The UK General Election to be held on 12 December 2019 is the first Christmas election in the Britain since 1923. The election was called on short notice in late October of this year with the passage of the Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019, which was required to circumvent the Fixed Terms Parliament Act 2011 that would have prevented a new election process until May 2022.
There will be a vastly different parliamentary make-up after this election, with long serving and prominent MPs such as Ken Clarke, the father of the House of Commons, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames, former Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable, the former speaker of the house John Bercow, and the Prime Minister’s brother, Jo Johnson all stepping down and not seeking re-election.
Many political commentators have formed a consensus that a shift has taken place in the make-up of voting constituencies across the UK. While for a large part of the 20th and 21st centuries, these constituencies were divided up along traditional Labour and Tory lines based on the respective economic and social policies of the two largest parties, recent polling is showing that there is now a distinct split into Brexit based Leave and Remain camps. The majority of polls have also suggested that the conservative party holds a commanding lead over its nearest rival Labour. The latest YouGov MRP Poll (which most accurately predicted the 2017 election) predicts a comfortable majority of 68 seats for the Conservatives.
Campaigning for both party leaders has been difficult in this election cycle, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn receiving harsh criticism for his interview performances and for continued accusations of anti-Semitism within Labour party, while Prime Minster Johnson has been criticised for avoiding tough interview and debate situations entirely and for alleged Islamophobia in the Conservative party.
The outcome of this election will have significant policy implications for Brexit in the short term. If Prime Minister Johnson succeeds in obtaining a large Conservative majority as the polls predict, the Government will no longer have to rely on the votes of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to operate. This could make Johnson’s Brexit deal currently on the table, where Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of EU rules and preventing a hard border In Ireland, more likely to pass. On the other hand, Labour have committed to holding a second EU referendum should they win, which would present the UK public with the options of a "credible Leave option" and Remain. The third party, the Liberal Democrats, are strongly committed to remaining in the EU and holding another referendum while the Scottish National Party also wish to re-run the referendum and ultimately hold another Scottish independence vote.