On the betting markets a December general election is now evens favourite

On the betting markets a December general election is now evens favourite

The Swinson December 9th plan could succeed

As can be seen from the betdata.io chart there’s an increasing belief amongst punters that there will be a December general election.

Later today the Commons will vote on Johnson’s motion under the FTPA for there to be an early election which he says would be on December 12th. Although he has named a specific date there is nothing that will make it happen then if 434 MPs do give it their blessing. For the Act leaves the choice of the actual date in the hands of the PM.

With the main opposition parties planning to oppose it is hard to see it getting the require 434 MP votes and for the third time the PM would have be denied his request to go to the country. But unlike previous efforts to use the FTPA formula this would not be the end of the matter. For the Jo Swinson plan, made public Saturday evening, is on the table.

The proposal from the LD leader is in a one line bill that would require just a simple majority of MPs. It also names the date of December 9th and has been designed to ensure that the country votes in a general election before the Commons consider further the withdrawal agreement.

My guess which I’ve bet on is that given all his public calls for an immediate general election Johnson would find it hard to not go forward with something like the Swinson plan and I think there’s an increasing chance that we’ll have general election in the run up to Christmas

From the LDs perspective the election would all be about the Johnson Brexit bill for which they would find it easy to portray themselves as the main opponent. Their battle cry would be “Vote LD to stop Brexit” and we would be going into an election campaign on an issue where the official opposition has been sidelined.

Johnson’s pitch would be straightforward about honouring the referendum result.

Labour’s clear difficulty in having a position would, I suggest, be good for both Swinson and Johnson and would likely ensure that the former would get a lot more attention during the campaign than you’d expect for a party that secured just 7.6% of the vote at GE2017.

Tomorrow night the GE2019 battle could begin.

Mike Smithson

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