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The 'Brexit election': Main players and their key messages

The 'Brexit election': Main players and their key messages
This week, after three failed attempts to call a snap general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally got his Christmas wish; a December 12 poll to break the Brexit deadlock, or so he hopes.
It will be the first December election in nearly a century, and follows the path taken by Mr Johnson's predecessor Theresa May in 2017.
Back then, Prime Minister May's decision to head to the polls early backfired – just weeks before her government was due to begin negotiations over withdrawing from the European Union. The Conservatives lost their majority in Parliament, the consequences of which hog-tied the House of Commons throughout May's leadership.
Previous UK Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to call an early election backfired in 2017. (AAP)
Boris Johnson will be hoping history does not repeat itself. He wants a clear majority in Parliament so he can finally pass his Brexit deal, which has already been greenlighted by the EU.
And while Mr Johnson is way ahead in early polling, there are splits and alliances brewing which may threaten to topple him.
The two major political parties – Mr Johnson's ruling Conservatives, and the Labour Opposition lead by Jeremy Corbyn – have acknowledged this campaign and poll will be "harder and dirtier" than ever before.
And in a country where voting is not compulsory, a record number of people are signing up to have their say. In the 48 hours immediately after the election was called, more than 300,000 people registered to vote, two thirds of whom were aged 34 and under.
Buckle up for a British election like no other. Here are the main players.

Conservatives

This election is a huge gamble for Boris Johnson, and will make or break his political future and potentially Britain's future relationship with the EU.
He pushed for this election because he is confident of winning, and indeed this week a major UK poll saw Mr Johnson and the Conservatives surge ahead to a huge 17-point lead.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is embarking on a general election campaign ahead of a December vote. (AP)
The Tories are campaigning for a Parliament that "gets Brexit done," while also focusing on domestic issues which have been overshadowed by recent years of political drama – such as the National Health System, education and crime.
Boris Johnson has pitted himself on the side of the voters, up against a time-wasting Parliament.
And he's personally blaming Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn for delaying Brexit beyond the October 31 deadline, telling journalists, "Despite the great new deal I agreed with the EU, Jeremy Corbyn refused to allow that to happen – insisting upon more dither, more delay and more uncertainty for families and business."

 Labour

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is painting the Conservatives as the "born-to-rule elite" who protect "the privileged few," selling himself as a man of the people and promising to serve hardworking British families.
He is renowned as a strong campaigner, and his election slogan is "It's time for real change" – something many Britons are ready for.
But his fence-sitting on Brexit has backfired terribly on his personal approval rating, which is at a record low. He has a huge amount of ground to gain to threaten Mr Johnson.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to hold a second Brexit referendum if he wins the December election. (Getty)
The snap poll has forced Labour to finally decide on a Brexit policy; this week Mr Corbyn pledged to "get Brexit sorted" within six months of winning the election, by holding a second people's referendum.
"We'll let the people decide whether to leave on a sensible deal or remain," he told the Labour Party faithful at a rally on Thursday.

Liberal Democrats

Under the leadership of Jo Swinson, the Lib Dems are campaigning to stop Brexit, and "build a brighter future".
They've pitched themselves as the Remainer party, ready to take the fight to Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn and get on with other issues in the national interest.
The Party's election strategy is to oust Brexiteers from as many seats as possible, uniting the Remain vote to power themselves to victory.

Brexit Party

The Brexit Party wants a "clean break" Brexit, in which the UK would leave all EU institutions and then negotiate a free trade deal from outside the bloc.
Leader and hardline Eurosceptic Nigel Farage is pushing to form a 'Leave Alliance' with Boris Johnson's Conservatives, to keep Mr Corbyn out of Downing Street.
He's given the Prime Minister a two week deadline – effectively an ultimatum – to agree, or face opposition from Brexit Party candidates in every seat across Great Britain.  
Nigel Farage, the minor-party leader who played a major role in Britain's decision to leave the European Union, is trying to throw his weight around again in the UK's Brexit-dominated election. (Sipa USA)
"I'm talking about a non-aggressive pact. We would fight seats the Conservative Party had never won in their entire history and stand aside for them in very large areas of the country," Mr Farage said after his campaign launch on Friday.
"If he doesn't do it, it's a historic mistake."
The Conservatives have repeatedly ruled out such a pact, as it would mean ditching Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal with the EU.
The December election will decide Britain's fate within the European Union. (AP)
The Brexit Party only launched in April this year, and is hoping to secure its first MPs in Parliament in the December 12 election.