It was a drama-filled day in Britain’s House of Commons on Tuesday. But the outcome seems clear: A snap general election is now likely to be held on or around Oct. 15.
The day began with a Conservative member of Parliament crossing the Commons floor to join the Liberal Democrats. That left Prime Minister Boris Johnson weakened in form and substance. The defection means that, absent votes from other parties, Johnson cannot afford to lose even one Conservative or Democratic Unionist Party vote if he is to pass future legislation.
But that was only the day’s hors d’oeuvre. The real excitement came later in the evening.
In a moment of high theater, the House of Commons voted 328-301 to take control of Brexit proceedings. It means another vote on Wednesday that would block Boris Johnson from implementing an unauthorized “no deal” Brexit on Oct. 31. There is a confidently assumed majority to prevent a no-deal Brexit, so Wednesday’s no-deal prevention vote is very likely to pass.
The basic takeaway is that Johnson is now almost certain to be prevented from carrying out his pledge to leave the European Union on Oct. 31.
Thus lacking the confidence of the House of Commons, Johnson will seek parliamentary approval for a snap election if the Wednesday motion passes.