London: Political parties in the UK are readying themselves for a general election campaign after MPs voted for a December 12 poll.
The legislation approved by MPs on Tuesday will later begin its passage through the House of Lords, where it is not expected to be opposed.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is ready to fight a “tough” general election. He hoped the vote will give him a fresh mandate for his deal to leave the European Union (EU) and break the current deadlock in Parliament, reported the BBC.
He told Conservative MPs that it was time for the country to “come together to get Brexit done”, adding: “It’ll be a tough election and we are going to do the best we can.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the snap poll gave a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to transform the country. His shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said the election wouldn’t just be about Brexit. “It will be about austerity about what’s happen to our public service,” reported BBC.
The poll comes after the EU extended the UK’s exit deadline to 31 January 2020, although Brexit can happen earlier if a deal is agreed by MPs.
The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP) both see the election as a chance to ask voters whether Brexit should happen at all.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said the poll was “our best chance to elect a government to stop Brexit”.
Asked if she would form a coalition government with Labour or the Conservatives, she said: “I can’t be clearer – neither Boris Johnson nor Jeremy Corbyn is fit to be prime minister.”
McDonnell also said there would be “no deals, no coalitions” with other parties if Labour failed to win an overall majority.
For the SNP, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said an election was an opportunity for the country to hold another independence referendum. “A win for the SNP will be an unequivocal and irresistible demand for Scotland’s right to choose our own future,” she said.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage welcomed the election, tweeting the deadlock had been “broken” and “Brexit now has a chance to succeed”.
But co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley said the poll should be “a climate election” and focus on environmental issues.
When the House of Lords approves the election bill on Wednesday, then the UK will be on course for a 12 December winter election.
It is set to be one of the most unpredictable and epic elections as Brexit totally overshadows it.
The bill, approved by MPs, paves the way for the first December election since 1923.