MPs have voted 438 to 20 in favour of a General Election which will occur on the 12th of December. This will be the first December General Election since 1923. The bill must first be passed by the House of Lords before Parliament is dissolved for five weeks of campaigning.
The Prime Minister has restored the Conservative party whip to 10 of the 21 MPs who were suspended for voting to block a no-deal Brexit. Amongst these MPs are Caroline Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, and Steve Brine, the MP for Winchester.
Student leaders have warned that a General Election in December will lead to a much lower electoral turnout amongst university students. This is because many students will either be submitting end of term assignments or heading home for the Christmas holidays. Labour’s bid to move the General Election forward to December 9th was rejected by 315 votes to 295.
In General Elections students may register to vote at both their term-time and home addresses. However, they may only vote at one of these addresses. Students may also register to vote by post. The Prime Minister previously pushed for a General Election to occur on October the 15th, allegedly because it would have allowed less time for students to register to vote at their new term-time address.
Brexit will be a central issue in this General Election. The Conservatives hope that this Election will rid Parliament of its deadlock and that the Prime Minister will secure a mandate to push through his deal. Meanwhile, Labour will be campaigning for a second referendum and the Liberal Democrats will revoke Article 50 if they come to power. The Brexit deadline of the 31st of October was this week extended until the 31st of January 2020. The President of the Council of Europe Donald Tusk today tweeted that this extension: ‘may be the last one. Please make the best of this time‘.