EU agrees to flextension

Johnson makes fourth attempt to secure general election

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will try again

Boris Johnson will make a fourth attempt to hold an early general election, after MPs voted down his latest move.

The Commons backed the government’s election motion by 299 to 70 on Monday, but this was short of the two-thirds majority needed under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act.

Immediately after the defeat, Mr Johnson announced he would call for a 12 December election via a bill that will bypass the rule. A similar bill from the SNP and Liberal Democrats seeks an election on 9 December.

However, both these bills will be subjects to possible amendments, which could pose new political risks.

Parliament has to be dissolved a minimum of 25 working days before the date of an election to allow sufficient preparations to take place.

The Lib Dems and the SNP want an election on 9 December because they say that will prevent any chance of Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal being approved before Parliament is dissolved.

Critics say the Lib Dems and SNP are playing into Mr Johnson’s hands. Opinion polls says the Tories are on course to win an election, and a majority would enable Mr Johnson to trigger the Brexit deal.

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