Citigroup has sent a note to clients telling them Theresa May’s position as prime minister is “unsustainable” and another general election is likely within the next 12 months.
Citigroup analysts said there are “too many potential tripwires” facing May, and that she has lost her authority to guide the Conservative party on domestic and Brexit policies.
“The narrow majority gives hardline Brexiteers as well as Remainers the potential to ‘bring down’ proposed deals in any parliamentary vote over the coming weeks and months. This situation is unsustainable, in our view,” the note said.
The bank says a new Conservative PM would also struggle to form a larger alliance in Parliament and would probably seek new elections to gain a popular mandate.
Citigroup suggests a Tory leadership contest could be fought over candidates’ Brexit stance, and could take around two months, delaying EU negotiations but not resolving the parliamentary deadlock.
The analysts said there are three reasons why May’s leadership is likely to come to a swift end: she will not be seen by the EU as having the political capital to lead Brexit negotiations, her attempted alliance with the DUP reflects her lack of options, while the government may have to water down manifesto pledges.
“In our view, May’s premiership is not sustainable beyond a few months, perhaps a year at most, and will be under pressure in the face of contentious parliamentary votes from the very beginning.”