Sir John Curtice, a polling expert and professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, has weighed in on the possibility of Brexit opponents managing to stop Boris Johnson from dragging the UK out of the EU without any trade deal.
Sputnik: Neither of the two major parties seem to want a general election, what next for the government?
John Curtice: Well, we're expecting that if the bill that's designed to limit the prime minister's opportunity to pursue a no-deal Brexit does indeed go through the House of Commons, the government will then put forward a motion that says there should be a general election. However, the days when prime ministers can call an election of their own volition are over. Mr Johnson will need a two-thirds vote in favour of holding an election. And at the moment, at least, the opposition parties are saying they won't vote for it.
At least they certainly won't vote for it so long as the bill has not gone through stages, it will have to go through the House of Lords and get the royal assent. The dispute the government then faces is: what does it do next? It could try and call the election by simply passing legislation, rather than using the Fixed-term Parliament Act. But if it's going to hold an election by the 14 October, that would have to be done by Monday - and time is beginning to run out.
Sputnik: Nigel Farage looks set to back Boris Johnson in a general election; do you think the two parties can coexist?
John Curtice: Well, my understanding of the Brexit Party's position is they're willing to back Boris Johnson if he is pursuing a no-deal Brexit. But if he isn't pursuing a no-deal Brexit, then the Brexit Party will stand. So we have to wait and see where the Brexit Party is and what position it is going to take. But I don't think it's obvious at the moment that Mr Farage has said that he and his party will necessarily stand down; because you have to remember Mr Farage thinks that a no-deal Brexit should happen, whereas Mr Johnson is simply pursuing a no-deal Brexit with a view to it paving the way for him to be able to make a deal - and Mr Farage is dubious about the kind of deal that Mr Johnson might strike.
Sputnik: How will Ruth Davidson’s resignation affect the Conservative vote?
John Curtice: The truth is that the Conservative Party was already down in the polls in Scotland, like it is elsewhere across the UK, at around 20% - a poll out today suggests the figure is still at that number. So the Conservative Party is probably facing losses north of the border. It was probably facing those losses before Ruth Davidson resigned; certainly Ruth Davidson's resignation will not help
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The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.