Political parties are readying themselves for a general election campaign after MPs voted for a 12 December poll.

General election 2019

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.

Boris Johnson says he is ready to fight a “tough” general election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the snap poll gave a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to transform the country.

But Mr Johnson hopes the vote will give him a fresh mandate for his deal to leave the EU and break the current deadlock in Parliament.

He told Conservative MPs 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.”

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 leaders of the UK’s main two political parties will face off for Prime Minister’s Questions at midday on Wednesday.

What happens next?

  • The Early Parliamentary General Election Bill – which prompts the election – will be debated in the House of Lords on Wednesday
  • If peers make any amendments to the bill, it will head back to the Commons for MPs to approve or reject the changes
  • Once passed, the bill will receive Royal Assent – when the Queen formally agrees to the bill becoming law
  • On Monday 4 November, MPs are due to elect a new Speaker to replace John Bercow
  • Just after midnight on Wednesday 6 November, Parliament will be shut down or “dissolved” – meaning every seat in the House of Commons becomes vacant
  • Five weeks later, the country will go to the polls for the first December election since 1923

What have the other parties said?

The Liberal Democrats and the SNP both see the election as a chance to ask voters whether Brexit should happen at all.

Lib Dem 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.”

They can’t know if it will be their issues they’re able to talk about at length, but that’s the glory of elections – it’s up to voters to set the terms.

They decide the things they care about, they are interested in and they will put politicians on the spot about.

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