Who will be fighting Richmond Park and Guildford in a snap General Election?

More selection news from seats the party used to hold comes in as we prepare for a possible snap election.

In Richmond Park, held by Susan Kramer until 2010, Sarah Olney has been selected to fight Zac Goldsmith. From the local Guardian:

Sarah Olney was selected on July 22 as the party believes new Prime Minister Theresa May might consider going to the country before 2020 to take advantage of Labour in-fighting and to precede a possible recession.

Ms Olney, who campaigned for GLA member Caroline Pidgeon during May’s London Assembly elections, said it would be a huge honour to represent the area.

She said: “However, I am only too well aware that Richmond Park does have its challenges.

“As such my three campaign priorities will be to demand a decision against a third runway at Heathrow, to get clarity around the future status of EU citizens within the UK, and to push for greater action to improve air quality in the constituency.

“Nationally the country is in crisis. The Conservatives are focused entirely on taking us out of Europe while the economy worsens, threatening jobs, public services and our efforts to build the houses Britain so badly needs.

“Frustratingly, Labour is too occupied with their civil war to provide any opposition to the government

Over in Guildford, held by Sue Doughty between 2001 and 2005, former Councillor Zoe Franklin will fly the Lib Dem flag. From the Guildford Dragon:

I intend to listen to residents and campaign on ensuring Guildford has the right housing and infrastructure for its needs, in particular social and affordable housing; improving our transport infrastructure – whether it’s road surfaces, more reliable and regular train and bus services or encouraging more sustainable transport methods, Guildford deserves better.

“The country faces a period of uncertainty, and steps need to be taken to protect people’s jobs, public services and our economy as a whole.

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14 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 30th Jul '16 - 11:59am

    “get clarity around the future status of EU citizens within the UK”. Yes, but be careful about allowing others to frame the questions by the language. I am a UK citizen and currently an EU citizen.

  • Which, Richard, begs the question. Can the UK government deprive me of my European Citizenship? Is this an infringement of my human rights?

  • “believes new Prime Minister Theresa May might consider going to the country before 2020 to take advantage of Labour in-fighting”

    Except that to do so requires those same Labour in-fighters to agree to be wiped out. Or the agreement of the House of Lords to quickly repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. May can consider all she likes but it won’t happen unless the turkeys vote for Christmas. Stranger things have happened recently I guess.

  • The Professor 31st Jul '16 - 2:10pm

    @Stevan Rose – perhaps you should actually read the Fixed Term Parliaments Act before commenting. Read the section regarding Vote of No Confidence.

  • Tony Dawson 31st Jul '16 - 3:08pm

    Does ‘the Professor’ REALLY believe the Conservative government will lay a vote of no confidence in themselves in the House of Commons? So, how would that look to the UK electorate, at least 40 per cent of whom do not normally really follow politics at all?

  • It would be interesting top know a lot more about the candidates’ CV’s and what their qualifications are instead of bland comments about how long they have lived in a place or who they have campaigned for..

  • Mick Taylor 31st Jul '16 - 4:55pm

    The professor

    I have read the act. An early General Election can take place in 2 circumstances:

    1. 2/3 of the MPs vote for there to be a general election.

    2. A motion of no confidence is passed in the government of the day AND no motion of confidence in a new government is passed within 14 days of the motion of no confidence.

    I cannot see a circumstance in which the Labour Party would not vote for there to be an early GE – its current shambles notwithstanding – because not to do so would irreparably destroy its claim to be opposing the Tories. Similarly the Lib Dems would feel obliged to vote for such a motion as well, were the government to bring it forward. I imagine the SNP would vote in the same way or or would lose its credibility as an opposer of the Tories.

    A motion of no confidence is more difficult. If the government were to put forward a motion of no confidence in itself, it would surely be seen as a ruse. On the other hand abstaining on or allowing some of its MPs to vote for a no confidence motion put forward by an opposition party could be a strategy.

    So if the government does want an early election – and the temptation must be very great – I think it would be possible to engineer it. Whether such an election is desirable or would be likely to increase the number of Lib Dems in Parliament, the jury must be out on that one.

  • Stevan Rose 31st Jul '16 - 6:08pm

    @The Professor. I have read the Fixed-term Parliaments Act and neither option for an early election is anywhere near likely. May would need to be certain that her personal position within the Tory Party would be strengthened and her majority increased and that Scotland wouldn’t go 100% SNP. If she lost a contrived election she’d be the shortest serving PM / Tory leader in living memory. So she’d need to be looking at a guaranteed landslide to move for an early election now. Why would Labour and Lib Dem MPs vote for their own oblivion. Labour wouldn’t, and you can be certain they wouldn’t because they could have moved the no confidence vote themselves already. Lib Dems shouldn’t undermine their own Act at the very first opportunity.

