The Prime Minister (pictured today) has tried three times to call a general election but lost all three votes
Political leaders are said to be facing a Christmas logistical headache if an election encroaches on the festive season because of a potential shortage of polling stations.
Sir Mark Sedwill, the head of the Civil Service, is reported to have warned No 10 that going to the polls after December 12 could lead to difficulties arranging facilities.
Many village halls and other locations used for national votes are expected to already be booked up for festive events like pantomimes and parties in the weeks leading up to Christmas, according to ITV.
With five weeks needed for an election campaign it means an election would need to be called within the next three weeks to meet this deadline.
The Prime Minister has tried three times to call a general election but lost all three votes.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn continuous to insist that he wants a vote but only after a No Deal Brexit has been neutralised.
Yesterday Mr Corbyn suggested he will agree to a general election within ‘weeks’ as he lashed out at the ‘farce’ of the Queen’s Speech
Sir Mark Sedwill, the head of the Civil Service, is reported to have warned No 10 that going to the polls after December 12 could lead to difficulties arranging facilities
A special European Council summit is due to take place from Thursday and a deadline of Saturday has been set under the Benn Act for the PM to agree a Brexit deal with Brussels.
This means in theory an election could be triggered next week under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
But if Jeremy Corbyn instead tries and succeeds in winning a vote of no confidence in the PM instead, it leaves two weeks for him to try to form an administration. This would push him very close to the deadline.
Yesterday Mr Corbyn suggested he will agree to a general election within ‘weeks’ as he lashed out at the ‘farce’ of the Queen’s Speech.
But heckled by Tories that he was preventing the government from going to the country, Mr Corbyn said he had committed to supporting a ballot as soon as a No Deal Brexit is ruled out.
‘There has never been such a farce as a government with a majority of minus 45 and a 100 per cent record of defeat in the House of Commons setting out a legislative agenda they know cannot be delivered in this Parliament,’ he said.
Responding to cries that he should allow an election, Mr Corbyn said: ‘I said to the PM last month, get the (Brexit) extension, take us away from the dangers of No Deal and then we are in a position to do that…
‘We may be just weeks away from the first Queen’s Speech of a Labour government.’
Mr Corbyn’s comments came as he continued to face growing pressure from Remain-backing MPs to support holding a second Brexit referendum before a general election.
Numerous members of Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet have now publicly suggested they favour a referendum to break the Brexit impasse.
But he has so far stuck to his position that he prefers a head-to-head contest against Mr Johnson – which he believes he will win – before a Labour government would then hold a second referendum.
Amid great pomp and ceremony earlier, the monarch delivered the government’s new legislative package making clear that its ‘priority has always been to secure the UK’s departure from the EU on October 31’.
Opening Parliament, the Queen said the government was determined to seize the ‘opportunities’ of cutting ties with the bloc.
The commitment comes despite fears that Brexit talks are deadlocked in Brussels again, although the Irish deputy PM insisted this morning that a deal is still ‘possible’. Remainer MPs have already passed a law ordering the PM to seek a delay if no agreement with Brussels is reached this week.
The Queen’s Speech proposals included tougher sentences for foreign criminals and child abusers, as well as a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are ‘preparing to fight the next general election on the assumption Brexit has not happened’ leaked campaign leaflets suggest
Leaflets which were apparently sent to activists last week warn voters against backing the Brexit Party because doing so would cause ‘more delay, more confusion, more indecision’.
The leaflets also claim that Nigel Farage‘s party ‘can’t win a majority at the next election’ and ‘the only thing they would deliver is a hung Parliament and more delay and confusion’.
‘Nigel Farage can’t deliver Brexit, but he could yet block it,’ the leaflets seen by the BBC reportedly claim.
The language used in the documents suggests that the Tories are anticipating having to fight a snap poll on the back of Mr Johnson having failed to deliver on his ‘do or die’ Brexit pledge.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he will take Britain out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal.
Boris Johnson, pictured inside 10 Downing Street today, has repeatedly said that he will deliver Brexit by October 31 ‘do or die’ and with or without a deal
Election leaflets leaked to the BBC suggest the Tories are preparing to fight the next poll based on Brexit having not happened yet. The Conservatives would try to win over supporters of Nigel Farage, pictured in Camborne yesterday
Brussels and the UK remain locked in talks as the Halloween divorce deadline approaches and while there are plenty of positive noises that a deal is possible there is also plenty of pessimism that things could still fall apart.
If the PM has not agreed a deal with the EU by October 19 he is legally required under the Benn Act to ask the bloc to push back the UK’s departure date to the end of January next year.
The leaked leaflets appear to suggest that the Conservatives are readying themselves just in case the PM is forced into a Brexit delay.
Opposition leaders including Jeremy Corbyn have said they will support a snap poll if and when a No Deal Brexit has been ruled out.
If an extension is agreed with the bloc in the coming weeks that could then put the nation on course for an election at the end of November or in December.
The leaflets seemingly give a clue as to what could be the Tories’ strategy at such an election.
It appears Mr Johnson would focus on hammering home the idea that a vote for any party other than the Tories would lead to further Brexit delays.
Winning over supporters of the Brexit Party will be key to Mr Johnson’s election strategy regardless of the circumstances in which the poll is held.
His strategy is believed to be based on trying to unite every Leave voter behind a single party.
If Mr Farage’s party continues to perform strongly in the polls Mr Johnson could well struggle to win a majority.
The Brexit Party leader has offered Mr Johnson a pact if the PM switches to supporting a No Deal divorce as his preferred option.
Mr Johnson has rebuffed the offer and said his preference remains the UK leaving the EU with an agreement.
Jeremy Corbyn, pictured yesterday at the state opening of Parliament, has said he will support an early general election if and when a No Deal Brexit has been ruled out
Other Tory leaflets leaked to the BBC set out how the party could go after other voters.
One apparently warns people in seats where the Lib Dems could win that every vote for Jo Swinson’s party would make it ‘more likely that no party gets a majority’ leading to ‘more confusion, more delay and more indecision’.
Another, potentially designed for Labour/Tory battlegrounds, claims that Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit strategy ‘is more delay’.
‘They can’t decide whether they support or oppose Brexit – and they’ve had three years to make up their minds,’ the leaflet apparently states.
A Conservative Party spokeswoman dismissed the suggestion that the Tories were preparing to fight an election based on a Brexit delay.
They said: ‘This is nonsense. The Prime Minister has made it clear – repeatedly – that we will leave the EU on the 31st October.
‘These leaflets simply set out the clear risk that a coalition of political parties that have sworn, in opposition, to do everything they can to reverse Brexit would, in government, do precisely that.’
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