Latest election attempt fails – but PM tables fresh bill

Sienna Rodgers
© UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

Boris Johnson’s latest attempt to trigger an early general election has failed, as the motion was 135 votes short of the threshold required to pass – but the Prime Minister has confirmed that he will table a new bill for a December 12th election.

Arguing that the public will find Labour’s refusal to vote for a snap poll “bewildering”, Johnson told MPs in the chamber that he would try to legislate for an early election through a bill that will be debated and voted on tomorrow.

The bill will only need a simple majority to pass, rather than a two-thirds majority as the motion today would have required for approval under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

The Lib Dems and the SNP, which jointly put forward the plan for a one-line bill over the weekend, could back the government bill on Tuesday. This support would ensure it gained a majority, and a December election would then take place.

The Labour leader later said that his party would look at the government bill and scrutinise it. He reiterated that there had to be a “clear, definitive decision” ensuring no deal is “off the table” before any election proposal secures Labour’s backing.

Labour votes

Voted for the motion: Kate Hoey.

Voted against the motion: Tonia Antoniazzi, Adrian Bailey, Margaret Beckett, Ben Bradshaw, Ann Clwyd, Neil Coyle, Stella Creasy, Janet Daby, Nic Dakin, Thangam Debbonaire, David Drew, Jack Dromey, Bill Esterson, Paul Farrelly, Preet Gill, Rupa Huq, Graham Jones, Ged Killen, Peter Kyle, Lesley Laird, David Lammy, Ian Lucas, Holly Lynch, Seema Malhotra, Rachel Maskell, Anna McMorrin, Ian Murray, Albert Owen, Danielle Rowley, Virendra Sharma, Dennis Skinner, Owen Smith, Jo Stevens, Paul Sweeney, Matt Western, Martin Whitfield and Daniel Zeichner.

All other Labour MPs abstained.

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