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I suspect the threat to call an election is more calculated to scare independent MPs and dissident Tory MPs who may get de-selected into voting against any legislative move against a no deal Brexit. It may very well work too, because ChangeUK MPs (for example) have almost no chance of being re-elected absent an electoral pact giving them a free run against a Boris candidate..

But the threat empowers Corbyn as well. He can threaten to support the call for an election unless dissident MPs are prepared to back a caretaker Government of national unity instead. He can offer them an electoral pact in return for doing so. In which case the election could take place in the Spring after an a.50 extension has been secured, and perhaps a second referendum won.

For Boris, this is all about staying in control of events, calling the shots, taking the initiative. He does not want to look like Theresa May, haplessly at the mercy of the ERG and everyone else. He has to sound bullish about an election, even if he doesn't want one.

I suspect only an electoral pact amongst the opposition parties can stop him now, and that has to be a long shot. What the dissidents actually badly need is an alternative PM they can all rally around, they just don't realise yet, how badly they need it.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 08:04:55 PM EST
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