Parliament returns on 5th September. What could happen in the coming months?
1. Rudd will replace Hammond as chancellor
A cabinet reshuffle in the autumn looks very likely, with Philip Hammond the favourite minister to leave the cabinet, according to Oddschecker. Before the election, when it was expected that May would win a large majority, the Telegraph reported that sources suggested that Rudd would replace Hammond. May never won her majority, but if it looks like May will be around for a while, she could replace her right-hand-man with a right-hand-woman.
Step forward Amber Rudd.
2. Rees-Mogg will be offered a cabinet position
It could be summer silliness, or it could be real desire for change, but Jacob Rees-Mogg has grown in prominence in recent months, and is currently the second favourite to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader, according to Oddschecker.
In recognition of Rees-Mogg’s so-called “moggmentum”, Theresa May could feel under pressure to offer the backbench MP a place in her cabinet.
Is Rees-Mogg on the road to the top?
3. There will be no early election
The government’s small majority – with the DUP – is at risk of being diminished through defections and by-elections, but will likely hold steady for a couple of years. With Labour doing unexpectedly well in June, Corbyn’s party will be hoping for an early election to capitalise on polling success, something which will only add to the government’s determination to stay in power.
An early election in the coming months is unlikely, but once the UK is out the EU another one could be imminent.
4. Theresa May will remain Conservative leader
May suffered back in June, but she has been slowly recovering since her election disaster. It’s still highly doubtful that she will lead her party into the next election, but with Brexit negotiations underway, and no guarantee that a replacement could outmatch Jeremy Corbyn, May’s position looks solid for now.
There will no doubt be rumblings of a leadership challenge, but it is difficult to imagine them amounting to anything once parliament returns.
5. Polls will continue to be neck-and-neck for Labour and the Conservatives
Post-election polls gave Labour some strong leads, but they have since stabilised to a neck-and-neck race. The numbers will fluctuate, but there will likely be very little overall change in the coming months.
6. The Liberal Democrats will remain steady in the polls
Unless Brexit negotiations go horribly wrong, Vince Cable’s party will continue to bob along at around 6% - 9% in the polls. The party looks unlikely to escape the shadow of its coalition deal with the Tories any time soon, but it will look to take advantage of its pro-EU position as Brexit gets underway.
7. Peter Whittle will be elected UKIP’s new leader
No less than eleven candidates are in the contest to succeed Paul Nutall as UKIP’s leader. Prediction: London Assembly Member and UKIP’s deputy leader Peter Whittle, will emerge victorious against the ten other candidates, but the question then is: what next for UKIP?