Why Labour Are Refusing To Back Boris Johnson's General Election Plan

28 October 2019, 08:35 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:53

Boris Johnson is pushing for an election
Boris Johnson is pushing for an election. Picture: PA

MPs will vote on whether to have a General Election tonight - here's everything you need to know about the key Commons vote.

There'll be a vote under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act tonight for a general election tonight, but that requires a two-thirds majority in the Commons to vote for it - 434 MPs.

That vote will happen at around 5pm today. Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not back the plan and without Labour's support, it will fail.

So the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and the SNP's Ian Blackford have come up with a compromise.

A new piece of legislation, which would require a single-vote majority of just 318, offering an election on 9th December, providing European Council President Donald Tusk sets an extension until January 31st with no break clause allowing an earlier Brexit.

There is a fear the Lib Dems - with the support of Labour and the SNP - could change the legislation to give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote, something Ms Swinson did not explicitly deny yesterday.

However, with the Conservatives desperate for an election, Number 10 has admitted they would consider all options if their vote fails this afternoon.

LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood explains why they want an election and Labour don't.

He said: "A poll out yesterday put Labour 17 points down on the Conservatives.

"Labour's position has switched. They've tried to do it subtly, but it's not that subtle. Previously in September, they said they would vote for an election once an extension to Article 50 had been agreed. Jeremy Corbyn said it at the Dispatch Box.

"Now, Mr Corbyn is saying Labour will only vote for an election once no-deal had been taken off the table.

"An extension, in Labour's view, does not do that, whether it's to 31st January or even longer.

Theo Usherwood explained by Jeremy Corbyn does not want an election
Theo Usherwood explained by Jeremy Corbyn does not want an election. Picture: PA

"With the polls looking so bad for them, they want to play this out. The calculation is that the longer this stretches out, the harder it is for Boris Johnson to square that with the electorate his broken promise of a 'do-or-die' Brexit.

"But if end up in the middle of next year, it makes Boris Johnson look like a failure and Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party will be ramming that message home.