Britain has many specialties: queues, talking about the weather, the perfect cup of tea. It might be about to add another—public votes that don’t solve any of the country’s problems.
In five years, Britain has held four of these: general elections in 2015 and 2017, the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, and the European Union referendum two years later. Now, as Parliament returns from its summer break, another election seems imminent.
The implication, however, was that one might be needed to resolve the parliamentary deadlock.
Less than two months remain before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on October 31, and lawmakers have repeatedly failed to endorse a withdrawal deal.
An election would mean that either Johnson gains a mandate for his preferred exit, or his government is kicked out of office and someone else takes over the negotiations.
Put aside for the moment the possibility that an election could deliver a hung Parliament. (That is a realistic option:
The prime minister leads in the polls, but research shows that voters feel more attached to how they voted in the 2016 Brexit referendum than to traditional party divides, making British politics incredibly volatile and unpredictable.)