British voters head to the polls on December 12th after parliament agreed to an early election last week, seeking to end three years of deep disagreement over Brexit.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially launched his election campaign on Wednesday November 6th with a promise to “get Brexit done” in contrast to his main rival Jeremy Corbyn, whom he compared to Soviet leader Josef Stalin, according to Reuters.
After dissolving parliament and paying a formal visit to Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday, Johnson will return to Downing Street to formally announce the December 12th election, urging voters to back him and promising to "get Brexit done in the next few weeks.”
“I don’t want an election. No prime minister wants an early election, especially not in December, but as things stand, we simply have no choice – because it is only by getting Brexit done in the next few weeks that we can focus on all the priorities of the British people,” Johnson wrote in an article for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The 55-year-old PM aims to win a big enough majority in parliament to ratify the Brexit deal he agreed with Brussels last month and lead Britain out of the European Union at the end of December or in January.
Johnson began his election campaign, turning his guns on Jeremy Corbyn, comparing him to Stalin and accusing him of “hating” wealth creators - saying the veteran left-winger would “destroy the very basis of this country's prosperity.”
On Tuesday November 5th, Corbyn said that he wanted to negotiate a new Brexit deal and then let the public decide between leaving on his terms, or not leaving at all, accusing Johnson of negotiating a bad deal that would hurt the economy and erode workers' rights.
With parliament now officially dissolved, polls show Johnson's Conservatives are well ahead of Labour.
It is more than three years since Britain voted 52% to 48% in favour of leaving the European bloc. Britain had been due to leave in March but has had to extend that deadline three times after parliament rejected a deal negotiated by Johnson's predecessor Theresa May, and then forced Johnson himself to ask for more time.