Yvette Cooper: May will call an election this year and Labour must be ready

Labour will not have four years to sort itself out


Theresa May has repeatedly stated that she will not call an election before the end of 2016, but Labour’s Yvette Cooper doesn’t buy it.

Writing for LabourList, Cooper says that having shadowed May for many years, she knows how the new prime minister works.

“Those who think she is too risk averse are misjudging her – she does take risks, she just takes care to calculate them first. Nor is she too committed to an election in 2020 – I’ve watched her do many strategic u-turns over the years.”

The former shadow home secretary believes that May will work hard for the remainder of the summer, developing an EU negotiating strategy while maintaining that she has no intention of calling an election, so as not to raise expectations.

Once she has a clear strategy, assuming the early stages have gone well and the economy hasn’t tipped into recession, May will seek a clear electoral mandate to lead the discussions with the EU, probably before the end of the year.

Based on this assessment, Cooper warns that:

“Labour is kidding ourselves if we think we have four years to sort ourselves out – we need to be ready fast.”

She is among the majority of Labour MPs who believe that Jeremy Corbyn is not capable of leading the party to general election success, and in today’s article calls on his opponents to choose a single unity candidate.

Cooper, a former leadership contender who lost out to Corbyn last summer, said that ‘both [Angela Eagle and Owen Smith] are very talented and could do the job.’

“But I don’t want us to spend the next few months with the two of them arguing with each other, especially when on so many issues they agree. This should be sorted by the end of Monday.”

Eagle announced her challenge last Monday, and triggered a leadership election by gathering sufficient nominations.

Smith has mad clear that he will stand, but cancelled today’s official launch event out of respect for the victims of last night’s Nice attack.

Read the full article: Yvette Cooper: Both Eagle and Smith would be good leaders – but only one should go for it

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9 Responses to “Yvette Cooper: May will call an election this year and Labour must be ready”

  1. Lynne Lambert

    Corbyn is the PM we want.Its the nasty attempts to get rid of him that need to stop, the MPs who started the coup should leave or be deselected, only then will Labour be ready for an Election.

  2. CR

    How exactly will May call this election ? We now have the Fixed Term Parliaments Act !!!

    In order for their to be an election either the Fixed Term act would have to be repealled and although the Tories have a small majority in the Commons, it would hit the rocks in the Lords; or, the Tories would have to agree a constitutional fudge with Labour to manage a vote of no confidence and no attempt made at forming an alternative government in the following 14 days.

    Nope. It just isn’t going to happen.

  3. Redfish

    How would May call an election???

    from the act …

    If the House of Commons, with the support of two-thirds of its total membership (including vacant seats), resolves “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election”.

    Can’t see how the opposition could ever vote that down?

  4. alrich

    The Opposition would be foolish to vote for dissolution – but it needn’t vote against the dissolution motion. It could just abstain (or throw sickies en masse) and the two-thirds majority wouldn’t be reached.

  5. Rob

    “The Opposition would be foolish to vote for dissolution – but it needn’t vote against the dissolution motion. It could just abstain (or throw sickies en masse) and the two-thirds majority wouldn’t be reached.”

    True. The problem is that Labour, along with LibDems and Greens (who have little to lose) have all called for a fresh election. If they then failed to vote for it, denying the public the ability to vote in an election they had claimed to support, they would be crucified.

    Plus, what if enough Labour MPs defied the whip and voted for an early election?

  6. DaveC

    What’s to stop the tories repealing the fixed term parliament act using their majority and then dissolving parliament and calling a general election

  7. Sam

    It is not possible to repeal the FTPA and just go back to the status quo ante. That is because the Act abolishes the Royal Prerogative in respect of a dissolution. Constitutional lawyers have argued that once the RP is replaced by statute it is a dead letter. The best that could be achieved is to amend the provisions of the Act to mimic the position before it came into effect. For example to change the present stringent ‘no confidence’ provisions to a simple ‘no confidence’ majority vote. However, that has its own problems – not least of which is getting such a change through both houses. It must be remembered that MPs like this Act because it gives 5 year job security.

  8. Fred

    I hate to break it to you, but the world is moving Right, not Left. To overcome this rightwards momentum, the Labour party would need either a very compelling narrative or a very charismatic, skillful leader who can win over plumbers in Basildon, and tyre fitters in Teddington. These are the people that decide elections. Unfortunately, Labour has neither a compelling narrative nor a charismatic leader. It will therefore not be able to overcome the rightwards momentum and will lose the next election.

  9. Trevor

    Any Act may be repealed (google Sovereignty of Parliament). I think there is even a let out in the Act allowing the fixed term to be ignored. Whatever happens, we are seeing rank hypocrisy. It was Cameron who said Brown was “not illegitimate” because he took office without calling for a GE and the Tories banged on about that. He also said Brown was “too old” to be PM. Now with May, Cameron not only adopted a new standard but May was older than Brown when she took office and Cameron endorsed her! The Tories will rename themselves to Double Standards.

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