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  United Kingdom General Elections: December 12th, 2019 (search mode)
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Author Topic: United Kingdom General Elections: December 12th, 2019  (Read 77329 times)
Gary J
Sr. Member
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Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« on: October 29, 2019, 03:37:26 pm »

Apparently Parliament will be dissolving on the 5th November.

And the election results will be reported the  morning of Friday 13th December.

God has certainly lost the plot for reality.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, just announced in the House that the dissolution will take place at 1 minute after midnight on 6th November.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
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Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 06:44:12 pm »

I assume this election is still going with the 650 seat boundaries and not the proposed 600 seat boundaries.

The 650 seat boundaries are still in force and will be unchanged since the 2017 election.

Neither Theresa May nor Boris Johnson have demonstrated any interest in implementing the 600 seat boundary proposals. In formal terms all that was necessary was to produce a draft Order in Council and getting Parliament to vote for it. This would then lead to the reorganization of constituency party structures and a game of musical chairs amongst the MPs scrambling for a reduced number of candidacies.

It was suggested, when the boundary commission reports were issued, that Theresa May was not confident that she could get a majority for the revised boundaries. Parliament was told that it would take some time for the Order in Council to be drafted and somehow it has never since been produced.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2019, 02:52:08 am »
« Edited: October 30, 2019, 02:55:26 am by Gary J »

Is there any discussion about electoral pacts, stand down agreements etc?

The Lib Dems are allegedly in talks with Plaid Cymru, the SNP, and Greens about selected stand downs in a handful of seats. The Tories have categorically ruled out any cooperation with the Brexit Party. I don't think the Brexit Party has responded in kind, but the inexorable logic of the situation is that they will attempt to stand a full slate of candidates.

It is extremely unlikely that Labour and pretty unlikely that the Conservatives will not have a candidate in every seat in Great Britain, except possibly the constituency of a new Speaker if one gets elected on Monday.

The Liberal Democrats may be prepared to stand down in a limited number of cases. For example in 2017 they did not contest Brighton Pavilion, held by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party (although I see from the Wikipedia article that there is a Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat now). It may be more a case of a "gentleman's agreement" not to run a strong campaign in non target seats, where the campaign will largely consist of the one free postal delivery leaflet (postal strikes permitting). I know that in recent general election campaigns attempts have been made to persuade activists in non target seats to devote their major efforts to nearby target seats, as an attempt to replicate by-election levels of activity in a limited number of constituencies. I am not sure what level of resources are going to be available to the Lib Dems in this election.

I would be surprised if the SNP would be willing not to contest any seats in Scotland. I suspect they would quite like to win every seat in Scotland, which would not be entirely impossible except perhaps for Orkney and Shetland.

I do not think any widespread electoral pacts are likely. There are four major or major minor GB wide parties, none of which particularly like or trust the others, plus the SNP which has a similar status in Scotland. The position is more like the recent Canadian federal elections where just about every riding had a candidate from just about all the competing parties.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 03:15:37 am »

Another part of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, that needs further thought, is the provision about motions of no confidence. I would suggest adopting the idea that a motion of no confidence must specify the member of the House of Commons who would replace the existing Prime Minister if the motion is carried. I would also clarify who can move a motion of no confidence and when. It seems absurd that the government itself should control when it can be challenged and usually give time only to the votes moved by the Leader of the Opposition, even if some other member might have a reasonable chance of winning a majority.

I would also include a provision that certain votes, such as that in response to the Queen's speech or on the budget must be votes of no confidence, so they pass unless the House votes for another member to be named as Prime Minister.

The parties, interested members of the public and academic experts should probably be encouraged to gameplay the proposed rules before they are adopted into law to see if anyone can come up with unintended consequences or ways where the rules might break down in a time of crisis.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2019, 03:06:57 pm »

I know it's too early to discuss this, but if Corbyn were to resign after the election due to a bad Labour performance, who would be the likely candidates to replace him? I hear names like John McDonnell and Emily Thornberry but I obviously don't know what's the actual sentiment on the ground among Labour members and I'm curious.

The left wing faction, which controls the Labour Party, will want to elect one of its own to replace Corbyn. That means under no circumstances can they permit someone like Keir Starmer to win. The left faction is far more interested in cementing total control of the Labour Party than in winning general elections.

I would not be surprised if someone like the totally obscure and untalented Rebecca Long-Bailey gets elected. We can then look back at Corbyn's leadership as a golden age of able statesmanship.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 03:17:03 pm »



Fascinating thread on Tory prospects in the Home Counties. I'm not sure I think there's any prospects for more than one or two seat flips, but it certainly backs up what cp has been saying about his own seat on this forum. Perhaps we're in for an election where the Tories win a bunch of Labour heartlands in the North but lose Esher? Probably not, but interesting nonetheless.

Heres my list of Realistically Possible (aka anything less than 99% chance of Con victory) Tory losses in the SW right now:

Wokingham, Reading West, Guildford, E&W, Wycombe, and Isle of Wight, Lewes, Hastings & Rye, Southampton Itchen, Winchester, Crawley, Spelthorne, Witney, Wantage, and the Milton Keynes.

