One of the Corbynista strap lines is that we’ll have a Labour government very soon as there is a “natural end” to the current Tory government. That is rubbish and here’s why.
First off, the Fixed Term Parliament Act changed more than people realised, at least from a constitutional perspective. It means that in extremis, a government can limp along as a zombie government, technically until the next general election if it wishes to – although in practice, I will admit this is unlikely. The political pressure would be too great to avoid if the Tories really couldn’t govern at all due to having the DUP get irritated, by-elections, etc. But how likely is it that the DUP are going to suddenly get annoyed and desert the current administration? Barring something going awry with the border issue (which is still possible), I just can’t see it happening. Meaning that if the Tories can avoid a hard border in Ireland, they can keep the current government going until 2022. This isn’t guaranteed, I’d like to stress, but nor is there a natural end to it either on the horizon.
The fantasy thinking on this one should be dropped by the Left as it is unproductive. Except in so far as it is keeping the fragile peace going within Labour for the time being. Can that last five years? They better start to figure out how they can, as this seems more likely than not. Or actually grapple with the deeper problems faced by the Labour movement since the 2008 financial crash, but let’s face it, that’s less likely to happen now more than ever.
Since the general election, most of the Left has been on a battle reading footing. No one is calling a general election until sometime in 2019 at the earliest, and that’s only if everything goes totally pear-shaped for the Conservatives. And they probably won’t.