–Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a general election on June 8, 2017.
–The announcement was a surprise since she’s opposed early elections in the past.
–Recent polls suggest that the timing is very favorable for an early election.
The French Presidential Election is already making headlines across Europe but they’ve now got some surprise competition for media coverage. The UK will have a general election on June 8, 2017. Citizens of the UK have until May 22 to register to vote. The Prime Ministership and every seat in the House of Commons is up for grabs.
THE UK ELECTORAL PROCESS
Prior to 2011, the UK election process was less regimented than it is now. The Prime Minister was only required to call for a new general election once every five years. The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act of 2011 brought some order to that process. Now, elections are held on the first Thursday in May at five year intervals. The last general election was held on May 7, 2015. General elections historically have been held on Thursdays with the last general election on another day on Tuesday, October 27 1931.
Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act there are two provisions that can mandate an election at other than the five year intervals:
–A ‘no-confidence’ motion is passed by Her Majesty’s Government. A simple majority is all that is required for a ‘no-confidence’ decision and at that point if 14 days passes without the House of Commons passing a ‘confidence motion’ in any changes in the governmental structure a general election is held.
–A motion for a general election is agreed upon by 2/3 of the total number of seats in the House of Commons including vacant seats. That makes the current number to bring about a general election 434 out of the 650 member House. This provision is what has brought about the forthcoming general election.
In this case, the call for the general election came from Prime Minister Theresa May. May is riding a wave of popularity and polling data shows that her Conservative Party should trounce their opponents in the election. The main competition typically comes from the Labour Party (roughly analogous to the US Republican and Democratic parties at the risk of oversimplification) but they’re currently in a state of disarray. In fact, Labour may use this opportunity to remove their current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, from his post.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Every registered voter in the UK can cast a vote for their own Member of Parliament (MP) to represent his/her constituency in the House of Commons. There are typically several candidates on the ballot from a variety of parties including the Conservative and Labour Parties as well as parties with a lower level of support including Liberal Democrats, Greens and the UK Independence Party (usually abbreviated as UKIP). The candidate that receives the most votes in each district becomes their MP.
Americans often have a misconception that the Prime Minister is also voted on directly by the UK populace. Although the Prime Ministership can change due to the results of a general election the process is a bit more formal and rooted in the royal tradition. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen guided by the voting results and is expected to maintain a struct neutrality with regard to political matters. The basic procedural framework of the UK government is the Cabinet Manual which “sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of government.”
Once the elected members of Parliament are seated the first order of business is the formation of the government. The ‘standard operating procedure’ is for the party that wins the most seats in the House of Commons to form the new government and its party leader will become Prime Minister. If there isn’t a clear majority among the parties it is a situation known as a ‘hung Parliament’. When this occurs there are several ways the government can proceed–the largest party can form a majority government or else a ‘coalition government’ of two or more parties can be formed. Similar to the way it’s done in the United States the Prime Minister appoints ministers who work in individual government departments. The senior leadership of these departments form the Prime Minister’s Cabinet.
BETTING ON ELECTIONS IS BIG BUSINESS
Given the Brits’ fondness for betting it’s no surprise that heavy betting is expected for the upcoming general election. There is no regulatory barrier that prevents UK sports books from taking action on the election and they all have ‘odds to win’ as well as a wide variety of proposition bets. SPORTS BETTING EXPERTS has also set our own odds on the UK election. The prices below are for the more ‘basic’ wager types including who will be Prime Minister after the general election. Look for an update in the coming weeks with updated prices on these markets as well as some more esoteric prop bets. In addition, I’ll put on my ‘handicapper’s hat’ to discuss some of the primary storylines of the UK general election and how I expect things to shake out:
UNITED KINGDOM GENERAL ELECTION BETTING ODDS
PRIME MINISTER AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
Theresa May: -1650
Jeremy Corbyn: +700
Keir Starmer: +1500
Owen Smith: +1500
Boris Johnson: +2500
David Millband: +2500
Tim Farron: +4500
Nigel Farage: +7500
MOST SEATS IN PARLIAMENT AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
Liberal Democrat: +2000
Any Other Party: +10000
WILL THERE BE A HUNG PARLIAMENT AFTER GENERAL ELECTION?
UK GOVERNMENT AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
Conservative Majority: -1500
No Overall Majority: +700
Labour Majority: +2500
Liberal Democrat Majority: +3500
UKIP Majority: +7500
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT TOTAL SEATS AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
12 or more: -950
6-11 inclusive: +500
5 or less: +2500
UKIP TOTAL SEATS AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
2 or more: +750
LABOUR VOTE SHARE
Under 20%: +300
Over 40%: +2500
LABOUR SEATS AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
Under 100: +650
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT VOTE SHARE
Under 10%: +350
Over 20%: +250
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT SEATS AFTER GENERAL ELECTION
Under 10: +350
Over 50: +300
UKIP VOTE SHARE
Under 10%: -175
Over 30%: +3500