The real reason for this snap General Election: Tory Election Fraud

Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election has nothing to do with stability or Brexit – it’s a trick to outmanoeuvre the Crown Prosecution Service’s investigation into Tory Election Fraud at the 2015 General Election.

Last June I wrote about the excellent investigative journalism carried out by Channel 4 and the Daily Mirror regarding Tory Election Fraud at the 2015 General Election.

Many media outlets still feel uncomfortable talking about this subject, primarily because the Crown Prosecution Service have not yet published their judgement on the 20+ Conservative MP’s who were investigated over election fraud. Commenting on alleged criminal activity is always risky for the press, especially when it comes to MPs (who are quite adept at taking libel cases).

To recap – it’s alleged that over 20 Tory MPs benefited from having national campaign resources diverted to their local campaigns in the 2015 general election, thus overspending on their campaigns. Electoral law is supposed to prevent candidates from outspending their rivals and ensure that the outcome of an election is a democratic one, not influenced by the relative wealth of a candidate or their party.

With only a 12 seat majority, if even half of those Tory MPs were found to have broken the law, then the Government could end up losing its majority through a series of by-elections.

The Tories aren’t stupid – they know the risks here. They may have even had some private indication of the CPS judgement. Clearly, Theresa May and her colleagues have concluded that the only way to prevent losing their majority in the electoral fraud fallout is to call a general election.

She would not have taken this decision lightly and in many ways (despite the polls) it represents a nuclear option for her politically, for a number of reasons:

  1. Polling accuracy: While the polls may currently show an historically high lead for the Tories, the pollsters’ reputations have not yet recovered from their failure to accurately predict the outcome of either the EU referendum or the 2015 general election. In the past, the pollsters have admitted that their main error was in underestimating Tory support and overestimating Labour support. It’s quite possible that after two major failures, the pollsters have now adjusted their methods and could be (conversely) overestimating Tory support and underestimating Labour support.
  2. Lib Dems: It’s claimed that the Tories recently commissioned some private polling – which showed them losing dozens of seats to the Lib Dems if a snap election were called. Back in 2015 nearly all the gains made by the Tories came at the expense of the Lib Dems. If the Lib Dems can win back some of the support they lost in 2015, they could cost the Tories some key seats.
  3. Election fatigue: The UK had a general election in 2015, a referendum in 2016 and now another general election in 2017. If voters feel that they are being made fools of by trotting out to the polls on the whim of a leader who simply wants to shore up their power, they may well vent their frustration at the ballot box.
  4. Brexit no longer being the only issue: The Tories seem adamant that this election is a simply a mechanism to give them a mandate to carry out their vision of Brexit. But the public, who (according to some recent polling) feel Brexit is a ‘done and dusted’ issue, may see this election as a chance to return to familiar themes – like the economy, housing and the NHS. Regardless of their own hyperbole, the Tories do not have a good record on these things. They have made no headway into the housing crisis since coming to power in 2010 and the public still do not trust them on the NHS. They claim to be the party of financial competence and yet they have already abandoned all the financial commitments they set for themselves in 2015.

And yet, regardless of all this uncertainty, Theresa May has chosen to call a snap general election. In the context of the risks they face around the electoral fraud case, it’s clear that this election has nothing to do with stability or Brexit. Instead, it’s a trick to make sure the Tories keep their majority in parliament and stay in government even if they are found guilty of breaking the law and cheating their way to power in 2015.

Last June I said that it was the job of citizen journalists, bloggers and anyone willing to spread the word to keep this story alive and move it into the public consciousness. That sentiment applies again now – otherwise, without the mainstream media’s involvement, this story runs the risk of disappearing without a trace.

So please do your bit – tell your friends and family about what’s really going on, use the hashtag #ToryElectionFraud and get the truth out there. The public need to understand why they being dragged out to the ballot box for a farce of an election – an election that is nothing but a smokescreen for a devious political party who ignore the law and believe they can buy, lie and trick their way to power.

Tory Election Fraud has the potential to bring down the UK Government

Far from being a minor embarrassment for the Tories, the election fraud scandal could bring about the systematic collapse of the Cameron government. Yet without mainstream media coverage it’s entirely possible that this story could vanish without a trace.

There are currently 19 Police Forces in the UK investigating 28 Conservative MP’s for election fraud. It’s alleged that a number of Tory MPs benefited from having national campaign resources diverted to their local campaigns in the 2015 general election. This number has grown considerably over the last few weeks and may continue to grow.

Looking at the coverage this story has received from the mainstream media, you could be forgiven for thinking this was simply an administrative error on the part of the Tories. Their position (currently) is that this is a misunderstanding – specifically over whether a Tory campaign ‘battlebus’ (which shuttled campaigners around the county to whichever marginal seat needed supporters) counted as a local or national spend.

Critics argue that the battlebus is just one of several pieces of local campaign spending that was deliberately labeled as part of the national campaign in order to avoid going over the spending limits for local campaigning. The principle of the laws governing election expenses is that no one party should be able to outspend all the others in the run-up to an election and effectively ‘buy’ a victory.

If Tory MPs are found guilty of not having declared their full local campaign spending (which may well mean they broke the spending limit) the consequences could be severe. It is a criminal offence for candidates to fail to declare their campaign spending in full and can carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail, or at a minimum fines.

This alone could be explosive for the Tories and in particular any MPs who are found to have broken the law. But beyond the mere embarrassment of having politicians being fined/going to jail, this story has the potential to be the most devastating scandal a government has suffered in a generation. And this relates directly to the small, 12 seat majority that allowed the Conservatives to form a government after the 2015 General Election.

Consider if just 12 of those 28 MPs being investigated are found to have broken the law. That would mean that David Cameron formed his government based on fraud. The very mandate that the Tories used to enact a rash of unpopular legislation (including the EU referendum itself) would be in tatters.

There is no precedent in modern British politics for a governing party discovering that its mandate to govern is illegal. All legislation passed since the Cameron government’s formation in 2015 could be open to forms of legal challenge. The scope of this situation is enormous.

A slew of byelections followed by a vote of no confidence in the government could bring about a snap general election – well before the next one is scheduled to happen in 2020.

With all this potential fallout it’s clear just how serious this story is – and yet it is not making the headlines. Some stories have appeared in the press (especially in the Mirror and Channel 4 News) but it has not received anywhere near the level of coverage that similar stories have done in the past (Plebgate, MP expenses, Cash-for-questions etc.)

The Guardian called this “a very legally sensitive story” and said that it is “difficult to write reams and reams of speculation.” What that means is that any mainstream newspaper even alleging that an MP has broken the law could be taken to court for libel.

In fact, it’s unlikely the mainstream media will move on this story until there are actual charges made by Police Forces against MPs. However, by then it could be too late.

The Conservatives are trying everything they can to make this story go away before any charges are made. They have already sent top lawyers to block a Police request for a time extension needed to investigate these allegations. Though their attempt failed and the police were granted their extension, there can be little doubt that behind the scenes at Conservative party HQ, teams of paid staff and legal professionals are working tirelessly to bury this story.

The hashtag #ToryElectionFraud has been trending across social media for the last few weeks and though people are discussing it, this is merely within the confines of social media – which simply does not represent the wider reach that the mainstream media has.

So it’s the job of citizen journalists, bloggers and anyone willing to spread the word to keep this story alive and move it into the public consciousness – otherwise, without the mainstream media’s involvement, this story runs the risk of doing exactly what the Tories want – disappearing without a trace.