46 Million go to the Polls to Decide on UK’s Future
The people of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland go to the polls today in one of the most divisive General Elections in the history of the United Kingdom.
40,000 polling stations opened their doors from 7am (GMT) this morning.
This is the UK’s third general election since 2015.
Of the last three general elections in 2010, 2015 and 2017 only one has produced a clear-cut winner. That was in 2015 when the Conservative party led by David Cameron won an overall majority.
Both the Conservative leader Boris Johnson, and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, used the last speeches of their election campaigns yesterday evening to urge voters to come out in force to vote.
Addressing crowds in London, Boris Johnson said the election was ‘tight and getting tighter.’ He urged supporters to ‘find every vote possible to save our country from disaster.’
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn told crowds in East London that the UK faced a ‘truly historic choice’ with the election and added, ‘We stand at a fork in the road.’
Throughout the election campaign, opinion polls have put the Conservative party ahead, but the latest poll shows that lead has narrowed.
With 650 seats in the House of Commons, the two main parties are seeking a majority. Only the Conservatives and Labour can feasibly take the 326 seats it takes to achieve this.
Should neither party be successful in doing this, the UK would face the prospect of a hung Parliament.
A hung Parliament is where the Party with the highest number of seats attempts to form a coalition or reach a confidence and supply agreement with one of the smaller parties.
If the UK wakes up to the prospect of a hung Parliament on Friday morning the only guarantee is further uncertainty.
The first obstacle would be days of negotiation as Parties scramble to reach an agreement.
The anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party are both targeting seats to prevent either of the main parties from winning that all-important outright majority.
Boris Johnson is banking on a majority to push through his version of Brexit; Labour is seeking to put the Brexit issue back to the people in another referendum.
Three years after the Brexit-referendum there is still no guarantee that the UK will have any certainty on its future direction following this election.
Polls close at 10pm GMT with counting beginning shortly afterwards.
The first results will likely be announced around 11pm, with results continuing to be announced over the course of the night. A clear picture of overall results is likely to emerge early on Friday morning.
(Image: Rain Rabbit via creativecommons.org)