    What you are looking at for no confidence is a Government voting against itself. I’d be surprised if the Speaker allowed the vote. I’d be even more surprised if Opposition parties voted to give the Tories a landslide when the best tactic is to wait for the Tories to split over hard/soft Brexit. The position would be not participating in internal Tory fights or a you got us into this mess, you sort it out now type argument.

    A difficulty May faces along with all the parties is that we are now at the beginning of a major realignment of politics that started with the SNP sweeping the board near enough in Scotland and the Lib Dems nearly being wiped out. Now you have a Labour split and the Tories locked in a battle between its right and centre. UKIP is changing leader and losing its only electoral powerbase. A referendum that should have been a dead cert was lost. No-one can predict which way the electorate will go – large numbers of them have gone rogue and are not behaving according to conventional triggers.

  • Mick Taylor 31st Jul '16 - 7:49pm

    @stephenrose
    It is surely not remotely credible that if the government put forward a motion to have an early election that the Labour Party – that claims it is fighting the Tories – would not vote for it? Er, we’re the only opposition to this dreadful Tory Government, but we aren’t voting to have an election now it’s offered? Come on. Labour would be entirely finished if they did that. No-one inside or outside the ranks of their supporters would understand or forgive that.

  • Mick Taylor 31st Jul '16 - 7:51pm

    Oh sorry, we didn’t support a motion of no confidence in this appalling Tory Government because we thought we might lose the election! Not credible, not politically acceptable, political suicide.

  • @Mick Taylor. Given May will only go for an election if she’s guaranteed a landslide you’d have to be a pretty stupid Labour MP to help her take your seat and replace you. And I’m pretty sure they can come up with a dozen reasons not to vote with Tories for something that can only benefit Tories, including their manifesto support for fixed term Parliaments to prevent governing parties calling elections timed to maximise their re-election chances. Labour have a much better chance of they wait for the Tories to implode over soft/hard Brexit. Definitely not political suicide but honourable adherence to party policy.

    Besides a no confidence vote can only be won if Tories vote no confidence in themselves. To my knowledge there is no precedent for that, I can’t see the Speaker allowing it, and how does that play in an election campaign – vote for us, we just voted that we have no confidence in ourselves. This is all nonsense anyway. May keeps personal control of her party by having it exactly as it is now with a narrow majority to keep them together. An election results in her losing control or even her government or upsetting the balance in her own party through a right wing influx. She would have to be certifiable to risk 4 years of guaranteed premiership; but then she appointed Boris as Foreign Sec so she can’t be in full possession of her faculties.

  • David Allen 1st Aug '16 - 12:06am

    “a no confidence vote can only be won if Tories vote no confidence in themselves. To my knowledge there is no precedent for that”

    Of course there’s no precedent, because we have not had a Fixed Term Parliaments Act before! It’s a bit like saying Neil Armstrong couldn’t possibly have walked on the moon, because there was no precedent for doing so.

    “I can’t see the Speaker allowing it”

    And how, pray, is the Speaker supposed to justifiably judge this question? An exhausted government (Major 1996?) might very well want to vote no confidence in itself and pack it in. A divided government might also lose a confidence vote (think Labour!) For the Speaker to make a personal judgment on this would be a gross misuse of his powers. He wouldn’t do it.

    “and how does that play in an election campaign – vote for us, we just voted that we have no confidence in ourselves.”

    It plays perfectly fine when Theresa explains that she had to go through a strange parliamentary procedure – a bit like Chiltern Hundreds – to get around a silly misguided law brought in by Nick Clegg, and to give the nation what they want, an opportunity to vote.

  • It plays perfectly fine when Theresa explains that she had to go through a strange parliamentary procedure – a bit like Chiltern Hundreds – to get around a silly misguided law brought in by Nick Clegg, and to give the nation what they want, an opportunity to vote.

    While this is true, still think it more likely that they will simply repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act early in the next term. Without saying whether they will or won’t hold an election, just that they should have the ability to do so if necessary.

    And if the Lords threatens to block the repel, they then say they will, if it is blocked, vote no confidence in themselves, stand the ensuing election with ‘repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act’ in their manifesto, and Salisbury it through. That might be enough to get the Lords to drop their objection; if not, they simply carry out their threat.

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