It’s official - Britain is set to go back to the polls in December

PUBLISHED: 20:01 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:12 29 October 2019

Results of a vote is announced in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/House of Commons.

Results of a vote is announced in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/House of Commons.

HOC/JESSICA TAYLOR

MPs have voted for an early general election - with the date agreed as Thursday 12th December.

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The Commons voted by 438 to 20 at third reading to approve the one-page bill enabling the election.

Earlier, MPs voted by 315 to 295 to reject a Labour amendment for the proposed polling day to be moved to December 9 - three days earlier than ministers wanted.

The vote effectively clears the way for parliament to be dissolved on November 6, paving the way for an election on December 12.

The opposition parties had wanted to bring forward polling day to cut off any possibility Johnson could make a fresh attempt to ram through his Brexit deal before parliament is dissolved.

However, Downing Street warned that it was not "logistically possible" while government sources accused the opposition of a deliberate attempt to scupper the whole election.

It will now go to the House of Lords, but after being approved by MPs it is unlikely that it will be held up by the unelected upper chamber.

The one-page bill sets aside the provisions of the Fixed-Term Parliament's Act, meaning the government did not require a two-thirds "super majority" to get it through.

The result means Johnson finally has within his grasp the election he has been pushing for since September after three previous attempts - the most recent on Monday - failed.

Opposition leaders welcomed the result with Jeremy Corbyn saying it was "a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests holding people back".

He said: "The choice at this election could not be clearer. A Labour government will be on your side, while Boris Johnson's Conservatives - who think they're born to rule - will only look after the privileged few."

Jo Swinson said it was "our best chance to elect a government to stop Brexit."

She continued: "The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and will be standing on a manifesto to stop Brexit by revoking Article 50.

"This country deserves better than Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, and I am excited to take our positive, pro-European, liberal vision to the country as the Liberal Democrat candidate for prime minister."

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