Here's Why Boris Johnson Is So Desperate For A General Election Before Christmas – And What Jeremy Corbyn Thinks About It

Will the prime minister get his snap general election? Or will he have to busy himself with the cabinet secret Santa ballot instead?
Boris Johnson is set to ask MPs for a snap general election on December 12
Boris Johnson is set to ask MPs for a snap general election on December 12
PA Archive/PA Images

Did you hear? Christmas might be coming early this year, kids!

If Boris Johnson gets his way, Santa could be packing up his sleigh two weeks early and delivering the Christmas present every politics geek has been asking for this year – a December general election. (Too bad for the rest of us, who just want to get drunk on cheap plonk at the office Christmas party.)

In case you missed it, last night Boris Johnson revealed he will once again ask MPs to allow him to hold a general election. It will be the third time he’s made such a plea to the Commons, if you’re counting.

His date of choice to sent the UK to the polls? December 12.

But if you’ve already got your eye on putting your feet up with a Baileys and a mince pie this festive period, you might be asking yourself – why is the prime minister so desperate for a general election?

And what does Jeremy Corbyn think about the whole thing?

Don’t worry – here’s everything you need to know about Johnson’s big Christmas plans.

Why Is A December General Election Top Of Boris Johnson’s Wishlist To Father Christmas?

Boris Johnson is keen on an election in December.
Boris Johnson is keen on an election in December.

Good question. Maybe it’s because he knows that the festive period in the Johnson family pile is going to be a bit awkward (remember the time his own brother resigned from his cabinet) and wants something to distract him…

The more likely answer is that he hopes he will be able to win a majority in the House of Commons. The prime minister is currently ruling a minority government, with the Tory benches 38 MPs short of a majority.

If Johnson was able to bag this coveted majority, it would allow him to push his Brexit deal through the Commons, breaking the current deadlock.

Speaking on Thursday, the PM said: “The way to get this done, the way to get Brexit done is, I think, to be reasonable with parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal they can have it, but they have to agree to a general election on December 12.”

Remember – Johnson put the Withdrawal Agreement on hold after MPs refused to back his fast-track timetable for his Brexit deal earlier this week.

What Does Jeremy Corbyn Think About A December General Election?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party is "not resisting the chance to have an election"
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party is "not resisting the chance to have an election"
PA Archive/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn is – for the moment – less keen about sending to the voters to the polls in December.

“Take no-deal off the table and we absolutely support a general election,” he said.

“I’ve been calling for an election ever since the last one because this country needs one to deal with all the social injustice issues – but no-deal must be taken off the table.”

Take No Deal off the table and Labour will absolutely support an election.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 24, 2019

“The December 12 date is really odd for many reasons. It’s so near Christmas, it’s after universities have ended their terms, etc,” the Labour leader said. “There’s lots of, lots of things very odd about that date.”

Asked if he would prefer an election next year, Corbyn also appeared to suggest the poll could be sooner.

“Well, maybe before that, before December 12,” he said.

“I mean I don’t know what the date is going to end up being because I guess there’s going to be some discussions about that, but yeah I think what you’re saying is absolutely right.

“I want an election, yes, to deal with Brexit but also all the other issues about how we invest in all parts of this country.”

If the Labour leader isn’t happy that the chance of a no-deal Brexit has been completely destroyed, he could order his MPs to vote against the prime minister’s motion for a general election.

As Johnson needs the backing of at least two-thirds of the Commons to get his snap ballot, this would be enough to block the election.

What Do The Public Think About A Christmas Election?

According to a YouGov poll on Wednesday, Brits are ready to carol all the way to the polling booth. Half of those asked said they wanted a snap general election, compared to just 23% who said they were against it.

Unsurprisingly, Tory voters were revealed as the biggest cheerleaders for a ballot, with 62% backing the idea compared to 48% of Labour voters and 43% of Lib Dems.

But who is likely to have a *very* merry Christmas if the election goes ahead?

Westminster voting intention...

if "the deadline for the UK to leave the EU has been extended beyond the 31st of October 2019":

LAB: 27%
CON: 26%
BREX: 20%
LDEM: 18%
GRN: 4%

via @ComRes, 16 - 17 Oct

— Britain Elects (@britainelects) October 24, 2019

Polling by ComRes suggested that, if ballot happens before the UK leaves the EU, Labour would take 27% of the votes – 1% more than the Tories.

It also predicted that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party would come in third with 20% of the vote, followed by the Lib Dems (18%) and the Green Party (4%).


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