Ex-PM Tony Blair has warned Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to try and avoid falling into the “elephant trap” of a general election and Labour have voted against a snap election in the Commons but is a General Election a route to No Deal.
In a statement Tony Blair stated that he fears that the public “may fear a Corbyn premiership more” than a no-deal Brexit, leading to a general election defeat for Labour. Polling from YouGov does support these statements with 48% of the population preferring a No Deal to a Corbyn premiership. In comparison to 35% who would prefer Corbyn and a 2nd referendum over No Deal.
Blair stated that he believes the “Corbyn question” could dissuade voters away from voting Labour enough to vote Boris Johnson into power, thus leading to a no-deal Brexit. The government forecasts this scenario would be hugely damaging to the UK economy. If the UK had left on March 31st with No Deal economists forecasted the UK economy would have been £900 million worse off in 2019 alone.
Jason Stein, a former Tory special advisor and Amber Rudd aide this week claimed that the government are forecasting themselves to only pick up “roughly 295 to 300 seats”, and so although Labour are correct to avoid a snap election before the 31st October Brexit deadline, it could be well within their interests to fight a general election after the deadline.
A poll by ICM suggested that after 31st October, Labour would close the polling gap with the Tories. In comparison to a general election before the 31st October, the Tories would have a 7 point lead.
Labour are wise to avoid a General Election in October, but once an extension has been delivered they should rush to oust Johnson and fight a general election.