But 2019 still a strong odds-on favourite
As can be seen from the chart there has been a huge amount of volatility on the year of the next general election with punters starting to move back from 2019 which got to a 73% chance earlier in the week.
As we know under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act there are two ways an election can be triggered ahead of 2022 when the next one is officially due – the government loses a vote of no confidence or if two thirds of the entire House of Commons (433 MPs) vote for one.
The former has become less likely following the growing realisation that Corbyn does not have the numbers to bring Johnson down. The law states that a general election should be triggered if a no confidence motion is carried by MPs and not rescinded within 14 days. What happens in that fortnight is less clear.
The current MP totals point to several Tory MPs having to back the no confidence moe for it to succeed and it is hard to see sufficient coming forward.
The other way of an election being triggered is, like happened in April 2017, two thirds of MPs vote for one. If BJohnson sought to call a general election when parliament returns next month he cannot assume that he’d get the numbers. This could be portrayed as a means of avoiding parliamentary scrutiny during the critical build up to the October 31st Brexit date. My guess is that even if Corbyn backed that he would struggle to get the support of his full party.
One element that could cause LAB MPs to be less keen is the pressure from the hard left in the party to be subject to compulsory re-selection. How many would fail to back the move for fear of losing their jobs.
A contrived Johnson/Cummings measure to avoid the Commons on Brexit would be seen for what it is and provide the perfect cover for those LAB MPs worried about being de-selected.
A total of 433 MPs have to actually vote for the move and many could conveniently find reasons not to be in the Commons on that day.
Just because TMay found it easy getting MPs to the vote for GE2017 doesn’t mean that it will be the same for Johnson.