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Politics / Parliament agrees general election on 12 December

The UK parliament will dissolve on Guy Fawkes Day, 5 November.Photo: Pixabay
The Lib Dems are already in full election mode: Election pamphlet from Tuesday morning. Photo: Shetland News

THE COUNTRY will go to the polls on 12 December in yet another bid to overcome the Brexit deadlock.

MPs voted in favour of the election by 438 to 20 votes following the third reading of the election bill after defeating a Labour motion to hold the election on 9 December.

The decision was cautiously welcomed by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael, who said he would have preferred a people’s vote on Brexit rather than a general election.

“Unfortunately there is no majority in parliament for that so an election is necessary,” he said.

“I hesitate to predict what the main issue in any election will be but we need more MPs in the next parliament who will support a people’s vote. Otherwise the country will remain divided and we will not move on.

“There are, of course, no guarantees that a people’s vote will fix these divisions but it is the only way to start a process that may eventually lead to a healing.”

Carmichael will stand again to seek re-election as the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland.

Labour Party candidate Coilla Drake.

The only other confirmed candidate for the Northern Isles contest so far is Labour’s Coilla Drake, from Westray.

The former lecturer in further education only joined Labour in 2015 shortly after Jeremy Corbyn had been elected as party leader.

The SNP said on Tuesday that it would take another week or two until a candidate is selected for the party.

Chairman of the Shetland SNP branch Tom Wills said the party had “two or three strong potential candidates”, adding that it is unlikely that he would be standing for the election.

The Scottish Greens said that they would field candidates in several constituencies across Scotland, but it is as yet not clear whether one of those will be the Orkney and Shetland constituency.

The Scottish Conservatives did not respond Shetland News’ request for comment.