UK MPs have voted for a pre-Christmas general election to take place on December 12. After multiple attempts by PM Boris Johnson to force a poll, he’s finally got his way in a bid to break the Brexit impasse.
Lawmakers in the House of Commons on Tuesday voted in favor of Johnson’s early parliamentary general election short-bill by 438 votes to 20. It will be the first December election since 1923.
MPs had earlier rejected the Labour Party’s proposal to move the date of the general election forward to December 9. Some 315 MPs voted against moving the election forward by three days, while 295 voted in favour. If MPs had backed the opposition plan to move the election forward, parliament would have needed to be dissolved by Thursday night.
The British prime minister had tried and failed to get an election on three previous occasions having seen his Fixed-term Parliaments Act motions defeated by MPs. Under the law, there must be at least 25 working days before an election can take place.
Britain’s parliament has ostensibly been in a state of paralysis over the past year, with both Johnson and his predecessor, Theresa May, failing to get their respective Brexit deals signed, sealed, and delivered.
Johnson is hedging his bets that his Tory Party can win a healthy majority to change the parliamentary arithmetic in his favor and, in his words, “get Brexit done.” However, Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, will be hoping that the election is not solely dominated by the issue of Brexit and that other key issues such as the NHS, education, and climate change will come to the fore.
The move to force a snap poll was triggered after the European Union granted the UK a three-month ‘flextension,’ with the new deadline now moved to January 31, ostensibly meaning Johnson could not deliver on his “do or die” Brexit pledge by October 31.
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