THE law says general elections in the UK have to be held within five years of each other, but will there be an election before Brexit?
Boris Johnson wants a General Election after MPs voted to pass a law blocking a No Deal Brexit. Here’s what you need to know about when we are likely to next head to the polls.
Will there be a General Election before Brexit?
Boris Johnson certainly wants one now that 21 rebel Tory MPs joined with the opposition in backing a law that would block a No Deal Brexit.
The PM now believes he needs a fresh mandate from voters to prise a new deal from EU leaders
In the wake of MPs passing the delaying bill in the Commons, the Prime Minister called for Britain to go to the polls on October 15.
The move, however, failed to win the two thirds of MPs necessary under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.
The vote was lost after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to abstain in the knowledge this would prevent Boris getting the two thirds majority he needed.
That prompted a furious Mr Johnson to brand Corbyn “chicken” saying he was “the first leader of the opposition in the democratic history of our country to refuse the invitation of an election”.
Labour’s mass abstention on September 5 came despite Mr Corbyn and other senior figures in his party having called for a General Election as soon as possible more than 15 times so far — in this year alone.
And he is confident that he can win the vote, too, sending the country back to the polls for fourth time in just five years.
“There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay,” he told the nation in an address on the steps of Downing Street this evening.
What is a General Election and who can call one?
A General Election gives UK citizens a chance to select an MP to represent their local area in the House of Commons.
Normally there will be several candidates, each from a different political party, standing to be the Member of Parliament in each constituency.
The vote will also determine who will be elected as the UK Prime Minister.
The last General Election was held on June 8, 2017.
Previously elections could be called simply by the Prime Minister going to the Queen at any point within five years of the last one.
But after the Fixed Term Parliament Act was passed in 2011 the five-year gap was enshrined in law.
Under the act every PM now needs two thirds of all MPs – 434 – to agree to go to the country before any election can be held.
Get Brexit done: Boris' September 2 speech in full
Five weeks ago I spoke to you from these steps and said that this Government was not going to hang around and that we would not wait until Brexit Day – October 31 – to deliver on the priorities of the British people.
And so I am proud to say that on Wednesday Chancellor Sajid Javid is going to set out the most ambitious spending round for more than a decade.
I said I wanted to make your streets safer – and that is why we are recruiting another 20,000 police officers.
I said I wanted to improve your hospital and reduce the waiting times at your GP.
And so we are doing 20 new hospital upgrades in addition to the £34billion more going into the NHS.
And I said I wanted every child in this country to have a superb education and that’s why I announced last week that we are levelling up funding across the country and spending much more next year in both primary and secondary schools.
And it’s to push forward this agenda on these and many other fronts that we need a Queen’s Speech in October, while leaving due time to debate Brexit and other matters.
And as we come to that Brexit deadline I am encouraged by the progress we are making.
In the last few weeks the chances of a deal have been rising, I believe, for three reasons.
They can see that we want a deal.
They can see that we have a clear vision for our future relationship with the EU – something that has not always perhaps been the case.
And they can see that we are utterly determined to strengthen our position by getting ready to come out regardless, come what may.
But if there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks, it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum, or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay
I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t
But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible.
And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the Government against Corbyn’s pointless delay.
I want everybody to know, there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay.
We are leaving on the 31st of October, no ifs or buts.
We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum.
Armed and fortified with that conviction I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October.
A deal that Parliament will certainly be able to scrutinise.
And in the meantime let’s let our negotiators get on with their work, without that sword of Damocles over their necks and without an election.
Without an election – I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election.
Let us get on with the people’s agenda – fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom, with infrastructure, education and technology
It is a massive agenda.
Let’s come together and get it done – and let’s get Brexit done by October 31.
Latest on a General Election
What was the result of the 2017 General Election?
The date of the last General Election was June 8, 2017, which saw the Conservatives lose their majority but remain in Government after they struck a deal with the DUP.
Theresa May called a shock snap election in 2017 to try and strengthen the Conservatives hold on Parliament, but it backfired when her majority was slashed by 13 seats.
The Tories wafer-thin working Commons majority was slashed to zero as Tory rebel Phillip Lee defected to the Lib Dems.
The next General Election is scheduled to be held on May 5, 2022
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