Britain is heading for a November 1 election

Britain is heading for a November 1 election, by James Forsyth.

A November 1 election would mean it took place straight after Brexit day. It falls on a Friday rather than a Thursday but I am told that this isn’t a problem — it is just another convention that elections take place on Thursdays. If the UK had left the EU, it is hard to see what the Brexit party’s campaign pitch would be; Johnson would have succeeded in his plan to put them back in their box. On the other side, anti-no deal forces would have to decide whether they now wanted to go back into the EU, which will feel like a more extreme position once the UK has actually left, or simply reopen negotiations as soon as possible.

An election like this would be dominated by Brexit, and that would cause problems for Jeremy Corbyn, who has attempted to maintain strategic ambiguity on the issue. This worked very successfully for him in 2017. In 2019 it could be his downfall.

An election on the first day of a no-deal Brexit is risky for Johnson too. Whatever disruption there was at the borders would be on TV screens as voters went to the polls. Others would question if it was right for the government to delay the vote until straight after such a nation-defining moment, and the pound would be sinking. …

The campaign that would follow would be a thoroughly unpredictable affair. Britain has never had a nationwide, four-party general election before. …

Few things are certain right now, and no one could be confident in predicting how a fall general election would unfold. But that is where we appear to be heading.