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.
The parties are on the campaign trail, travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to drum up support.
Following are some colourful snapshots from the election trail:
The campaign routine of long journeys, early starts and late finishes isn’t entirely compatible with a healthy lifestyle.
So far, Boris Johnson has been pictured eating a cream and jam covered scone in Redruth, a stick of rock candy in Blackpool and a sausage roll in Milton Keynes train station.
He’s visited a potato chip factory in Northern Ireland, a bakers in Somerset, at least two butchers and a brownies stall at a Christmas market in Salisbury.
All this has been washed down with tasters of Black Country beer, Cornish cider and Scottish whisky - and countless cups of tea.
Johnson has also revealed a weakness for flapjack, the rolled oats mixed with butter, sugar and syrup. Asked on TV on Thursday if he was a ‘flapjack man’ Johnson replied: “I’m not meant to be ... I’m trying to wean myself off them.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn provoked a very British row during a television interview after suggesting he often had Queen Elizabeth’s annual address to the nation on in his home at Christmas.
“It’s on the morning usually, we have it on some of the time,” Corbyn, a republican, told ITV. His interviewer pointed out that the speech isn’t broadcast until 1500 GMT.
“Well” said Corbyn. “Our Christmas ... (there) is a lot to do, I enjoy the presence of my friends and family around on Christmas obviously like everybody else does, and I also visit a homeless shelter.”
Labour education spokeswoman Angela Rayner valiantly defended her leader: “He might watch it on catch up, some of us do, some of us have dinner at different times.”
Britons love talking about the weather.
So, as the country gets ready to vote in its first December election for nearly 100 years, attention is turning to the forecast - and it doesn’t look good.
The Met Office is predicting lower-than-normal temperatures, rain and, in some parts of the country, a risk of snow. “Any drier interludes are likely to be short-lived in any one place,” the forecaster said on its website.
However, the body representing the local councils who run the polling stations says organisers have taken precautions against a cold snap: “With fleets of gritting trucks, state-of-the-art technology, more than a million tonnes of salt stockpiled and plans in place to try and ensure key routes to polling stations are accessible, councils have prepared for any freezing or snowy weather on polling day.”
Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Janet Lawrence