December 10, 2019 / 5:39 PM / a month ago

On the campaign trail: It's an election, actually

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain holds an election on Dec. 12, a political gamble by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who sees it as his best chance to break the deadlock in parliament over Brexit.

Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative leader Boris Johnson exits the cab of a Union flag-themed JCB, after driving through a fake wall emblazoned with the word "GRIDLOCK", during a general election campaign event at JCB construction company in Uttoxeter, Britain, December 10, 2019. Ben Stansall/AFP/Pool via REUTERS

The parties are on the campaign trail, traveling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to drum up support.

Following are some colorful snapshots from the election trail:

AN ELECTION, ACTUALLY

The 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy “Love Actually” has become an unlikely election battleground.

Johnson has released a campaign video parodying one of the film’s scenes. It shows Johnson knock on a voter’s door and silently deliver a message via notes written on large white cards.

In the movie, the suitor’s message is designed to woo his romantic interest with talk of eternal love while her husband sits inside the house, believing carol singers are at the door.

Johnson’s message is rather more prosaic: “With any luck by next year, we’ll have Brexit done ... your vote has never been more important.”

Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan, on Nov. 22, used the same format to show her persuade a Conservative voter to switch to her party.

Despite an indignant response from Allin-Khan seeking to boost her own video, Johnson has racked up 2.1 million views compared to her 1.5 million.

MEAN TWEETS

Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015 on a promise to deliver “A kinder, gentler politics.” The polarization on social media of the Brexit debate, and more recently the election campaign, shows he has struggled to deliver that promise.

Corbyn sought to tackle the issue head on with a light-hearted campaign video in which he sat beside an open fire reading out unflattering tweets about himself, criticizing his policies and his dress sense.

“This is bad,” Corbyn said, reading from a tablet as aides laughed off-screen. “‘Anyone else starting to find Jeremy Corbyn sexy?’”

But, there is an election on, so the leader had to end on a positive note.

Responding to a tweet that asked ‘Can someone tell me who Jeremy Corbyn is?’, Corbyn issued a triumphant “Britain’s next prime minister!” and high-fived someone behind the camera.

BREAKING THE DEADLOCK

Johnson has spent the last six weeks promising to break the deadlock over Brexit in parliament.

Slideshow (2 Images)

The prime minister, never one to shy away from a visual stunt, had a practice run during a campaign visit to a plant machinery factory in central England.

Driving a Union-Jack branded digger bearing his “Get Brexit Done” slogan, Johnson ploughed at speed through a wall of polystyrene bricks emblazoned with the word “GRIDLOCK”.

The suspense for reporters gathered in an empty factory warehouse had been somewhat dampened by a press release sent out the night before giving a hint at what might be in store: “Instead of concentrating on your priorities, Westminster has been mired in division and deadlock ... It’s time to send in the bulldozers and smash through the gridlock.”

Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan, Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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