Will May end in June?

Published: 2017-04-20 16:45:56
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Will May end in June?

By Liang Tao

The British general election campaign is under way after the House of Commons backed Prime Minister Theresa May's unexpected call for an early election on June 8.

The election was approved just one day after May made the announcement, reversing her pledge not to hold an early election. Members of parliament (MPs) voted by 522 votes to 13, approving the ruling party's bill, with the main opposition parties, the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats, helping secure the two-thirds majority needed to bring forward the election from 2020.

In a flash, a British election is impending. From the vote result, it appears all the major parties in parliament agree that a vote is needed.  It would also signal that each of the parties feel a new government needs to be formed.

Why has the general election been moved up?

According to Theresa May, her decision for a snap election is to create "unity in Westminster at this moment of enormous national significance." 

On the one hand, May needs the British electorate to give her "the mandate to speak for Britain and to deliver for Britain." On the other hand, she is also moving to stifle any impediments from the opposition parties and anti-Brexit forces to try to ensure a smooth withdrawal from the European Union. 

Moreover, through a snap election, the sitting Prime Minister hopes to increase the number of Conservative seats.  Currently May's ruling party holds 330 of the 650 seats in the Commons, which only creates a narrow majority.  And within her own party, there are a number of pro-EU MPs that could potentially derail the government's plans for a smooth Brexit.  Therefore, an early parliament reshuffle is an urgent consideration in May's mind.

The Brexit is undoubtedly the catalyst for the early vote. A vote now will relieve any political pressure the Conservatives might face in having to campaign for a re-election within a year of the Brexit negotiations coming to an end.  

What is the effect of the snap election?

First of all, a snap election will leave enough time for a new government to ponder possible resolution sover the country's future outside the European Union. After the June election, the new government will be able to create a clear vision for the UK's 60 million residents for post-EU life.  A lack of internal pressure will allow the new UK government to focus its full attention on, what many expect, will be a difficult negotiation with a European Union expected to try to punish Britain for its decision to leave the bloc.

Secondly, a snap British election will surely set the tone for the forthcoming French and German elections, both of which will take place this year. Although Theresa May's Conservatives are expected to carry the coming election, last year's Brexit referendum and US election have shown that today's political environment is one which lends itself to surprises. If a 'black swan' should rise up in the UK election, it would be difficult for anyone to suggest the same might not happen anywhere else in Europe. 

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Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N Tzogopoulos is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE), Advisor on EU-China Relations as well as Lecturer at the European Institute of Nice and the Democritus University of Thrace. He is also Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy and coordinator of its Asian Studies Programme. George is the founder of chinaandgreece.com, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. His first book: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism was published by IB TAURIS and his second one: The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press by Ashgate. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades. Duncan Bartlett Duncan Bartlett is the Editor of Asian Affairs, a monthly news magazine. As well as writing regularly for China Plus he also contributes to Japanese newspapers including the Sankei and the Nikkei. He writes weekly blog called Japan Story. He has previously worked as a journalist for the BBC, the Economist and Independent Television News. Stephane Grand Stephane Grand is the principal of an international accounting and management consulting firm in Greater China. Stephane has advised hundreds of foreign investors over the last 25 years of his presence in China. He holds a Ph.D. in Chinese corporate law from La Sorbonne (Paris), a Masters degree from the Fletcher School (Boston), and an MBA from HEC (Paris). He is an active commentator of business in China.