Some Initial Thoughts on the General Election

Joey Jones takes a look at the PM’s decision to go to the country

This decision is straightforward political opportunism, though the Prime Minister inevitably wishes to portray it otherwise. (A 20-point poll lead doesn’t lie).

The PM’s change of heart will prompt some difficult questions (and teasing, that may get under her skin!), and it is important that Theresa May deals commandingly with journalists and opponents in the House.

It is great news for the Liberal Democrats, who have an unexpected opportunity to rise from the dead. (They do need to ensure they are not just seen as a one-issue Remainer party though).

The Labour dynamic is going to be weird. Expect lots of Labour MPs to run on their local record and disown, more or less openly, Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

In effect, many Labour MPs who view electoral defeat as a certainty will be hoping for a defeat big enough to force a change of direction for the party, but not so big they lose their seats.

Expect a lot of interest in Ruth Davidson. Her tone on Brexit is markedly different to the PM’s, she is a serious political operator and the only game in town as far as opposition to the SNP is concerned.

This is a genuinely defining election for Ukip. If they can’t get their act together in such favourable circumstances, they never will. (And there won’t be European Elections from which they can profit in future).

There is a serious question about election fatigue. Low turnouts and a widespread assumption of crushing Conservative victory could make for some odd individual results.