Josh Dean, Youth Rep on the Labour East Regional Executive Committee and Vice Chair of GMB London Young Workers, argues YES
Conservative MPs have finally concluded what the rest of us knew all along: Boris Johnson is unfit to be Prime Minister. But replacing him won’t be enough to fix the rot that’s been growing at the heart of the Conservative Party – they’ve been complicit, scrambling to provide cover for him throughout his scandal-mired premiership and allowing him to toxify British politics.
Whether it’s the allegations of corruption surrounding the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat, the attempt to protect Owen Paterson after he broke lobbying rules, the utter shame of Partygate, or the recent revelations around Chris Pincher, Boris Johnson has taken the public for a ride, with Conservative MPs acting as his cheerleaders all the way. They have broken trust with the British people.
12 years of Conservative rule have left the British people with high taxes and low growth, wages that run out sooner every month, escalating crime, and an NHS that’s going in the wrong direction. Unable to hold a government together for even a single term, they are now selecting their fourth Prime Minister in six years.
While the Conservatives have disintegrated in the years since the 2019 General Election, the Labour Party has rebuilt itself as a serious party of government, turning its focus where it needs to be: on the issues facing the electorate. In stark contrast to Boris Johnson and the Conservative leadership candidates, Keir Starmer is a Prime Minister-in-waiting, offering honesty and integrity to the public.
Britain is at a crossroads – the long-term impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the cost of living crisis, and the war in Ukraine pose real challenges for our country. Only a principled government, with reliable leadership and a vision for the future of Britain, can meet those challenges effectively.
We need a fresh start, and that’s why the British people must now have a say on the future of our country through a General Election.
Andy Wilkins, Chairman of Southend West Young Conservatives, argues NO
We’ve had a crazy seven years since the last scheduled General Election in 2015. In 2016 ,we had the Brexit referendum, which no doubt changed the gravitas of UK politics forever. A year later, and we had a snap general election, which continued to divide communities and our population, before we saw another General Election, which eventually broke the Brexit deadlock two years later.
Like many people, I am sick of having general elections every two or three years; quite inevitably, it means a government can never get things going for a proper amount of time. For this, we all suffer. Since World War II, we have only had five parliaments that have lasted the full five year duration.
Yes, to many, a prime minister should have a mandate to lead as per any head of state – but ultimately for me, there should be a minimum quota of years passed to ensure parties don’t simply abuse the power of holding general elections.
Now, had there not been a general election in 2017, we would officially be into our 2020 parliament., which would be the third parliament under the Conservative Party.
However, its also worth highlighting that in a YouGov poll released in March, 46 per cent of those interviewed said ‘no’ to an earlier general election. Given that the Conservatives have 358 MPs in office over the 200 of Labour, realistically the Conservatives don’t need to call an early election at this time.
Hypothetically speaking, calling an early general election could spell the end for the Conservatives’ time in office after 12 years anyway. For me, once the new Conservative leader is in place after the summer, the new prime minister should be given a short period of time into next year before we consider calling an early general election.