British political parties opened their campaigns on Wednesday for the country’s third election in less than five years, a contest that looks certain to be dominated by Brexit.
“Let’s take our country forward and deliver on the people’s priorities,” Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Wednesday, after parliament backed his call for an election on December 12 in voting late Tuesday.
Mr Johnson had insisted that Britain must leave the European Union (EU) on October 31, with or without an exit deal, but lawmakers forced him to seek a delay, which Brussels agreed until January 31.
He has told voters he wants to “get Brexit done” and move on to “delivering on the people’s priorities” in health services, policing, the cost of living and the environment.
Britain held elections in May 2015 and June 2017 and voted by a majority of 52 per cent to leave the EU in the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
The 2017 election proved disastrous for the Conservatives, then led by former prime minister Theresa May, as they lost their majority in parliament.
Mrs May’s decision to call a snap election, in the hope of increasing her majority, left her government unable to secure backing for its Brexit deal in parliament’s bitterly divided elected house, the Commons.
Most recent opinion polls suggest the Conservatives are likely to win at least 35 per cent of votes in next month’s election, putting them on course for another majority in parliament under Britain’s constituency-based, first-past-the-post electoral system.