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UK PM prepares to call for snap election following surge in poll ratings

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-28 09:14

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Middleton Primary School in Milton Keynes, Britain, Oct 25, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was given a boost in the poll ratings Sunday on the eve of his bid to seek a snap general election on Dec 12.

The Sunday Times reported that its latest tracking, based on results by five of the top polling organizations, suggests the Conservatives will emerge as the biggest party in a general election.

The latest YouGov poll for The Times shows a continuing trend of the Conservatives building support, now up to 37 percent, the highest since the week before Britain failed to leave the EU on March 29.

According to press reports, Johnson will ask the House of Commons Monday afternoon to agree to a nationwide election, knowing that his plan will only succeed if it is backed by enough opposition politicians.

Under Britain's fixed-term parliament act, which stipulates a five-year term, a two-thirds majority of MPs would have to support to call for an early election.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, has said he won't back an election until Johnson guarantees a no-deal Brexit will be taken off the negotiating table.

The minority Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP) have joined forces to say they would support a Dec 9 election. They claim the government's suggested election date of Dec 12 would allow time for Johnson to ram through the Brexit Bill, which he put on hold last week after MPs rejected his bid to have it fast-tracked through parliament.

Political commentators say the Lib Dem/SNP proposed date would ensure thousands of students in remain-supporting parliamentary constituencies to be able to vote before heading home on vacation.

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