andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
On Thursday, after I voted, I said on Facebook:
I've voted in this week's election.
I assume we get a referendum next week.
And another election the Tuesday after.
I thought I was being ridiculous. It turns out the world is more ridiculous than I.

Labour are currently showing as 5% ahead of the Conservatives in a poll taken after the election, with Theresa May seen as a liability (48% want her to stand down, vs 38% wanting her to stay). Making deals with the DUP is not going to make them look any better, and frankly I'm not seeing how they get to look any less shambolic in the near future. Hell, you wait until Brexit negotiations kick off, and she has to start making people unhappy with some actual decisions. That's if she survives a meeting with her backbenchers today.

And, of course, all of the people who could replace her are...staggeringly unpopular:

The only person there with a positive outcome is Ruth Davidson. Who is largely unknown (second lowest overall numbers) and crucially - not an MP, so can't be the UK Conservative Leader*. And even if she was, presumably couldn't be Prime Minister**.

Still! In the meantime, the Conservatives have more votes than all of the plausibly-progressive parties put together (317 vs 314). And with the DUP adding 10 onto that, they aren't going anywhere unless they want to. And unless they can't govern, they aren't going to want to.

So, the question is - what can you do to make a difference?

My suggestion would be that if you're in an area with a Conservative MP you write to them and protest about the DUP. Tell them that you won't put up with any movement on women's rights, or LGBT rights. The Conservatives are worried about this, and it's something that can be pushed on hard. Here's an example of one Conservative MP who's received hundreds of letters, and is making it clear she's not going to go full-DUP.

Keep talking to anyone you know who voted Conservative. Let _them_ know that you think that what May is doing is forming a coalition of chaos. There were a lot of very close elections, and every inch the needle is moved between now and the next election helps.

*Anyone who knows the Conservative Constitution care to make a guess at how easy it would be for them to change that?
**It wouldn't surprise me to know that it was theoretically legal for a non-MP to be Prime Minister, what with our constitutional vagueness. But I don't think that any party would even attempt to pull that off. Hasn't happened since 1902, when it was a Lord.

Date: 2017-06-12 08:38 am (UTC)
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
IIRC, the prime minister used to have to be commons or lords, but then convention settled that they should be in the commons. I don't know if they HAD to be either, but they always were.

But someone from a devolved parliament sounds reasonable, it's possible we could amend things so that was possible. I don't know if there's any practical difficulties.

Date: 2017-06-12 09:17 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
The practical difficulty is being unable to defend your government in, or have the confidence of a House of, which you are not, yourself, a Member.

Date: 2017-06-12 08:46 am (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Pedantry: according to the BBC, the Tories and UKIP got 44.2% of the votes, and Labour, LibDems, SNP and Greens got 52%. So they didn't get more votes, but (hey! FPTP!) more seats. Still, May sees this as a vindication of her hard Brexit, austerity policies...

Date: 2017-06-12 09:32 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I fear she's gotten herself in to a headspace where she would interpret being punched in the face as a mandate for what she wanted to do.

Date: 2017-06-12 10:03 am (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Or being stabbed in the back.

Date: 2017-06-12 10:11 am (UTC)
dewline: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dewline
Yet another case of an outvoted majority. We've been seeing them a lot across the planet.

Date: 2017-06-12 08:06 pm (UTC)
ext_57867: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
They got less of the public's votes, but they have more of the votes-on-legislation (out of 650 less a few), which I think is what Andy was saying.

Date: 2017-06-12 08:51 am (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
It has been reported that the "new" cabinet are demanding that May dumps the manifesto (in which they had no say). Which means this will be the second government she's lead with no real commitment to what voters voted on.

It also means policies can be voted down by the Lords, and MPs might be expected to rebel. Fun times!

Date: 2017-06-12 09:16 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
The link below has a summary of a pdf that explains some of the rules about electing new Conservative Leaders.

Triggered by a 15% disgruntlement tally. A winnowing down process of ballots of Conservative MP's to get to a final two who are put to the membership at large. You have to be a Conservative Party member at the time of the opening of nomionations and have been one for three months in order to vote (join now!)

The Conservative Party Constitution of 2004 (which I think is still the current one)

10. There shall be a Leader of the Party (referred to in this Constitution as “the Leader”) drawn from those elected to Parliament, who shall be elected by the Party Members and Scottish Party Members in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 2.

My reading of "drawn from those elected to Parliament" is that that means must be currently sitting in the Commons.

So I think that takes Davidson out as a potential nominee unless she can be dropped in to a safe, probably English, seat. Thannet South might be the best option.

But as a Conservative I'm not sure I'd pick Davidson. She's run a decent campaign, with the electoral tide and a fair wind, in Scotland. Never been a minister, never even been a government backbencher. Not sure she has the right network in Westminister. Bit unproven. Also, rides a bison.

Date: 2017-06-12 09:31 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam

I think there are three scenarios.

1) May cobbles together some alliance between the Tories and the DUP and eeks out an increasingly slim majority until either 2022 or a massive Brexit Crisis.

2) May is deposed by the Tories and her successor eeks out an increasingly slim majority until either 2022 or a massive Brexit Crisis

3) Either 1) or 2) or both is attempted and it goes wrong and we have another election in 2017 or 2018.

I think Corbyn's "access" to the Single Market i.e. a hard Brexit position makes 1) or 2) more likely. So I put the chances of any of the above at roughly 1/3.

For me, the first rule of British politics is never underestimate the Conservative Party's ability to be flexible and pragmatic in the pursuit of power.

I would expect the Tories to be really careful and thoughtful about their next leader. They know need someone who can deliver, someone who can hold them together and someone who can get them out of the "one more heave" position the Labour Party is occupying. I'm not sure that that candidate exists but I would not place any bets on the assumption that the Tories will do something ideological and stupid

Sadly, I think Corbyn's hard Brexit position significantly reduces the chances of the pro-EU wing of the Tories hitting the self-destruct button for ideological reasons. If they are going to have a hard Brexit they might as well be in government. Not for the first time am I left thinking of Corbyn that he is an incompetent who mostly does not share my priorties or values. Hey ho.

Date: 2017-06-12 11:44 am (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
Let the plotting commence.

They may have asked who people thought would be the likeliest Tory to shaft May first!

Date: 2017-06-12 01:05 pm (UTC)
calimac: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calimac
It is possible that Mrs May will survive, so long as the current government does, simply because there are no plausible candidates to replace her. That is essentially how John Major survived as PM for so long. Having a cabinet full of pusillanimous gits can be an advantage.

In the poll, I'd have liked to have seen the people who voted No on all of the above to be asked, "So who do you think would make a good leader?"

The only constitutional requirement for a PM is that it be somebody who commands the support of a majority of the Commons. If for some reason they chose a non-MP (assuming the Conservative Party constitution were amended to allow it), that person could be PM. In fact it happened in 1963 when they chose Lord Home. He immediately disclaimed his peerage and stood for a conveniently vacant safe seat.

But that was a special case. Otherwise, parachuting people into seats just so they can hold office does not have a good reputation in the UK. See the case of Patrick Gordon-Walker, whom Harold Wilson wanted as his Foreign Secretary in 1964 but happened to lose his seat. So an artificial vacancy was created for him (some flunky was kicked upstairs to the Lords), but he lost that too and had to give up.

On the other hand, a lot of traditional rules of British politics have been broken in recent times, so there's no telling what will happen.

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