Bill Jamieson: Why MPs should be very afraid of the electorate

A British voter yesterday
A British voter yesterday
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A general election would only deepen the current political crisis, given voters are like a swarm of angry wasps waiting to be released from a jar, writes Bill Jamieson.

Time was when parliamentary gridlocks were resolved by general elections. Stalemate would be broken and the air cleared. Parties would put forward their manifestos. Candidates would seek endorsement from voters. There would be a clear result and a fresh start.

Really? This would be an election where deeply divided parties are set to have no clear manifesto at all. Vengeance and vituperation would rise to the surface, many candidates would be afraid to stand and another hung parliament could well be the result.

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As for the public, it has little enthusiasm for a new ballot less than two years after the last one. A recent poll found just 12 per cent of voters want a general election to sort out the mess.

The current main party leaders – Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn – are plumbing record-breaking new depths in their personal polling while Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable is bowing out in May.

Labour and Conservative parties have lost members to the biggest split in politics in more than 30 years as 11 MPs have defected to the new Independent Group. Yet despite the chaos, many in Westminster still think an election is the only way out of the crisis. The only way out? An early election would be more likely to deepen the discord and crisis, while another humiliating return to Brussels to seek permission for a 12-month extension or longer would infuriate millions.

The public mood of exasperation is already that of a swarm of angry wasps trapped in a jar – and an election now would be akin to removing the lid.

READ MORE: Brexit: This united kingdom is as good as gone – Bill Jamieson