WHY aren’t Labour, the SNP and the LibDems grabbing the opportunity to get rid of Boris Johnson at a snap election next month?

It’s been what they’ve been calling for isn’t it? Well, yes and no.

If you believe Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Labour and the SNP are “frit”, “chicken” or, as the SNP’s Pete Wishart was accused of being, a “tim’rous beastie”.

The Government’s message is Labour in particular do not want an election on 15 October because they are afraid the Tories would win.

With Jeremy Corbyn’s party eight points behind the Conservatives in the most recent opinion polls, Johnson’s point may appear to have a ring of truth.

The National: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

His point was seized on by Tory-supporting London-based newspapers with references to chicken and Corbyn dominating their front pages on Thursday following Labour, the SNP and the LibDems’ decision to abstain on the election motion the previous night.

But throughout the week, the opposition parties have been making their cases against a snap election - though at some points their messages weren’t all that clear.

READ MORE: SNP join alliance to block Boris Johnson's snap election plot

By yesterday, their arguments had been firmed up. Yes, they say, they would relish the prospect of kicking Johnson out of Number 10 with Nicola Sturgeon alluding to opinion polls pointing to huge SNP gains at any imminent poll.

However, they believe they are acting in the public interest to avoid a No-Deal Brexit at Halloween.

They say they don’t want the UK to go to the polls on October 15 because such a date could play into Johnson’s hands.

This is because under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, although parliament has to agree to an election, the Prime Minister has the power to set the date.

Labour, the SNP and the LibDems say they don’t trust the PM to hold the election on October 15 as he could switch the date to early November, forcing the UK to crash out of the EU on October 31 – the current Brexit deadline. In the lead up, MPs would be powerless to stop No Deal because Parliament would have been dissolved for the election campaign.

The National: Boris Johnson

The backdrop to the opposition’s arguments is that Johnson has created a massive predicament for himself.

He has repeatedly promised that the UK will leave the EU “do or die” on 31 October.

But the EU are refusing a new deal and, in his game of chicken, they are unlikely to blink first.

Meanwhile, Parliament has demanded Johnson seeks a Brexit extension. He has said he won’t ask for one. He has few clear routes out of the impasse and, as he sees it, an election would solve his problems.

He believes he could win by forming a pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, crash the UK out of the EU and avoid seeking that extension he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for.