Boris Johnson: December general election fight will be 'tough'

30 October 2019, 05:14

The main parties are all taking a different stance on Brexit, which is likely to be a key issue in the election
The main parties are all taking a different stance on Brexit, which is likely to be a key issue in the election. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The UK is set to go to the polls in just 43 days time after Boris Johnson finally got his wish for a snap General Election on December 12th.

On Monday night the Prime Minister secured the votes needed in the Commons to send the nation to the polls in December.

With the backing of Labour Mr Johnson's motion secured an overwhelming majority, with 483 MPs voting in favour of the election, with just 20 voting against.

Brexit is set to be the key issue parties campaign on, with the Conservative Party leading the charge for exiting the EU with Boris Johnson's deal at the centre of their bid to secure a majority in the Commons.

Addressing his MPs at Westminster however, Mr Johnson cautioned against any complacency.

"It's time for the country to come together, get Brexit done and go forward. It'll be a tough election and we are going to do the best we can," he said.

While the Tories are focused on leaving the EU, and insisting they are the only party who can make it happen, Labour are insisting they will run the "most ambitious and radical campaign" for "real change" that the country has ever seen.

Boris Johnson had said he is the only leader who can deliver Brexit
Boris Johnson had said he is the only leader who can deliver Brexit. Picture: PA

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests holding people back.

"The choice at this election could not be clearer. A Labour government will be on your side, while Boris Johnson's Conservatives - who think they're born to rule - will only look after the privileged few."

Within moments of the vote on Monday night Labour campaign group Momentum was promising to "mobilise tens of thousands of people to knock on doors in marginals constituencies and talk to millions of voters across the country," in a bid to get Mr Corbyn elected as the next leader of the UK.

When it comes to the issue of Brexit Labour say they will back a second referendum should they gain power. The official Labour website says the party's position is clear, they will "let the people have the final say on Brexit."

Jeremy Corbyn is insisting a Labour Government would bring the country real change
Jeremy Corbyn is insisting a Labour Government would bring the country real change. Picture: PA

In direct opposition to the Conservative pledge, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was clear, should her party gain a majority and she becomes the next occupant of 10 Downing Street she would move to stop Brexit, by revoking Article 50.

The Lib Dem leader said: "This general election will decide the future of our country for generations. It is our best chance to elect a Government to stop Brexit.

"The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and will be standing on a manifesto to stop Brexit by revoking Article 50.

"This country deserves better than Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, and I am excited to take our positive, pro-European, liberal vision to the country as the Liberal Democrat candidate for prime minister."

The Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has said her party will do all they can to stop Brexit if elected
The Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has said her party will do all they can to stop Brexit if elected. Picture: PA

Looking North to Scotland, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP will campaign to "stop Brexit and demand Scotland's right to choose independence."

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley declared himself "totally up for it" promising the "biggest Green campaign ever" ahead of the election.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage reacted to the news of an imminent election by expressing his wish to get the UK out of the EU.

Mr Farage said: "At last the deadlock in parliament is broken, Brexit now has a chance to succeed."

With the Brexit Party willing to form an electoral pact with the Tories should they embrace a no-deal exit strategy, Friday the 13th could be the day Brexit Party MPs enter the Commons.

Party chairman Richard Tice insisted they could deliver the Boris Johnson a “thumping majority” if the two leave supporting parties did a deal.

Nigel Farage's key promise is delivering Brexit
Nigel Farage's key promise is delivering Brexit. Picture: PA

However, there could be a sting in the tail for those who think putting Boris Johnson back into Downing Street would mean an immediate exit from the EU.

On Tuesday a Number 10 source said that if the Conservatives win a general election then Brexit will likely not come until 2020.

"What the Conservatives will be promising if we win is that we will get Brexit done. We will immediately come back, we have a deal, we will be able to go to the European Council and get it ratified and get this done," the source said.

Asked if this meant departing the EU by the end of this year, the source added: "Probably the start of January, but 2020 would be about our domestic priorities."

What happens now?

With a General Election set to happen on December 12th Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Bill for an early general election would mean Parliament would dissolve on November 6.

Mr Rees-Mogg said this would allow for the 25 days required ahead of a general election on December 12.

On Wednesday the two main party leaders will go head to head at Prime Minister's Questions, giving the public a taste of how the campaigns will be run.

You can listen to Prime Minister's Questions on LBC News from 12 on Wednesday.

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