What is a snap election and what can cause one?

What is a snap election and what can cause one?

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A SNAP general election could be called for October 14 if MPs block a No Deal Brexit this week.

Boris Johnson is confident that he can win the vote, sending the country back to the polls for fourth time in just five years. Here’s all you need to know about a snap election.

Boris Johnson is the favourite to win the PM contest
Boris has insisted he WON’T delay Brexit again
AFP or licensors

What is a snap election?

Britain’s next national election is not due to be held until 2022.

A snap election is one that is called earlier than expected – or when not required.

The “snap” element is often used as a tactic to exploit the opposition’s weakness, or for a party to boost their majority in parliament.

The then Prime Minister Theresa May called a shock snap election in 2017.

But her gamble to try to strengthen the Tories’ hold on Parliament backfired when her majority was slashed by 13 seats.

It put the Conservatives below the 326 seats needed to form a government — leading her to get the support of Northern Ireland’s DUP in a £1billion supply-and-demand deal to keep them in power.

Previously elections could be called simply by the Prime Minister going to the Queen at any point within five years of the last one.

But after the Fixed Term Parliament Act was passed in 2011 the five-year gap was enshrined in law.

Theresa May speaks during PMQs, days before her vote was rejected for a third time in March 2019
Theresa May speaks during PMQs, days before her vote was rejected for a third time in March 2019
PA:Press Association

What would cause a snap election?

Boris, Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid have all pledged to take Britain out of the EU without a deal should that be the only way to deliver Brexit by the October 31 deadline.

But that would set up a massive clash with Parliament – because a majority of MPs are firmly against No Deal.

Top Tories believe that in that case, the new PM would either have to call an election himself or face a no-confidence vote which triggers a snap poll.

The PM now believes he needs a fresh mandate from voters to prise a new deal from EU leaders if he loses to Tory rebels in the next few days in the Commons.

In a clear threat to rebel MPs, the PM tonight warned he would never go to Brussels and ask for Jeremy Corbyn’s “pointless” extension.

This would leave him with no option but to go for a general election if enough Tory MPs side with the rebel plan this week.

We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.


Boris Johnson

“There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay,” he told the nation in an address on the steps of Downing Street this evening.

“We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.

“We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises.

“I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October.

“Let’s get Brexit done.”

 


 

Get Brexit done: Boris' full speech

Five weeks ago I spoke to you from these steps and said that this Government was not going to hang around and that we would not wait until brexit day – October 31 – to deliver on the priorities of the British people.

  And so I am proud to say that on Wednesday Chancellor Sajid Javid is going to set out the most ambitious spending round for more than a decade.

   I said I wanted to make your streets safer – and that is why we are recruiting another 20,000 police officers.

  I said I wanted to improve your hospital and reduce the waiting times at your GP. 

   And so we are doing 20 new hospital upgrades in addition to the extra £34 billion going into the NHS.

   And I said I wanted every child in this country to have a superb education and that’s why I announced last week that we are levelling up funding across the country and spending much more next year in both primary and secondary schools.

   And it is to push forward this agenda on these and many other fronts that we need a Queen’s speech in October. 

   While leaving due time to debate brexit and other matters.

    And as we come to that brexit deadline I am encouraged by the progress we are making. 

   In the last few weeks the chances of a deal have been rising, I believe, for three reasons.

  They can see that we want a deal.

    They can see that we have a clear vision for our future relationship with the EU – something that has perhaps not always been the case.

   And they can see that we are utterly determined to strengthen our position by getting ready to come out regardless, come what may

  But if there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum

  Or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay 

I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t

   But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible

   And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against Corbyn’s pointless delay.

I want everybody to know – there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.

   We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum

   Armed and fortified with that conviction I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October

   A deal that parliament will certainly be able to scrutinise

 And in the meantime let our negotiators get on with their work

  Without that sword of Damocles over their necks

   And without an election, which I don’t want and you don’t want

    Let us get on with the people’s agenda – fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, and unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom

  With infrastructure education and technology 

   It is a massive agenda. Let’s come together and get it done – and let’s get Brexit done by October 31.


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