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We are now in October and we know that the law lays down that there has to be 25 working days between an election being called and polling day so if one is to take place this year the options are running out.
This month sees, of course, the Article 50 deadline and the court case in Scotland that seeks to ensure that a letter seeking an extension under the Benn act is actually sent if Johnson is not minded to do it himself.
We’ve also got the “no ifs no buts” assertions by the PM that the UK is going to leave by Halloween. Current strategy appears to be to ensure that it is not Johnson who gets the blame if the deadline is not reached.
We have also got the key EU meeting coming up when its response to the Johnson/Cummings “deal” will be known.
On the election timing Johnson has the big problem that he doesn’t have the MP numbers to put it through on his own and will have to rely on LAB which has made clear that avoiding no deal at the end of the month is the key priority.
There’s also the possibility that at any time Corbyn could table a no confidence motion in the prescribed form laid down by the FTPA and as things stand at the moment this would carry on the required simple majority. Then there would be 14 days for a new government to be formed which had the confidence of the house or, failing that, a general election.
Meanwhile John Rentoul in the Indy is speculating on what agovernment of national unity might look like.
My betting position continues to be that there will be no 2019 general election.