British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask the House of Commons on Sept. 9 to authorize an early general election. Two-thirds of the members of the Commons must agree with Johnson to hold a snap election, which means that his Conservative Party needs to persuade members of the main opposition party, Labour, to back the proposal.
Labour is internally divided on whether, and when, to hold the vote. Some Labour members believe that an election should take place before a European Council summit on Oct. 17 so that a new government can be appointed and negotiate a deal with the European Union. But others fear that an election before the summit could result in a hard-line government that refuses to ask the European Union for a Brexit delay if there is not a deal, precipitating a hard Brexit. The latter group believes that by delaying an early election it can pressure Johnson to ask the European Union for a Brexit extension, under the threat of holding a no-confidence motion and appointing a new prime minister if he doesn't.
This flowchart describes three possibilities.