Here we go again: Will snap general election save Tulip?

SIX weeks, then, until it’s Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn – or, as the polls suggest, Labour lose again at Theresa May’s snap election. The hot takes were flying as soon as the PM started talking in Downing Street this morning to set up a general election on June 8.

Some members of the scorched earth brigade inside Labour, who want to start all over again with a new leader, have spoken privately in the past of how losing an election might be the only way to convince Corbyn to actually step down. In that sense, they can see a positive in the gloomy predictions for the party at this election, even if setting out to lose from the off is not a strategy they will take into the campaign. Maybe, it’s six weeks then until we see Keir Starmer, our MP in Holborn and St Pancras, finally stepping forward to be the next leader should Corbyn get lost in a landslide.

In Hampstead and Kilburn, however, the local intrigue runs greater. Conservatives in Hampstead were relishing the task of taking on Tulip Siddiq in a re-drawn map in 2020 and with boundary changes that would have left her hugely exposed. She has a better chance of extending her time as the MP for the north of the borough under the current lay-out, even if her majority of 1.138 is still small enough to make her vulnerable. The Tories had visions of Mike Freer, the MP in Finchley and Golders Green, whose own constituency was due for a tear-up, crossing the borough boundary to unseat Tulip. Now, they will have to find a candidate quickly, and one or two councillors will surely have their interest pricked.

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