In the wake of last week’s predicted Brecon and Radnorshire by-election defeat, the Tory majority is reduced to one and a 2019 General Election is all the rage at a best price of just 8/13 with the best political betting sites. Who would win it?
Before answering that, we must consider different contexts. One scenario involves the government falling to a vote of no confidence in early September, thus enabling a poll before the Brexit date of 31/10/19. More likely if current speculation is correct, Boris Johnson would schedule a poll for shortly after the UK has exited without a deal. It is sure to be an interesting few weeks ahead in the political betting.
Tories reliant on pact with Brexit Party
In either or any case, the Tory chance revolves around the Brexit Party. The Brecon and Radnorshire result confirmed that Nigel Farage has the Tories by the short and curlies. Had they stood aside, a Tory candidate damaged by filing false expenses claims may well have been re-elected.
As it stands, the Brexit Party is fielding general election candidates. They are determined to keep Johnson true to his Brexit promises. I do not believe, however, they will do anything to hurt the Tories in a general election in which their dream is on the line, so long as no deal Brexit is the prize. There will be a pact that either involves the party standing down entirely, or giving the Tories a free run in selected seats. If it has already been delivered, they will cease to exist.
If we are looking at a pre-Brexit election, the Tories would commit in a manifesto to leave on October 31st without a deal. The opposition parties will coalesce around a second referendum. Johnson will pitch it as the will of the people versus the “Remoaner” establishment.
Polls highly unreliable at this point
At this precise moment, the polls look good for the Tories although that depends on the firm. Yougov and IpsosMori have Labour trailing by around 9-10% but Comres and Opinium have them more or less tied. However after 2017, we must take early polls with a large pinch of salt.