Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s job and Brexit itself are on the table….
Each of the U.K.’s main political parties are banking on a national ballot to unblock the Brexit paralysis in their favor — but by throwing the electoral dice in the air, they are all taking a gamble that the opposite Brexit outcome could come to pass.
For opposition parties the opinion polls suggest Boris Johnson is on course to secure his long-craved parliamentary majority, and with it the wherewithal to get his Brexit deal through the U.K. parliament before the new Brexit deadline of January 31.
But if his campaign blunders, Johnson could fall short of a majority and leave the door open to his opponents, who are set to fight on a promise to soften Brexit and hold a fresh referendum, or even halt the U.K.’s departure from the European Union altogether.
“It’s time for the country to come together and go forward. It will be a tough election but we will do the best we can” — Boris Johnson, UK prime minister
One thing is now clear: It is all but certain that Brexit will not happen this year. Johnson has pledged not to bring his Withdrawal Agreement Bill back to the house if MPs back an election. And there would not be enough time after a December 12 poll to push through the legislation before Christmas.
The febrile political atmosphere is such though that the outcome of the election is highly uncertain. Chris Hanretty, professor of politics at Royal Holloway University of London, points out that support in the polls today does not necessarily translate to votes in December. “Voters are now more likely to switch parties than at any previous point in post-war British history,” he said…..