Time to vote

So, are we to have an election before the end of the year? One might think, after yet another week of parliamentary manoeuvring, we would have an answer to that question, especially since all the major parties are, in theory, in favour of an early poll, but uncertainty persists. Boris Johnson’s latest attempt to dissolve parliament, which came to a vote this evening, was unsuccessful, as, unsurprisingly, the opposition was reluctant to take him at his word when he promised not to try to push through his Withdrawal Bill before election day.

He’s going to try again tomorrow, with a motion that ties him down to a definite date, which would make it all but impossible for him to engineer an exit in the meantime. This time he might get it over the line, since the EU have granted another extension until the end of January, providing reassurance for the opposition parties with most to gain from an election, the SNP and the Liberals, who between them have enough votes to give Johnson a majority, assuming he can keep his own party on board. Labour remain ambivalent, but may have to accept that the numbers are stacking up against a further delay.

The Tories are ahead in the polls, but even so, an election is a major gamble for Johnson. He would be banking on picking up enough seats from Labour in the north of England to offset what will probably be a total Conservative wipeout in Scotland, and heavy losses to the Liberals in the south. He would need to keep the campaign focused on Brexit, and hope that Labour leave voters were prepared to overlook a decade of austerity, and the promise of more to come, and give him the mandate to finally carry through a departure. This seems unlikely, to say the least.

My view is that an election can’t come soon enough. A win for the left is more than possible, and while a Johnson victory would be a nightmare, at least we would know where we stood, and could get on with the class struggle, instead of prolonging the current paralysis.

My predictions? There will be an election in the week beginning 9th December, Labour will win enough seats to form a minority government with the loose support of the SNP, and Johnson will take his rightful place as a footnote to history.

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