Wednesday 30 October 2019 5:03 AM UTC
LONDON Oct 30: UK Voters are set to head to the polls on 12 December after MPs voted in favour of a pre-Christmas general election.It is set to be the first December election since 1923 and will be dominated by debate over the UK’s delayed departure from the EU.
Tuesday’s vote was Boris Johnson’s fourth attempt to take the UK to the polls since he became prime minister three months ago.
He finally won the support of opposition parties for an early election after making a reluctant request to the EU for a three-month delay to Brexit, to 31 January.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had earlier failed with an attempt to change the date of the election from 12 December to 9 December.
Opposition parties had wanted to bring forward the polling day in order to prevent Mr Johnson trying to pass his Brexit deal before parliament is dissolved.
Mr Corbyn has also expressed concerns about whether students would have already finished their term and gone home by 12 December, which he claimed could leave them disenfranchised if they are registered to vote at their university address.
MPs opposed Mr Corbyn’s bid to change the election date by three days by 315 votes to 295.
European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Tuesday the EU had formally accepted the extension to the Article 50 negotiating period.
But he warned the UK’s latest extension “may be the last one”, adding: “Please make the best use of this time.”
Mr Johnson’s success in getting MPs to back an election – on his fourth try – came in the form of a short bill to amend the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act.
This lowered the threshold of support needed to hold an election earlier than 5 May 2022 from two-thirds of all 650 MPs to a simple Commons majority.
The bill for an early general election will now pass to the House of Lords on Wednesday, where peers will scrutinise the proposed legislation.
Prior to the vote, Mr Johnson restored the Conservative whip to 10 of the MPs he had effectively expelled from the party last month for voting against his Brexit strategy.
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