May’s Brexit General Election

The Wicked Witch’s Election

ww-westminsterWe were already aware that local elections are due to take place on Thursday 4th May 2017 for 4,851 local council seats in England, Scotland and Wales and for 6 new directly elected Metro Mayors. There was also going to be a Parliamentary By-Election in Manchester Gorton, after the death of the sitting MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman.  Professors Rallings and and Thrasher had predicted there would be gains for Conservatives and Liberals in the local elections but with Labour losing around 50 seats.

Then, as described on the 19th April post – The Wicked Witch calls an Election – Teresa May (aka The Wicked Witch of Westminster) called a general election in the hope of boosting her majority in the House of Commons.

On 19th April 2017 the House of Common passed the necessary vote required by the Fixed Term Parliament Act.  The timetable is thus as set out in the table below (events will be crossed through as they take place).

Thursday, 27 April 2017 Parliament prorogued
Tuesday, 2 May 2017 Dissolution of Parliament –  ‘short’

Thursday, 4 May 2017 Local elections Polling Day
Thursday, 11 May 2017

Deadline for candidate nomination papers

Monday, 22 May 2017 Last day to register to vote
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 Last day to request a postal vote
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 Deadline for making an application for a proxy vote
Thursday, 8 June 2017 General Election Polling Day 

So we are going to be in continuing election campaign mode for the next few weeks!

The Local Elections

The Local Elections and the analysis of the results provided data which may enable pollsters more accurately to predict the outcome of the General Election.  Prior to the local elections (which were partial elections) the pollsters predicted nets gains of 115 seats for the Tories and 85 for the Liberal Democrats, and net losses of 75 for Labour and 105 for UKIP.

In  the event, the results were more extreme than the pollsters’ predictions:

  • .The Conservatives gained more than 560 seats, and control of 11 councils
  • Labour lost more than 380 seats, and control of seven councils, including Glasgow
  • The Liberal Democrats lost 41 seats
  • UKIP lost 145 seats – every one it was defending so far, gaining a solitary seat from Labour in Lancashire
  • The Conservatives won ‘metro’ mayor races in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Tees Valley, West of England and West Midlands while Labour won the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City mayoral elections
  • In Scotland, the Conservatives gained 164 seats mostly from Labour
  • In Scotland Labour lost 133 Seats
  • In Wales the Conservatives gained 80 seats
  • In Wales Labour lost 107 Seats
  • Plaid Cymru gained 33 seats in Wales

Thus these results suggested that the Conservatives were on course towards a good result in the General Election

The State of the Parties in the last House of Commons 

Party Seats
Conservative 330
Labour 229
Scottish National Party 54
Liberal Democrat 9
Democratic Unionist Party 8
Independent 5
Sinn Fein 4
Plaid Cymru 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party 3
Ulster Unionist Party 2
Green Party 1
UKIP – UK Independence Party 0
Mr Speaker 1
Vacant 1
Total number of seats 650
Working Government Majority 17

