Why are we having a snap election?

Let’s imagine, for a moment, the Prime Minister is telling the truth when she says the General Election is about a lack a political unity on Brexit.

What would that say about Theresa May? A Prime Minister who had to be forced by the Supreme Court to hold a parliamentary debate on Article 50, who now says there should be an election because some MPs have said they might disagree with her on the final Brexit deal, and who has already ruled out any prospect of TV debates during the campaign.

By unity, it seems the Prime Minister means obedience. Mrs May has repeatedly made it very clear where she stands on consultation and accountability — she is firmly against it.

And yet now she goes to the country, seeking her own mandate, something she has repeatedly promised not to do until 2020.

Of course, the election is actually about crushing the opposition. The chasm between the Conservatives and Labour in the polls is only growing, and the Copeland by-election showed the Tories can win in previously impossible places.

There’s every possibility of a Tory majority of 100 or more, even if their poll lead narrows during the campaign.

The Conservatives could close their campaign headquarters, spend nothing at all on advertising, run election broadcasts consisting of a picture of Jeremy Corbyn’s face with the caption “Really?”, and still win by a landslide.

The voters I’ve spoken to so far are mostly bemused and angry at being asked to vote yet again. Just getting them to turn out on election day could be a challenge.

That challenge will be far harder for the Labour Party. While Theresa May is being less than honest about the reasons for holding this election, Labour’s top team are lying through their teeth when they say how much they’re looking forward to this campaign.

Labour MPs, who less than a year ago publicly expressed their lack of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn, will now join the Labour activists who in many cases want to deselect them, and march down your street telling you Mr Corbyn is the best hope for Britain, while trying to keep a straight face.

The Liberal Democrats will hope to kick start their fightback, by doubling their representation in Parliament. The SNP will worry that, from a position of near total dominance in Scottish politics, their seat total could fall.

And then there’s the rest of us, endlessly trudging to and from polling stations. You might have thought the Fixed Term Parliaments Act put an end to this kind of nonsense. But it turns out Prime Ministers have just as much power to call an election as they ever did, even if now they have to bounce their rivals into signing their own death warrant.