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.
Following the General Election yesterday in the early hours of today at around 5am the result here in Bury North was announced and with 18070 votes I was elected to serve as the Member of Parliament. I feel tremendously honoured that the people of Bury North have placed their trust in me. I will try and not let them down.
The campaign has been very good natured and despite our political differences I got on very well on a personal level with the Candidates from the other main parties and I am sure Maryam Khan and Richard Baum will have successful political careers. I hope the fact that I have been elected at the fourth attempt will give them the determination to carry on.
Above all I want to say a big thank you to all those who took the time and trouble to vote for me yesterday.
Well after years of campaigning we are at last underway with just one month to go before polling day.
Day One has got off to a very positive start with a mass of good wishes arriving. The first posters are up and our first walkabouts were well received with lots of pledges of support.
After months of speculation the Prime Minister has finally confirmed that the General Election will take place on Thursday May 6th.
The choice for voters here in Bury North is clear;
Five more years of Gordon Brown and his tired, discredited Labour Government
A change of direction and a change of Government with the Conservatives led by David Cameron.
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One of the questions I am most often asked is
“When exactly will the next General Election be?”
Of course, the answer that I usually give is that “I don’t know” because it is up to the Prime Minister when he wishes to call the General Election. Under the law a General Election has to be held once every five years and as the last one was in 2005 the last date for the next one is 3rd June 2010.
I have added a new page to my blog called ‘General Election Countdown’ which contains a ‘widget’ ( a little computer programme that I downloaded – please do not think that I created it myself!) which automatically counts down the time to the last possible day for the next General Election.
The current M.P. for Bury North has announced this morning that he will not be standing again for Labour at the next General Election.
I believe that most people in the Constituency will think that this is the correct decision. This news is further proof, if any were needed, that the Labour Government is in complete disarray. Labour’s desperate activities are tantamount to shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic.
The people of Bury North want real change, not just a change of Labour Candidate. That change can only be brought about by a General Election and the sooner Gordon Brown stops dithering and finds the bottle to call one the better.
After weeks of speculation we now know there will not be a General Election in the next few weeks. I was surprised that the Prime Minister tried to suggest that the speculation about a General Election was all to do with the media. The reality was that senior Labour Party members openly discussed the prospect of a General Election and when the Prime Minister was given the opportunity of laying the rumour and speculation to rest he specifically refused to do so knowing that in so doing the speculation would grow.
For our part as we have local elections three years out of every four, plus European elections every five years on top of General Elections it does not take too much to gear up for an election and if a General Election had have been announced we would have been ready.
I have been out and about helping to deliver leaflets over the last couple of days and we have been lucky with very pleasant shirt sleeve weather.