In the UK, Labour claim to want a general election, but despite the handling of Brexit, still the government coalition will not pass a no-confidence vote.

Could Labour not force the issue on Brexit, by saying they WILL vote FOR May's deal on Brexit TOMORROW, if the House of Commons votes it has confidence in the government TODAY.

In this case, the DUP (for example) would be left with a choice to support the government and the Brexit deal, or force a general election. Labour's position is quite strong in this because the Tory party cannot remove May in between the votes.

Is there any impediment to Labour doing this?

  • 2
    Voters wouldn't forgive Labour for supporting May's deal. Commented May 23, 2019 at 5:48
  • That is what I call "helping May".
    – mootmoot
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


The fixed term parliament act means a General Election must be supported by 2/3rds of Parliament to happen before the next one is due.

A no confidence motion in the Government requires a simple majority, that would force Theresa May out although not necessarily lead to GE.

In December, Theresa May faced a no confidence vote from within her own party, where 117 Tory MPs said she was not fit to lead their party. All those MPs then voted with the Government in January No confidence motion saying Theresa May was the best person to lead the country.

With that in mind, there is no way Labour can force a General Election.

  • 1
    That previous no confidence vote is the key here. The general theory is that while the Conservative MPs happily voted against May in the vote to lead their party, they knew that in a general election, the Tory party would likely not fare to well and many of them would be at risk of losing their seats. Hence, they voted for the option that would not lead to an election, regardless of their actual opinion of May. Judging by the recent local elections, the public's opinion of the Tory party hasn't shifted all that much, so the same thing would likely happen if a new vote came up. Commented May 23, 2019 at 15:14
  • This answers my question, as in the case I describe, the DUP (for example) might vote for a no confidence vote, and the Conservatives install a new Prime Minister who agrees not put May's agreement before the House of Commons, and then wins a confidence vote.
    – Tricky
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 16:30

Labour can't force a general election.

The most they can do is put forward a motion of no confidence in the government. If that were to pass, the government would have two weeks to pass a motion of confidence or would then be forced to have a general election.

However, since Labour does not have a majority in the Commons, the only way for a motion of no confidence to pass is for other parties to vote for it too.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .