British election, but no Irish poll

Boris Johnson is going to the polls while Leo Varadkar will be a most interested spectator. photo.


By Irish Echo Staff

The voters of the United Kingdom will go to the polls on December 12 in an unusual mid-winter general election.

Voters in the Republic of Ireland will be able to concentrate on their Christmas shopping.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has put an end to speculation of a snap Irish poll.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been champing at the bit for an election and has now secured one for the twelfth day of the twelfth month.

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The outcome will determine the course of the Brexit saga, which has now been extended until January 31, 2020.

The election, which sees Johnson lead a Conservative Party that is in a weaker state than that led by his predecessor Theresa May, will turn heavily on voter sentiment towards Brexit three-and-a- half years after a narrow majority in the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Brexit will loom large in Northern Ireland where pro-Remain parties, including Sinn Féin and the SDLP, will be putting pressure on the pro-Leave Democratic Unionist Party, which now has to look to another flank as the Ulster Unionist Party under new leader Steve Aiken is planning to run candidates in all the North’s eighteen Westminster constituencies.

Scotland, too, will be a battleground with Johnson having to fight hard to preserve his party’s presence on ground where voters back in 2016 voted in favor of remaining in the EU.

All in all, this promises to be one of the most hotly contested and globally observed British general elections in living memory.

Observing more closely than anyone else will be those Christmas shoppers south of the border in Ireland.