Theresa May would have a commanding majority in the Commons if an election was called now, according to latest polls
1 OCTOBER 2016 • 1:41PM
Theresa May could more than quadruple her majority if she calls an early election, analysis by Britain’s leading pollster suggests today as influential Tories go public with calls for a snap vote.
The Prime Minister’s majority in the House of Commons would soar from 12 to 62 on current polling, according to analysis by Prof John Curtice, president of the British Polling Council.
There are fears her policy of ending the ban on new grammar schools could be defeated by a handful of Tory backbenchers because of her slim majority.
With Labour in disarray and Mrs May yet to get her own mandate from the British people, calls are now mounting for her to bring the 2020 election forward.
Jake Berry, the Tory MP for Rossendale and Darwen, told The Telegraph an early election would help her pass policy changes more easily and avoid any backlash from Brexit negotiations.
“An election in 2020 would effectively be an election on the Brexit deal, which could potentially open the door to Labour if the public are not happy,” he said.
“If we had an election next year it would push the next vote over to 2022, where we will have had more of an opportunity to see if Brexit succeeded or failed.”
Ed Costello, chairman of the activist group Grassroots Conservatives, said calling an early election was a “no-brainer”, adding: “If you’re after an increased majority, it would be a great idea.”
Figures inside government are more wary. One Cabinet minister said Mrs May’s reputation was now linked to not “playing politics” and changing her stance on a snap vote would undermine that.
However a number of senior Tories said a vote after Brexit is secured was possible, with one saying: “You could then see something in 2019.”
Bringing about an early vote would be complicated, with two-thirds of MPs needing to overturn the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, which dictates that elections are held every five years.
However Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said in public he would be willing to back the move, despite the party’s low standing in opinion polls.
Jeremy Corbyn. Credit Getty Images
Prof Curtice, the BBC’s polling expert, analysed the 23 polls published since Mrs May took office for The Telegraph to see what impact it would have on seats if there was an early election.
He found that the Tories were an average of 11 points ahead of Labour, which if replicated in a general election across the country would likely see substantial gains for the party.
Despite the Tories’ overall majority rising from 12 to 62, Prof Curtice warned that an early election would be a risk given polls are only an indication of public thinking.
“She is currently enjoying a honeymoon boost that history suggests could well disappear any time soon,” he said.
Tags: Brexit, Britain, British Polling Council, conservatives, grammar schools, Grassroots Conservatives, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, Liberal Democrats, polling, polls, Prime Minister’s majority in the House of Commons, SNP, Theresa May, Tories, UK