Dramatic events in parliament yesterday left Boris Johnson without a majority - after an MP defection to the Liberal Democrats - and without a realistic hope of pushing through with his no-deal Brexit plans after a rebel-supported vote went against him. Cue an act of desperation. Johnson announced that he would table a motion for a general election on Wednesday.
He needs the backing of more than two thirds of MPs to get that through though and, suspecting the prime minister would call for the election to take place after the Brexit deadline, Labour have already said they will not back the motion until the process of forbidding a no-deal exit is completed. Announcing the party's position, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Sir Keir Starmer said: "Having got control from Boris Johnson last night, we are not going to hand it back to him in what is very obviously a trap."
Assuming the election does at some point go ahead though, what would the result look like? According to a recent poll by Focal Data (note: on behalf of pro-EU Conservatives), Boris would not come away from election day with a strengthened position. In fact, the survey of over ten thousand people projects a loss of six seats for the Conservatives, leaving them with 311 - well short of the 326 needed for an overall majority.