Editor's note

The UK is almost certain to hold an election in the next few weeks after prime minister Boris Johnson lost a key vote last night.

Thanks to the actions of Johnson’s opponents, both on the opposition and government benches, the House of Commons will today vote on whether to force him to seek a Brexit extension from Brussels. If they win that vote, the PM tables a motion to call an election.

Of course, many think this is what Johnson has wanted all along, despite his protestations that he “doesn’t want an election”. It looks as though Labour will seek to secure the passage of legislation blocking a “no-deal Brexit” before agreeing to an election. But it can hardly be long before the inevitable happens.

When it does, what kind of Conservative Party would voters be supporting if they backed Johnson? The threatened purge from his party of dissidents was last night said to be underway. That will have fundamental implications for the future of the Tories. This used to be a broad church, and now some of its leading figures are being forced out as the leadership pursues a very particular Brexit.

Laura Hood

Politics Editor, Assistant Editor

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