June 21, 2017 by Paul Goldsmith
Labour insiders are at the moment arguing that they are on an election footing right now. They will be gearing up for the Queen’s speech, to which they will put down numerous amendments, all of which will have to be voted on, in the hope that at least five Tories will vote with them on one of them.The reason this might happen is because some Tory MPs are genuinely becoming anti-austerity, whilst others fear an impending follow-up election in which what they do now could decide whether or not they keep their seats, regardless of who is in government. If an amendment gets through a vote, the Government have to accept it, or the Queen’s speech is voted down. Jeremy Corbyn would then have 14 days to try to form an alternative government.
To achieve this, again he would need, even after doing some sort of deal with every other party apart from the Conservatives, DUP and Sinn Fein, only have 315 seats, and thus votes for their own Queen’s speech. This means that it is even more unlikely that a Labour led Government can get a Queen’s speech through, as the DUP will never vote to install a Jeremy Corbyn-led Government, given his support for the Irish Republican cause. There may be some left-leaning Conservatives, but voting in a Labour Government? Really?
If it is not possible to form a government then under the Fixed Parliament Act there should then be another election. If this happens quickly then the Conservatives will have no time to elect a leader that can campaign better than Theresa May (i.e. Just about any other MP). Buoyed by a party that is now far more united behind him, by candidates far more prepared to put his name and face on their election literature, a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn would have a real chance at Government.
Yes, he needs 64 more seats for a majority but consider this – 2,227 votes would win Corbyn seven more seats in the Conservative constituencies with the smallest majorities (bye-bye Amber Rudd) and at that point putting the progressive parties together would enable them to form a government that in the absence of Sinn Fein votes would be able to get a Queen’s speech through.
I will focus on what this means for Brexit tomorrow, because I will argue that it is Labour’s Brexit policy in particular that allows them to oppose anything that the Conservatives do in that area and thus claim they are voting down the Queen’s speech in the interests of democracy.