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Be prepared for a 2023 general election

A surprise general election could suit the Tories - and Boris Johnson will have the power to do it.

Prime minister Boris Johnson on the campaign trail - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

I keep reading in the press that the next election is “four years away”. It’s now 2021, and if the election is in 2024, it’s roughly three years away.

There are also several reasons to think it may come sooner. One is that the Tories are quite capable of positioning the next election in, say, 2023 – if it suits them.

Another is the coming together of boundary changes, a possible perceived minor ‘Brexit bounce’ and various manufacturable distractions – all these things might suit our Tory government earlier than we imagine.
Cllr Kate Smith, Amber Valley, Derbyshire

MORE: Boris Johnson may soon have the power to call elections whenever he wants

I’ve been pleased to read the correspondence on the need to replace the UK’s iniquitous FPTP electoral system with some form of PR. However, getting PR done presents more of a challenge than many of us would like.

To begin with, changing the electoral system will require government commitment. With the current Tory incumbents apparently implacably opposed to PR, any change in the electoral system is not going to happen before the next general election.

This election will, of course, be fought using FPTP. Electoral reform has to be part of the political platform of parties fighting the election.

Almost certainly this will mean there has to be a coalition of parties proposing electoral reform in that election.

Currently, the Labour Party has not adopted electoral reform as part of its programme. If and when it does, it will have to work with other parties (Lib Dems, Greens, SNP et al) that already have electoral reform as part of their offering as a coalition to defeat the Tories and FTPT.

A tall order? Certainly, especially when one considers the impact the right wing press might have had on the outcome of the 2010 referendum on electoral reform.

The real challenge for campaigners for electoral reforms will be to get the Tory Party to accept the need for, and adopt, PR as part of its platform.
Howard F Thomas, Chelmsford

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