solid lead in the polls which diminishes the threat of Prime Minister Corbyn.
The Betfair exchange did see the odds on a 2018 election move to 15% but there was little to support it staying at the level and the price has slipped back.