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- Conservative MPs are reportedly preparing to block any attempt by Theresa May to call a general election in a bid to resolve the Brexit crisis.
- It’s believed the Prime Minister is considering calling a snap poll if her withdrawal agreement is voted down for a fourth time.
- However senior Tories believe an election would be a disaster for the party, and reports suggest the cabinet is at risk of imminent collapse.
Conservative MPs are reportedly preparing to block any attempt by Theresa May to call a general election in a bid to resolve the Brexit crisis.
The prime minister and some of her closest advisers are believed to be considering a snap poll if her withdrawal agreement is put forward and voted down for a fourth time this week.
Yet senior Conservatives have said that an election would be a disaster, fearing their bitterly divided party would be wiped out at the ballot box.
Some are adamant Ms May should not lead the Tories in any election in the months ahead, with one telling The Sunday Telegraph the party would be "annihilated."
"Theresa May cannot call an election, she cannot be the leader who would lead us into it. The party would not tolerate it," Nigel Evans, executive secretary of the 1922 committee, told The Observer.
One cabinet minister told the same newspaper that Tory MPs would vote down any effort to call a general election, since Ms May would need a two-thirds majority in the Commons to secure it.
"If we have a general election before Brexit is resolved, it will only make things worse," said Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan.
"There is no one in the cabinet who thinks she should lead us into a general election," one cabinet member said.
Reports suggest the cabinet is at risk of imminent collapse, with Ms May facing resignations from senior ministers on both sides of the Brexit divide depending on what course she takes next.
At least six members of her cabinet will resign if she heads for a no-deal Brexit, according to The Sunday Times, yet Brexiteer members have apparently made clear they would resign if she backed a customs union or sought another delay.
The newspaper said a possible "run-off" vote could take place in parliament on Tuesday between Ms May’s deal and whatever alternative emerges as the most popular from indicative voting by MPs on Monday.
It means, in theory, an attempt to call a general election could be made as early as Wednesday.
Tory MPs are worried about a shift towards Labour in the poll. A new Deltapoll survey for The Mail on Sunday shows Labour on 41 points, five points ahead of the Tories on 36. Only last month Deltapoll gave the Tories a seven point lead.
A fresh Opinium poll for The Observer, meanwhile, shows Ms May’s lead over Jeremy Corbyn on who would make the best prime minister has fallen from 15 points to 7 points in the past month.
The poll also reveals Boris Johnson as the only Tory with a lead over the Labour leader.
On Saturday Nicky Morgan suggested a national unity government may soon be required to end the Brexit crisis.
"If the government refused and Theresa May felt she could not implement what parliament had identified as a way of leaving the EU, then I think we would have to think very hard about whether a cross-party coalition … Could do that in order to make sure that the UK does leave the EU in an orderly fashion," the former education secretary told BBC News.
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Source: Business Insider –