The House of Commons has voted in favour of the Prime Minister’s motion for an early General Election. 298 MPs voted in favour, with 56 against.
However under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act the requirement is for two-thirds of all MPs to support the motion for it to be effective. That would have required backing from at least 434 MPs. Labour and Lib Dem MPs were whipped to abstain.
Responding to the vote, Boris Johnson declared:
“The Opposition has opted to show confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”
Speaking earlier, the Prime Minister said:
“It is completely impossible for Government to function if the House of Commons refuses to pass anything that the Government propose. In my view, and in the view of this Government, there must be an election on Tuesday 15 October—I invite the Leader of the Opposition to respond—to decide which of us which goes as Prime Minister to that crucial Council on Thursday 17 October. I think it is very sad that MPs have voted like this—[Interruption.] I do; I think it is a great dereliction of their democratic duty. But if I am still Prime Minister after Tuesday 15 October, we will leave on 31 October with, I hope, a much better deal.”
Conservative MPs Caroline Spelman and Keith Simpson abstained, along with the 21 suspended rebels.