At the end of the summer, I reviewed whether or not Theresa May remaining as leader of the Conservative Party was the best thing for that particularly party. Now I feel the need to consider whether or not her continuing as prime minister is in the best interests of us all, paying particular attention to what is likely to follow her premiership, should it end within the next six months.
For starters, let us dispel the myths that May going would end Brexit, or that an election in the next year which resulted in Corbyn becoming prime minister would end Brexit either. If May stepped down now, it is very, very likely that whomever was her successor would carry on with Brexit and would ensure it went through by waiting for the next election post-March 2019, come what may. That seems so obvious to me it barely needed saying; yet many cling to a fantasy around the opposite idea. In fact, a true believer might even move into Number 10 of May departs soonish. Most Tory MPs seem to believe that Boris is dead in the water as far as leadership prospects are concerned, and that much of his support in the parliamentary party could shift to Rees-Mogg. Those of you hoping that May quitting will usher in a new dawn, consider that for a moment: it makes Jacob Rees-Mogg in Number 10 a very real possibility.
In the second scenario, an election in 2018 in which Labour either win or can form the next government, assuming that this kills Brexit is wrongheaded as well. It is more likely to happen, I’ll give you that, what with Corbyn having to appease his very Remainery PLP not to mention the fact that he would probably have to govern with the grace of the SNP. Yet bear in mind how important Brexit is to his ultimate project and I don’t think the idea that he will just let it die can be justified; particularly when you consider the very possible electoral damage that it would do to Labour in Leave voting areas of the country.
It is understandable that people across the political spectrum want May’s premiership to end as soon as possible; she’s really not very good at the job, quite evidently. Yet I wouldn’t lull yourself into a feeling that things will – indeed, somehow must – get better once she vacates Downing Street. It could get a whole lot worse.