4 key points about the early general election

  1. The opinion polls have got 84% of British general elections correct when it comes to picking the winning party, though it isn’t wise to obsess about them.
  2. Every Liberal Democrat leader who has fought a general election has needed that first campaign to establish themselves as a popular national figure. Theresa May has gifted Tim Farron a huge boost early in his time as party leader. As she has the party’s membership, with 1,000 new members in the hour after the announcement.
  3. What’s more, the political mood of the election campaign will be heavily set by the results of the early May elections. Those are looking very bad for Labour and good for the Liberal Democrats – another gift to the Lib Dems. In fact, it’s a double gift as the party has consistently done best when a general election does not look a close race between Labour and the Conservatives (and worst which is has looked close).
  4. Manchester Gorton is now even more important for the Liberal Democrats… if it happens. This isn’t straightforward as the House of Commons Library has explained:
    House of Commons Library note on cancelling by-elections
    UPDATE: It’s not yet clear what course will be taken, but expect official news tomorrow (Wednesday). After earlier noises that Gorton would go ahead, the noises now are more balanced – but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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