Tag Archives: general elections

David Gauke suggests cross-party action to force a General Election

Until the 2019 General Election, David Gauke had been Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire for 14 years. One of the voices of reason on Brexit, he ended up losing the Conservative whip just before Boris Johnson’s illegal prorogation of Parliament when the opposition seized control of the parliamentary timetable to pass Hilary Benn’s Act aimed at preventing a no deal Brexit.

Like most of the country, he recognises the dangers of allowing Boris Johnson to return to Number 10 and has come up with an idea. He wants Ed Davey and Keir Starmer to invite Johnson’s opponents amongst Conservative MPs to force a General Election. In return, Labour and the Lib Dems would not oppose those Conservative MPs with majorities over 10,000 in that election if they stood as Independents against new Conservative candidates.

Mr Gauke set out his thinking in a Twitter thread:

If Boris Johnson became PM again, given the views of many Tory MPs, this is what I’d be tempted to say if I was Keir Starmer or Ed Davey: “The PM is not fit for office. Nor is the Tory Party. We know that many honourable Tory MPs feel the same way. Now is the time for all MPs who put the national interest first to come together & force a General Election. It is a lot to ask Tory MPs to do this but, because this is a national emergency, we are prepared to make a bold & generous offer. We say to those Tory MPs with majorities bigger than , who are motivated by national interest & not just saving their seat, that if they vote with us in supporting a GE, we will not stand against them in their seats if they run as independents.

This offer might just persuade a sufficient number of Conservative MPs – who cannot face being led by Johnson again – to leave the party & back a GE. The other parties might be foregoing some seats they’d win but they’d get their GE (and plenty more seats).

I get where he is coming from.   Between us, Lib Dems, Labour and Greens took over 14,900 votes in South West Herts in 2019. Gauke, standing as an Independent, was beaten by the Conservative by 14,200. We are agreed that we must have a General Election now, but Lib Dems would argue that  whoever is the Conservative leader, not just Boris.

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