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Parties hit campaign trail ahead of December election

MPs backed Boris Johnson's call for a snap poll by 438 votes to 20 on Tuesday night.

Nicola Sturgeon: Campaigning in Stirling on Wednesday. <strong>STV</strong>
Nicola Sturgeon: Campaigning in Stirling on Wednesday. STV

Political parties are gearing up for the general election on December 12, with Nicola Sturgeon hitting the campaign trail in Stirling.

Parliament voted to dissolve itself next week in order to hold the first December election in the UK for 96 years.

MPs backed Boris Johnson’s Bill for a festive snap poll by 438 votes to 20 – a majority of 418 – and the legislation will now be considered by the House of Lords.

Once it receives royal assent, it will pave the way for parliament to be dissolved on November 6.

The First Minister was campaigning in Stirling on Wednesday morning, in a seat the SNP hopes to seize from the Conservatives.

She said the “number one issue” for Scottish voters is “who should determine our future – Boris Johnson or the people who live here?”

Parties are likely to formally kick off their campaigns from Thursday.

Sturgeon said: “The number one issue for Scotland at the election is this: who should determine our future – Boris Johnson or the people who live here?

“The Tories want to impose Brexit on Scotland against our will, which will hit jobs and living standards.

“Scotland is a crucial battleground in this election. Voting SNP will help to lock the Tories out of government.

“A general election is Scotland’s chance to come together to reaffirm our opposition to Brexit and our right to decide.

“Labour can’t win in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats can’t be trusted – they’ve put a right-wing Tory government into power before.”

She added: “A win for the SNP will be an unequivocal and irresistible demand for Scotland’s right to choose our own future.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is prepared for a “tough” battle and cautioned his party against complacency.

Addressing Conservative MPs on Tuesday night, he said: “It’s time for the country to come together, get Brexit done and go forward.

“It’ll be a tough election and we are going to do the best we can.”

Johnson – who marks 100 days in office on Thursday – is aiming to restore the Tories’ Commons majority lost by Theresa May in 2017 so he can get his Brexit deal through Parliament.

However, there are risks in going to the country having failed to keep his promise to deliver Brexit by October 31 “do or die”, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party denouncing his deal with Brussels.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he believes Labour can win a majority.

He told the BBC: “We’re going to have a real go at this and I think we’ll win.

“I think we’ll have a majority government by Christmas, so I can’t think of a better Christmas present basically.”

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, whose seat is East Dunbartonshire, said neither Johnson nor Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were fit to lead the country.

Swinson said: “Our country deserves a better choice, and I am standing as candidate to be Prime Minister.”

She added: “The Liberal Democrats have a different positive alternative vision for the future.”

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