MPs in the House of Commons voted on Tuesday night to hold a general election on 12 December in an effort to break the Brexit deadlock. This was UK PM Boris Johnson’s fourth attempt at securing a general election, finally succeeding by 438 MPs in favour to 20 against.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn backed the move, declaring it as a “once-in-a-generation chance to transform [the] country”. The UK has not gone to the polls in December since 1923.
Nearly half of all Labour MPs were absent or rejected the motion, highlighting discord within the Labour party. The Guardian reports that “some blamed a mix-up by the whips for their failure to attend” the Parliamentary vote.
So, what happens next?
It is now up to the House of Lords to pass Mr Johnson’s motion; however this is expected to pass unobstructed. Should the motion pass, the House of Commons will dissolve next Wednesday for a short electoral campaign lasting 5 weeks.
During the Parliamentary debate, Mr Johnson stressed that a “new and revitalised” Parliament was required to carry out the job of removing Britain from the EU. Later on, he expressed caution while speaking to backbench Tory MPs, saying it would be a “tough election but we will do the best we can”.
He said that he did not want an election but had to seek one as the Labour party would have amended his tweaked Withdrawal Agreement beyond recognition. In an effort to reunite his party and arguably right previous missteps, as many have called it, Mr Johnson readmitted 10 of the 21 MPs he expelled last month for voting against his Brexit plan.