Fiona Bruce, the host of BBC’s Question Time, has been left stunned as almost the entire audience at her latest debate put their hands up when asked who wanted a general election. A shocked Ms Bruce was speechless as she glimpsed the extent of the crowd keen for a national vote, admitting “that is almost all of you”. The Conservative Party are not obliged to call a general election, despite the resignation of Liz Truss, due to the landslide victory in 2019 under Boris Johnson, but opposition politicians have called it a “democratic imperative” that a vote is forced through. That lack of obligation, coupled with the likelihood that a national election would lead to a Labour government, suggest the leadership contest scheduled to finish on October 28 will be the extent of voting over the new leader.
Ms Bruce said: “Let me just get a show of hands. It is not scientific but just to get an idea: who here would like a general election?”
A large proportion of the audience, about 100 in number, then proceeded to put their hands up.
A shocked Ms Bruce then said: “Gosh. That is almost all of you.”
The reaction by the audience appears to reflect the wishes of the general public, with some polls suggesting roughly 90 percent of the electorate want a general election, though no surveys have been conducted with a sizable sample size.
Opposition leaders and first ministers have been unanimous in their calls for another general election since the resignation of Liz Truss on Thursday.
While the Conservative Party have claimed they have a mandate that allows them to carry on until 2024, opposing politicians have cited the revolving door of Downing Street as evidence enough that the public should be given a choice of leader earlier than scheduled.
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, urged the Government to allow for a “fresh start”, arguing that the mandate carried forward from the 2019 landslide victory was nominal at this point.
He said: “The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people.
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“They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish.
“The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future. They must have the chance to compare the Tories’ chaos with Labour’s plans to sort out their mess, grow the economy for working people and rebuild the country for a fairer, greener future. We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election – now.”
His comments were echoed by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said a national vote was a “democratic imperative”.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, who the former prime minister Liz Truss branded a “low energy Jeremy Corbyn”, similarly said “a general election is now the only way to end this paralysis.”
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