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Under a separate provision of the Act, If you lose a vote of confidence you have 14 days to recover it before a general election is triggered. In the meantime it is open to someone else to try and gain the nomination of the House as PM. It is not clear whether, within the meaning of the Act, yesterday's vote counts as a VONC, even though Boris treated it as such. Also not clear how proroguing House interferes with above timetable.

Afaik The Fixed Term Parliament Act was a Liberal invention foisted on the last Lib Con coalition government to prevent PM's calling elections willy nilly at a time of maximum party advantage. Theresa May struggled on for months despite historic defeats because she never actually lost a formal VONC.

There is a majority in the current parliament against a no deal Brexit but none for Remain or any specific version of Leave. It is considered politically toxic to withdraw A.50 notification without a second referendum vote in support of this as to do otherwise would be to go against the expressed will of the people. Hence the stalemate, to date.

It is unclear whether the House would deliver a 2/3 vote for an election now in the absence of Corbyn applying the whip to his members. Turkey's don't tend to vote for Xmas. However it is also difficult for the Leader of her Majesty's Opposition to turn down the offer of an election as it is his job to seek one at every opportunity. Boris will no doubt taunt him for running away from the electorate if he doesn't agree.

Corbyn could therefore very reasonably say to the opposition "back me as an alternative interim PM or else I have no option but to agree to Boris' call for an election, provided I can get a guarantee it will happen mid-October". "I will deliver a second referendum for you, if that is what you want whereas it will never happen under Boris".

The dissident Tories have some very difficult decisions to make, but Boris just made it a hell of a lot easier for them to betray their own party by expelling them. A tactical necessity perhaps, but strategic error, on his part, in my view. They owe him or his party nothing now.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 at 05:25:02 PM EST
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