Polls open in UK election after campaign marred by attacks

Polls open in UK election after campaign marred by attacks

Polls open in UK election after campaign marred by attacks

A technical win for the Prime Minister's party but a major personal setback, because at least one Conservative MP will have lost a seat in an election campaign that did not need to happen for three years.

In the months leading up to the May 2015 ballot, polls consistently put the Conservatives and Labour neck-and-neck, suggesting neither party would be able to form a government alone. He said more community policing will increase "detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships".

May smiled but did not speak to media as she and her husband Philip voted in the village of Sonning on the River Thames in her Maidenhead constituency.

Three quarters of people who planned to vote Conservative at the start of the campaign are still backing the party, but 10 per cent have switched to Labour, and 10 per cent say they are no longer sure who they will vote for.

The head of campaign group Amnesty International said the pledge was outrageous and a gift to autocratic leaders around the world.

Given the variability between the individual polls, and the unknown degree to which tactical voting takes place, the range of plausible outcomes goes from large Conservative majority to a Labour-led coalition or minority government (even a Labour majority government can not be excluded although it would be a big ask).

Then came a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester on May 22 that killed 22 children and adults, and a van and knife attack on London Bridge and in nearby Borough Market that killed eight people on June 3, five days before the election.

David Dunn, professor of global politics at the University of Birmingham, believes Brexit would become hard during the forthcoming two-year negotiation period with Brussels, if there is no majority victor on Thursday.

"The only outcome that's got enough clarity to get short-covering is a bigger Conservative majority".

Britons have until 2100 GMT (2:30 am IST) to vote, and there will be an exit poll as soon as voting ends.

The polls were conducted after a deadly attack by Islamist militants in London on Saturday. The party fared badly in the 2015 election, taking the blame for the perceived failings of the coalition of which they were the junior party whilst the senior party, the Conservatives, were returned to power with an absolute majority of 12. Two of the men, aged 27 and 29, were held on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism while the third was detained over suspected drugs offences.

As the campaigning enters its final hours, polls are all over the map (see table below).

"If we get Brexit right, we can build a Britain that is more prosperous and more secure, a Britain in which prosperity and opportunity is shared by all", May said in a last appeal to voters to trust her to "knuckle down and get the job done".

May surprised the country in April by calling for the snap election, seeking to increase her majority before Britain enters into two years of grueling negotiations over its departure from the European Union. May's mantra throughout the campaign was that she was the person to provide "strong and stable" leadership. She became prime minister through a Conservative Party leadership contest when her predecessor, David Cameron, resigned after voters backed leaving the EU.

Corbyn has hit back that Conservative fiscal austerity imposed since 2010 has hurt the poor and widened social inequalities.

Pollsters still expect May's Conservatives to win, although talk of a landslide majority of more than 100 seats has faded.

"We need a government strong enough to negotiate", a senior European Union lawmaker told Reuters.

But others have sought to downplay the impact of the election regardless of the outcome, suggesting that it was little more than a domestic political sideshow.

Dunn told Xinhua: "This election was called over Brexit and yet neither of the main parties are talking about this subject in detail even though it will dominate the next parliament".

Polls opened at 7am this morning and close at 10pm, with the results of each constituency being announced throughout the night.

Corbyn, attended six rallies, starting at Glasgow, Scotland at 8 a.m. and ending in Islington, London with a speech at 9 pm, where he claimed that Labour's anti-austerity message was the new centre ground of British politics.

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