MPs in the House of Commons have voted against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan for a pre-Christmas general election.

The motion won by 299 votes to 70. However Mr Johnson needed a two-thirds majority - 434 MPs - in the House of Commons to secure the election under the Fixed-Term Parliament Act and so the motion was defeated.

Following the result, Mr Johnson said he will give notice of a short bill to secure a ballot on 12 December.

Such legislation would only require a simple majority, and set aside the provisions of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

However, it is amendable, meaning other parties could seek changes, such as lowering the voting age to 16.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party will look at the government's bill and scrutinise it.

He said he looks forward to a clear decision that a no-deal Brexit is off the table.

The SNP's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said that if Mr Johnson brings forward such a bill he must ensure there is no attempt to bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

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During the debate ahead of this evening's vote, Mr Johnson said the House of Commons is "incapable" of delivering Brexit.

With his pledge to take Britain out of the EU by the end of this month in tatters, he had called on MPs to back his plan for a poll on 12 December - which would provide time to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before the campaign starts.

"Across the country there is a widespread view that this Parliament has run its course," Mr Johnson said.

"I simply do not believe that this House is capable of delivering on the priorities of the people, whether that means Brexit or anything else." 

Asked if he would use the election to seek a mandate for his deal or if he would be seeking changes, Mr Johnson said: "We have an excellent deal, a great deal for the whole of the UK, and we will be campaigning on the basis of that deal".