With Boris due to become Prime Minister in just 6 days time there’ve been sharp changes on the Betfair year of the next general election market. As can be seen from the chart 2019 is slipping downwards and the money is now going towards 2020.
A lot of this, I would suggest, is down to a growing realisation that the Fixed-Term Parliament Act makes it quite hard for the new leader to call an election if that is indeed what he wants to do.
If he wants to initiate it in the Commons then he would require two-thirds of the entire 650 MPs to back it as happened in April 2017 when Theresa May sought to go to the country early. In the current context, I would suggest, that this would be a lot harder. In 2017 only the SNP MPs were the main group to vote against an early general election. My guess is that there would not be sufficient number of MPs of all persuasions ready vote for an early election making two-thirds rule quite hard to surmount.
The ever present position of Farage’s Brexit party in the polls represents a real threat to the livelihoods of many CON and LAB MPs. Add, as well, a form of LD-GRN cooperation to create single anti-Brexit candidates in strongly Remain seats and the uncertainty increases. Labour’s equivocation exposes it on either side of the argument.
The other way a general election can come about if the government loses a vote of no confidence which is not rescinded within a fortnight. The question here is whether the numbers are there. Are there enough CON MPs who would join a move to oust their own government and if there were would all LAB MPs get behind a move that could let Corbyn into Number 10? My guess is no.