October 29, 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have been granted his Christmas wish as a December general election looks all but certain now MPs have backed a snap poll.
The Worst Christmas Present: Voters In Preston React To The December General Election
But away from the frenzy of Westminster, do people welcome the chance to vote? Do they share some pollsters’ warnings that dark nights and frantic festivities will deter people from visiting the polling stations?
HuffPost UK spoke to people in Preston, Lancashire, about whether the Christmas election will fill them with festive cheer – or at least get them out to vote. And the truth is, we didn’t find a lot of optimism.Karishma Patel, a 29-year-old marketing manager, said that while she is “kind of glad” a general election is coming, the timing could not be worse. “It’s the worst Christmas present people could have wished for.” 
She added: “It’s hard enough to get people to go out and vote anyway, but it will be horrendous when people are busy with Christmas shopping and planning. With so many other things going on, they’re not going to want to go out and vote even though it’s their chance to have their say.”
She said that even though Christmas isn’t her main celebration, “it’s wrong to have a general election at such a busy time of year when people want to concentrate on happy things. No one is going to want to leave the house in the middle of December.”
Although any notion that it’s “grim up north” is rightly dismissed by people living there, concerns about bad December weather, particularly in this bit of the country, came up time and again.Mandy Casson, 56, told us: “Not everyone will vote because of the weather as it’s a bit grim in the run-up to Christmas, and people have so many other things going on.”
She doesn’t believe the government have got their priorities right. “We need to get Brexit over and done with – and that should be done without having to have an election. They just need to pull their fingers out,” she said.
“I don’t think Labour will get in, but if they did, it would just drag Brexit on further and be another waste of time and money.
“Having an election just before Christmas will be a real cloud over everyone’s head when it should be a jolly time of year.”Aerospace engineering student Newton Pam-Dusu, 19, was another who thought the cold December weather will make people “reluctant to leave their homes and stand in line to vote”.
“Christmas is a time when people like to switch off and spend time with their families,” he said. “They don’t want to think about politics.”
Helen Chauhan, 35, a doctor, agreed with many people we spoke to when she said: “The more pressing issue is to get Brexit sorted and I don’t think we need a general election for that. 
“Christmas is a busy time for everyone, particularly those with families. People are worried enough about Brexit, they don’t want to have to worry about a general election as well.”
Nevertheless, Helen said she would still be voting.Huda Mohamed, a 21-year-old student, has mixed feelings. “On the one hand,” she said, “I feel it is a good thing as something needs to happen to put an end to this Brexit mess that has been dragging on.
“But on the other hand, I feel we have been here before where a lot of people have felt strongly about something, but when it comes to the vote, the result turns out completely different – like with the Brexit referendum. So I am not sure an election will actually solve anything.”
She agreed that the pre-Christmas timing could make things awkward, saying: “A lot of people will be very busy so some might be too busy to go out and vote.”Steve Baines, 66, who is semi-retired and working as a gardener, thinks a general election will be a futile exercise as it will just mean “different faces doing the same thing and everyone will still be squabbling”. 
He told us: “This whole Brexit saga has shown more than anything that politicians just do not have any credibility.
“The whole thing has been about their own career opportunities and squabbling for power. It has shown what a nonsense our democracy is.
“What’s the point of a general election when all that’s going to happen is having people in power who will follow their own agenda?”
Jeanette Wilkinson, 67, said she feels an election will make “no difference whatsoever”.
“We need another referendum rather than an election as I think a lot of people have changed their minds now they know what is involved. We weren’t told the truth.”
She is also anxious that bad weather will hinder voting, particularly among the older generation. “People my age and above are not going to want to go out and vote in the winter.
“Even younger people who are at work won’t want to go out again if the weather is awful. They’ll just want to get home. 
“I think there will definitely be fewer people turning out to vote – and maybe that’s what Boris Johnson wants. I don’t think he is being fair.
“With Christmas just around the corner, people have other things to worry about and won’t have time to go and vote.”One person who disagreed that the election timing is inconvenient is Abdul Mohamed, a 20-year-old sports therapy student. Although he doesn’t celebrate Christmas himself, he said he believes it is a time for togetherness and will give people the chance to have a healthy debate and share their views.
“Christmas is a time to bring a lot of people together and the election and Brexit is going to be the topic during the festivities – and I think that’s a good thing. It will encourage debate and people can air their thoughts and opinions.”
He added: “I am glad there is going to be a general election as it might finally put an end to the Brexit argument.”Related... UK Set For December Election As Jeremy Corbyn Backs Snap Poll Everything You Need To Know About Registering To Vote In A General Election Second Referendum And General Election Could Be Held Same Day, Says Blair
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