Supporters of a new referendum might hold out through fear of a no-deal Brexit ANDY RAIN/EPA
Oliver Wright, Policy Editor. January 17 2019, 12:01am.
Labour’s push for an election has been thwarted but the country still faces a daunting array of possible outcomes
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF A GENERAL ELECTION BEFORE BREXIT?
A general election is an unlikely but possible outcome: either Theresa May calls an early poll or one is forced on her by the loss of a vote of confidence.
The first option is less plausible because polls show that an election today would not substantially alter the parliamentary arithmetic. It is also next to impossible to see how she could craft a Brexit manifesto that did not irrevocably split her party.
The second option is more likely but it would require the Democratic Unionist Party or Conservative MPs to vote against the government in a confidence motion. That could happen if Mrs May succeeds in getting a deal through parliament that it objects to. It could also happen as a last-ditch move by Tory Brexiteers to prevent parliament from extending or revoking Article 50.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF A SECOND REFERENDUM?
If Jeremy Corbyn pivoted and backed a second referendum then there could be a Commons majority for another Brexit vote. So far more than 70 of his backbenchers have come out publicly for a second referendum. With frontbench supporters factored in, a majority of the parliamentary party are probably in favour.
Then again, some Labour MPs who support a second referendum would also be prepared to countenance a soft, Norway-style Brexit rather than running the risk of another vote that voters could see as a betrayal of the 2016 result. The best chance for the People’s Vote campaign is for other Brexit options to fall, leaving only a no-deal departure or another referendum on the cards.