Will there be an election soon?

The prime minister has said he will seek a snap general election if the EU decides to delay Brexit until January.

On Tuesday, MPs backed the prime minister’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill but rejected his plans to fast-track the legislation.

That defeat effectively ended any realistic prospect of the UK leaving the EU with a deal by the government’s 31 October deadline.

As a result, Johnson has demanded MPs who voted down his Brexit bill last night now back a general election to break the deadlock.

Will there be an election soon?

Not necessarily.

  1. As even if the PM does decide to press for an early election there is no guarantee he will succeed. There are three ways Johnson can call an election.
  2. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the prime minister needs to have the backing of two-thirds of MPs to hold a snap poll. This is quite unlikely to pass as Labour would rather wait and see if Brexit can be sorted first.
  3. He could introduce a one-line Bill which could pass as you only need a majority in each vote. But this would allow changes to be added. For example, giving 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote.

The final way would be for the Conservatives to vote for a no-confidence motion in their own government – it would be hard for Labour to vote that they have confidence in the government. If it passes, the Commons have 14 days for another ‘unity’ government to be formed therefore the PM would be risking his own position in Downing Street.

Boris Johnson will hold a political cabinet at 3PM today where he and his senior ministers are expected to discuss the positives and negatives of holding a snap poll.

Updates to follow.

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