As could be expected in the wake of Theresa May becoming our new Prime Minister in place of David Cameron one of the questions I am most frequently asked at the moment is: Are we going to have an early general election?
In light of all that has happened in recent months in British politics making a prediction about almost anything is a risky business. What I can say is this. Firstly, Theresa May made it pretty clear when she made her pitch to Conservative MP’s that she believed the Party already has a mandate from last year’s general election to press ahead with carrying out our manifesto. I should add to that the referendum result gives all the democratic mandate that is needed for the government to negotiate our exit from the European Union.
Secondly, to those who maintain the Fixed Term Parliament Act means that there is no chance of an early election I would simply say that if the PM did decide she wanted an early election and put such a proposition to the House of Commons realistically the Opposition could do nothing but vote for an early election. No official opposition could ever make a case that they were happy to stay in opposition and not want to put their case to become the government to the people in a general election.
All in all my view is that there is not going to be an early general election. After a general election last year and the EU referendum this year we need a period of consolidation. A period of no elections.