Will May end in June?

Published: 2017-04-20 16:45:56
Share this with Close
Messenger Messenger Pinterest LinkedIn

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. 

Share this story on

Related stories


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. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. 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. Michael P. Toothman Michael P. Toothman is a Los Angeles-based speaker, educator, Sinophile, and expert on Leadership, Communication, and Project Management. He teaches for the University of California, Riverside and has mentored and trained over 3,500 leaders from over 1,000 companies in 25 countries. Jonathan Rechtman Jonathan Rechtman is a Chinese-English conference interpreter, entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. Based in China for over a decade, he has interpreted for multiple presidents and prime ministers, Fortune 500 CEOs, Hollywood stars, Nobel prize winners, and a princess. He is the co-founder at Cadence Translate, an on-demand translation solution for multinational corporates and investors. Luo Yu Luo Yu is a freelance writer, CRI's former co-host of RoundTable, discussing the hottest social issues in China. He was also former producer and host of Biz Buzz, a weekly business program which includes exclusive interviews with global business and political leaders. Former guests include former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Nobel Laureate in Economics Pro. Thomas Sargent. Luo Yu holds a MSc. Finance and Investment, a MSc. Management Science and Operational Research, a BSc in Biology and a BBA in Business Administration. Luo Yu loves exploring new opportunities. His boldest move might be when he switched from engineering to broadcasting. It’s a move he considers to be the wisest decision he's ever made. Sina Weibo: @CRI罗煜 Email: louie23@126.com Shafei Moiz Hali Dr. Shafei Moiz Hali studied at George Mason University, Virginia, USA and specialized in the field of International Commerce and Policy. He did his PhD from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China specializing in Chinese foreign policy focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative and energy issues. Currently Dr. Hali is working as an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Contemporary Studies, National Defence University (NDU) Islamabad, Pakistan. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is a senior research fellow and advisor for EU-China relations at the Centre international de formation européenne, Nice/Berlin.