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Boris Johnson is about to be gifted a Christmas election by the Lib Dems

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday evening hold a vote in the UK parliament on whether Britain should call a general election before Christmas.

Johnson is expected to lose the vote, which requires a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons, unless the opposition Labour party have a last minute change of heart this afternoon.

However, even if he does lose tonight, he will quickly be handed a lifeline by the opposition Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative Party's former coalition partners are offering to bring forward a piece of legislation which would allow an election on December 9, a few days earlier than the prime minister had intended.

This legislation would give Johnson the power to dis-apply the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which normally sets elections every five year.

However, it would be dependent on Johnson accepting the three month delay offered by the EU on Monday.

Crucially, the bill would only require a simple majority to pass, meaning that Johnson could secure an election this year thanks to some help from the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, who also back the plan.

Government sources indicated to Business Insider on Monday that Johnson will likely bring forward his own slight variation on the Lib Dem bill as the only remaining opportunity to secure an election before next year.

That means that the UK is now likely heading for a general election before Christmas. The big question is whether Labour will be dragged into one against their will, or not.