May surprised the country by calling a snap election earlier this year. Here are seven reasons there will not be another election in 2017.
1. It’s only happened twice before
Although the past is not often the best predictor of the future, in the history of UK elections, the fact that there have only ever been two years in which two elections were held, showing just how rare the prospect would be.
Two elections took place in both 1910 and 1974.
2. The government’s working majority
One of the two ways in which an early election could happen is if there was a loss of confidence in the government and a new administration was not formed within two weeks.
The Conservatives and their confidence and supply partners, the DUP, have a slim majority, but there are unlikely to be enough by-elections and defections to end their majority by the end of the year.
3. The betting markets
The current odds for another 2017 election, are, according to Ladbrokes, only 5/1. It’s often said that the betting markets are more reliable than polls so it's worth taking into account that the market suggests that a 2018 or 2019 election is more likely than another one this year.
4. The Conservatives won’t risk it after May’s gamble
The other way in which an election could happen is if two-thirds of the House voted for one, which is what happened earlier this year. After May’s gamble, it’s unlikely that the Conservatives would want another vote.
And even if public opinion turned in their favour, May’s polling decline in the run up to the election would likely put them off the prospect of an early vote, no matter how well the numbers stacked up.
5. The Conservatives will do what they can do avoid a Labour government
Labour is currently beating the Conservatives in the polls and Corbyn’s approval ratings are better than May’s. While we all know that polls can change the second a campaign is started, to many Conservative MPs it will feel that the political winds are blowing in Corbyn’s favour.
The Conservatives will likely make the current arrangement with the DUP last as long as they can to avoid the prospect of Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.
6. "Too much politics"
As Brenda said to the BBC, “Not another one. There’s too much politics going on”.
There was an election in 2015, the EU referendum in 2016, and then the 2017 vote, not to mention the variety of local and national elections across the country. For politicos, it’s been an exciting few years, but for the general public, many will say it’s been all a bit too much.
7. The DUP do not want Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10
After June’s election, the Guardian reported that a Democratic Unionist Party source said that “We want there to be a government. We have worked well with May. The alternative is intolerable. For as long as Corbyn leads Labour, we will ensure there’s a Tory PM.”
This and the fact that the DUP have gotten a pretty good deal from the new arrangement suggests that even if there are strains between them and their governing partners, the prospect of a Corbyn-led government will likely deter the ten-strong DUP team at Westminster from risking another election.
Of course, if there’s an election later this year, I'll eat my hat like Paddy Ashdown, but there are some fairly strong arguments why the country won't go back to the polls this year.