Prime Minister Boris Johnson won support for a snap election Tuesday when the House of Commons voted 438-20 to dissolve Parliament and launch a six-week election campaign that will compete with Christmas for the attention of a divided and Brexit-exhausted electorate.
However, the bill is still to be approved by the House of Lords but it could become law by the end of the week. Yet with the United Kingdom still locked in limbo, unable to complete its tortured three-year divorce from the European Union, the election is likely to become a proxy referendum on Brexit.
Camera IconBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a thumbs-up as he arrives back at 10 Downing Street after securing a December 12 election battle. Johnson and the Conservatives hope the election will give them a majority in parliament, which they lack now, helping them push ahead with the completion of Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a "no deal" Brexit being off the table". "This is a once in a generation chance to build a country for the many, not the few".
"It's time to unite the country and get Brexit done", Mr Johnson said following the House of Commons vote.
The Labour leader also said all 16-year-olds should have the right to vote, a call echoed by the SNP which also supports extending the franchise to include European Union nationals living in the UK.
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She said that she is "pursuing all of our available legal options" in hopes of bringing him and the others involved to justice. Tom Emmer, who is chairman of the House GOP campaign arm, saying that Republicans "look forward to winning back this seat".
Over the weekend, the Lib Dems and the SNP had said they would table a one-line bill seeking to trigger a December 9 election, which would only require a simple majority of MPs to pass.
Brexit has variously worn out and enraged swathes of voters while eroding traditional loyalties to the two major parties, Johnson's Conservatives and Labour.
"A pre-Brexit pact with the Brexit Party won't happen all the time Nigel Farage insists the Conservatives pursue no deal, which won't happen", Baker said as quoted by the Daily Star. Johnson's version of the withdrawal agreement also did not win support in the House. "We don't know. Second, the election is as volatile as ever and, thirdly, the potential for tactical voting - and tactical voting to go wrong - is very high given the Leave-Remain split", he said.
Britons are exhausted and grumpy as they face the third major electoral event in as many years, after the country's 2016 European Union membership referendum and a 2017 election called by Johnson's predecessor Theresa May to try to boost the Conservatives' majority and strengthen her hand in negotiations with the EU.
Britain last had a December election in 1923. The centrist Liberal Democrats, who want to cancel Brexit, are wooing pro-EU supporters from the Conservatives and Labour in Britain's big cities and liberal university towns.
He told lawmakers in Parliament earlier Tuesday that there was no choice but "to go to the country to break free from this impasse".