It is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that today would have been General Election day if Theresa May had not gone early in 2017. When she took over as leader and Prime Minister after the referendum she made it very clear that she had no intentions of rushing into an early general election.
Under the fixed-term Parliament Act the general election was due to take place on May 7th 2020 which given what is happening now with the coronavirus pandemic would have been enormously problematical. There would have to have been some extraordinary legislation to extend the Parliament beyond 5-years and my guess is that would have been postponed perhaps till July or maybe September.
It will be recalled that in the same week in April 2017 when Theresa May called the election the Tories had one poll showing a lead of 25%. TMay looked unbeatable and nobody really questioned whether this was the right decision.
Then we had the Tory manifesto launch which included social care proposals that within minutes of publication were being described on social media as the “dementia tax”. TMay panicked and a few days later this proposal was effectively dropped.
At 2159 BST, on the day of the 2017 General Election a CON majority was rated as an 87% chance on Betfair. The polls leading up to elections day had narrowed but there was almost nothing to suggest anything other than TMay was going to secure another CON majority.
A striking feature of the results was in relative terms the poor turnout by the 65+ age group which is generally very pro-Tory. This gave Corbyn a short period in the sun which was not to last.