MPs vote for general election on December 12

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A general election is set to be held on December 12 after MPs voted in favour of Boris Johnson's Early Parliamentary General Election Bill with 438 votes for, 20 votes against – majority 418.

The government’s short Bill to hold a poll on December 12 passed its second reading with an “overwhelming majority” without a formal vote but was then subject to scrutiny in the committee stage.

The Commons spent two hours debating an opposition amendment that suggested taking the country to the ballot box on December 9 - three days earlier than Mr Johnson’s plan.

Opposition parties argued that an earlier election was necessary to allow university students to make their vote in the constituency in which they study, saying that by December 12 most would have broken up for Christmas holidays.

However, this amendment was rejected by Parliament with 315 votes against to 295 votes for – majority 20.

MPs then voted again on the Bill's third reading, passing it with a landslide majority, and it will now need to pass through the House of Lords.

Providing it gets through, it will be the third general election in four and a half years and the first December election since 1923.

Jeremy Corbyn responded to the result in a tweet  that said "It's time for real change", while Jo Swinson said the general election is "our best chance to elect a government to stop Brexit".

The Prime Minister’s original bid for a pre-Christmas election was rejected yesterday after the Labour frontbench abstained and it failed to gain a two-thirds majority. Today’s Bill only required a simple majority to pass.

Meanwhile, 10 Conservative rebels who were ousted from the party for defying the government over Brexit have had the party whip restored.

Alistair Burt, Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Sir Nicholas Soames, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington have been readmitted to the party following a meeting with the Prime Minister.

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