Sitting MP’s not standing again

Thus far the following have announced they will not seek re-election:-

  • Conservatives
  • Simon Burns (Con – Chelmsford – Maj 18,250) -announced intention to retire in Chelmsford Enquirer in January 2016
  • Adam Hazelhurst (Con – Saffron Walden – Maj 24,991) opposed to Brexit (reported Conservative Home 24 April 2017)
  • Gerald Howarth (Con – Aldershot – Maj 14,901) Brexiteer (reported by Daily Mirror on 22 April 2017)
  • Karen Lumley (Con – Redditch –
  • George Osborne (Con – Tatton – Maj 18,241) – former Chancellor of the Exchequer under David Cameron (reported by FT on 21 Apr 2017)
  • Sir Eric Pickles (Con – Brentwood & Ongar – Maj 21,810) – previous Conservative Party Chairman (reported by Guardian 22 Apr 2017)
  • Andrew Tyrie (Con – Chichester – Maj 24,413), Chairman of Treasury Select Committee and a powerful backbencher, (repported Conservative Home 24 April 2017)
  • Angela Watkinson (Con – Hornchurch & Upminster – Maj 13,074) health reasons after minor stroke (reported by Daily Mirror on 22 April 2017)
  • Andrew Wright (Con – Isle of Wight – Maj – 13,703) resigned after making anti-gay remarks (reported BBC News 28 April 2017)
  • Labour
  • Graham Allan (Lab – Nottingham North – 11,860)  ill health (reported by Daily Mirror on 22 April 2017)
  • David Anderson (Lab – Blaydon – Maj 14,227) – Shadow Scottish Secretary (reported Telegraph 20 April 2017)
  • Tom Blenkinsop   (Lab – Middlesborough South  & East Cleveland – Maj  2,268)    (posted on his website on 18 April 2017 “I have made no secret about my significant and irreconcilable differences with the current Labour leadership. It is because of these differences I feel I cannot in good faith stand as the Labour candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland“)
  •  Andy Burnham (Lab – Leigh – Maj 14,096) a Labour Secretary of State and Shadow Cabinet Member, standing for election as Mayor of Greater Manchester on 4th May 2017  (reported by ITV on 19th April 2017 as saying he would not stand in General Election – also reported by Guardian 22 Apr 2017 – however he may continue as candidate until the 4th May mayoral result is known)
  • Jim Dowd (Lab – Lewisham West & Penge – Maj 12,714)  (reported Telegraph 20 Apr 2017)
  • Michael Duger (Lab – Barnsley East – Maj 12,024) an outspoken critic of Corbyn (reported by the Independent 18 Apr 2017)
  • Pat Glass (Lab  – Durham  North West – Maj 10,056)  prominent Labour Remain campaigner (reported by Guardian 22 Apr 2017)
  • Alan Johnson (Lab  – Hull West & Hessel – Maj  9,333)   former Home Secretary & other Cabinet posts  (reported by Independent 18 Apr 2017)
  • Fiona MacTagggert (Lab – Slough – Maj 7,336) (reported by Telegraph 20 Apr 2017)
  • Rob Maris (Lab – Wolverhampton South West – Maj 801) (reported by Telegraph 20 Apr 2017)
  • Steve Rotherham (Lab – Liverpool Walton – Maj  27,777) – remains candidate but will need to resign if he succeeds in Mayoral Election (reported Spectator 21 Apr 2017)
  • Gisela Stuart (Lab – Birmingham Edgebaston – Maj  2,706) prominent Vote Leave Campaigner (reported by FT on 21 Apr 2017)
  • Andrew Smith (Lab – Oxford East – Maj 15,280) former Secretary of State         (reported by Guardian 22 Apr 2017)
  • Ian Wright (Lab  – Hartlepool – Maj 3,024)   (reported by Hartlepool Mail  19 April 2017 and by Guardian 22 Apr 2017)
  • Liberal Democrat
  • John Pugh (Lib-Dem – Southport – Maj 1,300) (reported by Southport Visiter 19 April 2017)
  • Independent
  • Douglas Carswell (Independent  –  Clacton – Maj  3,437) formerly Conservative then UKIP, then Independent  (reported by FT on 21 April 2017)
  • Scottish National Party
  • Michelle Thomson (Scottish National – Independent – Edinburgh West – Maj 3,210) resigned whip and not reendorsed (reported The Scotsman on 22 April 2017)
  • Natalie McGarry (Scottish National – Independent – Glasgow East – Maj 10,387) resigned whip and not re-endorsed (reported The Scotsman on 25 April 2017)

Therefore thus far 27 sitting members are not standing:  Conservatives 9 – Labour 14 – Lib-Dem 1 – SNP – 2  – Independent 1  [Any other incumbents who decide not to stand will be added as announced].

 Manifesto Publishing – The UK Wide Manifestos

The Conservative Party manifesto is now available on line

The Labour Party manifesto is now available online

The Liberal Democratic Party manifesto is now available on line

The United Kingdom Independence Party do not appear to have a specific general election manifesto but earlier manifestos are on line.

Matters are, of course, complicated to some extent by the impact of the non-UK wide parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.