That isn't much in one of the largest 'regions' of the UK. The problem for the opposition is that the Tories have large majorities, and if the Lib-Dems don't pour resources into every seat they will not see voters get activated. The majorities needed to be seriously reduced in a previous election, or the Lib-Dems needed to catch fire and be able to run a national not a targeted campaign. At the start of this campaign there was a serious chance of the SW holding a bunch of Tory loses, (I once mentioned the data was there for May to have a portillo moment if invested against) but the parties don't seem to want to serious campaign for Tory Remainers in the SW, outside of targeted strongholds.

You are not writing about the SW of England, but the SE. I am familiar with Spelthorne. I was the first Chair of the Spelthorne Liberal Democrats, after the present party was created in 1988. I still live in the neighbouring constituency of Slough.

The Conservative Party might have lost Spelthorne to the Brexit Party although probably not. Once the Brexit Party decided not to contest the seat, it became very safe for Kwasi Kwarteng to be re-elected. In my view neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats are remotely well placed to win the parliamentary seat.


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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2019, 09:39:35 pm »

Miss Scarlett - I can respond about what happens if the Conservatives win but Boris loses his own seat. Both from Canadian precedent and because the UK Conservatives have apparently game played the scenario, we have an answer to the question.

Boris Johnson remains Prime Minister until he resigns or is defeated on a motion of no confidence. It is all right for the Prime Minister not to have a seat in Parliament for a short time. It should be noted that UK politicians are not as strongly tied to one area as US politicians, so it is quite common for a long serving politician to move to another constituency, as Johnson himself did since he was MP for Henley before he became Mayor of London and subsequently won his current seat in Greater London.

For example the Earl of Home was appointed Prime Minister on 19 October 1963. He disclaimed his peerages and left the House of Lords on 23 October 1963. As Sir Alec Douglas-Home he was Prime Minister without a seat in Parliament, until winning a by-election to become a member of the House of Commons on 7 November 1963.

I should perhaps also mention that before the 1920s a newly appointed Prime Minister (who was a member of the House of Commons) had to seek re-election in his parliamentary constituency, so it was not unknown for the PM not to be a member of parliament at the first meeting of a new Parliament.

The Canadian precedent I mentioned was in 1945. Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King's Liberal Party won the general election but the PM was defeated in his own riding. He continued in office and won a by-election in a new seat.

The UK Conservative plan is believed to be that an MP with a safe seat would be created a peer. That would move the politician to the House of Lords and cause a by-election in the safe seat. Boris Johnson would hope to win the by-election. In the interim Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would act as Conservative leader in the House of Commons, assuming he won his seat.

If despite expectations, Johnson lost the by-election then he would probably have to resign. There is a precedent from 1964 when Patrick Gordon-Walker lost his seat in the general election but was still appointed Foreign Secretary. He lost a by-election and then resigned.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2019, 02:47:38 pm »

So apparently if Boris Johnson loses Uxbridge tomorrow night, the Tories will give him a peerage and put him in the unelected House of Lords (similar to senate) so he carry on being Prime Minister.

Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Raab and Theresa De Villere giving same assurances but timing different.

On Twitter (melt down) the BBCs chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg has broken election laws and been referred to the police by the electoral commission for disclosing postal vote counts in live tv. (Big no-no). Guardian reporting they believe ‘bridges burnt for her to continue’ and she has a job lined up in Tory CCHQ/Boris government.

If I expressed myself confusingly, in my previous post about what will happen if Johnson loses his seat, I apologise. The plan would not be to give Johnson a peerage. It is for someone else to be made a peer, to free up a House of Commons seat to elect Johnson in a by-election.

It has generally been accepted, since Lord Curzon failed to be appointed Prime Minister in 1923, that only in the most exceptional circumstances would there be a Prime Minister in the House of Lords. Lord Halifax was considered as a possible replacement for Chamberlain in 1940, but as Churchill did not support him the idea was dropped. Lord Home, whose case I mentioned in the previous post, was only available to become Prime Minister because the ability to renounce hereditary peerages had recently been introduced.
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Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 271
United Kingdom
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2019, 03:28:20 pm »

I have a potentially stupid question: Is there no parliament as of now? BoJo's and Corbyn's Wikipedia articles say their term as MP expired on Nov 6? And their district article says current officeholder is vacant? I know the House of Commons is out of session, but MPs should still be in office?

No in UK, once writ drops, all MPs cease to be MPs until the election is completed.  PM and cabinet ministers through remain in their positions but caretaker role only.

Wouldn't this be a problem if there's a major crisis during the campaign period? Like if the Argentinians invade the Falklands again, or something.

The executive would just have to do the best it could, using the royal prerogative. If the crisis was big enough they could use the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Quote
20Power to make emergency regulations
(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make emergency regulations if satisfied that the conditions in section 21 are satisfied.
(2)A senior Minister of the Crown may make emergency regulations if satisfied—
(a)that the conditions in section 21 are satisfied, and
(b)that it would not be possible, without serious delay, to arrange for an Order in Council under subsection (1).
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