You may have seen over the weekend that John Rentoul manned up and made a stout-hearted attempt to resuscitate the decomposing corpse of the 'Ruth Davidson for PM' campaign, with an article entitled 'I'm convinced Ruth Davidson could be the next Prime Minister'. Now, obviously most people reading this blog will share my view that Ruth is All Tank And No Ammunition, and will be aware that under her leadership the Scottish Tories have slipped back to a dismal third place in the majority of recent polls. However, let's humour Rentoul just for a moment and pretend that the idea of Ruth as a world leader isn't quite as batty as it actually is. What's missing from the article is an explanation of how it's even practically feasible for her to stand in a Conservative leadership election.
To stand as a leadership candidate, you need to be a Westminster MP. Ruth is not a Westminster MP. It is of course theoretically possible to become an MP without a general election taking place by engineering a by-election, but that takes time. Vacancies for the Tory leadership generally occur rather suddenly (I can't think of even a single exception to that rule in my lifetime), so we're effectively being asked to believe that other potential candidates and the entire Hard Brexit wing of the Tory parliamentary party would be absolutely fine with the start of the contest being delayed for several weeks just so that the darling of Remainers can attempt to stand. The only alternative would be for her to preempt the issue by persuading a Westminster chum to stand down before a leadership vacancy arises, but that would be seen as an obvious attempt to prepare the ground for a leadership challenge, and thus as a gross act of disloyalty - not just against Theresa May, but against the whole Tory party. Any needless by-election can backfire, and the Tories know they can't risk losing even a single seat given the current state of the parliamentary arithmetic.
It just ain't going to happen. She may well want it to happen, but by now she'll have worked out the permutations in her head and realised a plausible route to Downing Street just isn't there in anything like the foreseeable future.
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What do you call a man who has already completely and utterly lost the plot and then doubles down? If I didn't know the guy so well, I'd be rubbing my eyes in disbelief right now. Round 3 in less than a week from Stormfront Lite's Mike Smithson -
"Remember the ONLY way an election can be triggered before 2022 is by going through the processes set down in the Fixed-Term Parliament Act. This requires two thirds of all 650 MPs to back one, as last April, or else the government losing two votes of no confidence within a specific time table. In the current context the latter requires both the DUP and the SNP to join with LAB, PC and the LD MPs. The DUP has been bought off for its 10 votes and LAB should be under no illusions about the SNP’s 35 MPs. Nicola’s party got smashed on June 8th and isn’t going to put its remaining 35 MPs at risk by doing anything that would facilitate an early election."
I've already explained five hundred and eighty-three billion times why Smithson's repeated claim that the SNP would prevent an early election taking place is the polar opposite of the truth, so let's just take a moment to marvel at his startling new assertion that the SNP "got smashed on June 8th". This, ladies and gentlemen, is the election result he is referring to...
SNP: 35 seats
Conservatives: 13 seats
Labour: 7 seats
Liberal Democrats: 4 seats
SNP: 35 seats
All other parties combined: 24 seats
SNP: 59.3% of seats
All other parties combined: 40.7% of seats
That's what the SNP "getting smashed" looks like, apparently. I hope for the sake of the unionist parties that the SNP never actually win an election.
By the way, on a point of pedantry it's not even true that "the ONLY way" an early election can be triggered is via the processes of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. The other way of doing it is to repeal that Act.