The British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a general election that will be held in the summer. With the uncertainty of Brexit already, a general election could add an extra lair of chaos to British, Irish and European negotiations. Why did Theresa May call this election? She might want to have a mandate of her own. She might want to strengthen her hand in her negotiations with the EU. Polls have shown that the Conservatives lead over Labour is big. The polls might be a temptation for the Conservatives to call the election. The Conservatives might hope to have a larger majority in the next Parliament.
For Labour to win the election they need to win back Scotland. They will also need to win over the floating voters in England and Wales. The Liberal Democrats under their new leader wants to regain ground that they lost after the last general election. The SNP will want to retain their dominant position in Scotland. They will hope that the gulf between Scotland and England will continue. They will hope that this gulf will push Scotland towards independence.
The last thing Northern Ireland needs is another election. They already had an Assembly election last year and this year. The 2 main parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein haven’t agreed to a devolved government yet. If these talks collapse then there is a danger that direct rule would be imposed. The general election will mean that the chances of a power sharing government being formed has lessened. Instead of putting their energies into forming a government the parties in the North will focus on the general election. If the Conservatives wins in Britain then the path towards progress in the North will be known. But if Labour were to win further uncertainty would enter in relation to the North. While a Conservative win would bring stability to the North, a Conservative win would strengthen Scottish nationalism.
The Irish government has to deal with a Britain that is leaving the EU. A general election and how this election would affect the North has added to the problems that face the Irish government.
I get the impression that the modern Conservative Party is very insular. Their political strength is in the South East of England. They don’t seem to be interested in what is happening in Scotland or Northern Ireland or Wales for that matter. Theresa May called this election to benefit the Conservative Party. I wonder did she think about the stalemate in the North or the growing independence in Scotland?