Ben Lowry: The ongoing turmoil at Westminster is such that an election might yet happen

MP's during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London last week. Parliament is bitterly divided in multiple ways. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire
MP's during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London last week. Parliament is bitterly divided in multiple ways. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire

The divisions within the Conservative and Labour parties are so deep and so bitter, that I still have a hunch that the matter of Brexit will go out to the public again in some shape or form.

The momentum for a second referendum has lost ground in recent weeks.

A general election ought to be inconceivable. Which politician would vote for possible meltdown?

Boris Johnson wrote an article for the Daily Telegraph dismissing the notion of an election as ‘lunacy’ because the Conservative Party would be unable to fight on a common manifesto.

Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, wants an election but sees Downing Street within reach and does not want his party to splinter.

He does not care much what happens with Brexit. As is apparent in his comments in Ireland during the second Nice referendum, recently revealed to the wider public, he intensely dislikes the EU.

The determination of the Tories and Labour to see Brexit delivered and to hold together as parties ought to mean no general election now. But the problem is that it is becoming hard to hold all these contradictory strands together: wings within the Labour and Tory parties that despise each other and which have profoundly different visions for the future.

Also, various factions across Parliament that have wildly diverging views on Brexit or on the very unity of the United Kingdom.

So while the desire of the two main parties to hold together is very great, because a two-party system means they are more likely to hold power, we are close to a point where everything just blows apart.

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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