Millions of Britons to vote in general election today

Claudine Rigal
Juin 8, 2017

May has repeatedly said only she can deliver the right Brexit deal for Britain and that her opponents would lead its $2.5 trillion economy to ruin in the negotiations with the EU.

But for May the time seemed right.

The Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, have held onto power since 2010 when the coalition government was formed with Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned after the United Kingdom voted to leave to E.U. After his resignation, the party elected former Home Secretary Theresa May- then described as a cold but pragmatic leader.

But if she fails to beat handsomely the 12-seat majority her predecessor David Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority will be undermined both inside her Conservative Party and at talks with the 27 other European Union leaders. Over the same period the Conservatives saw their AB voter share slightly fall away from 48 percent to 46 percent.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn crisscrossed the country on the final day of campaigning, trying to woo voters with rival plans for Brexit, building a fairer society and combating a terrorist threat made all too immediate by attacks in Manchester and London. Supporters see him as a refreshingly authentic alternative to the pro-business, budget-cutting Conservatives.

The centrist Liberal Democrat party has positioned itself as the party that will reject Brexit and hold a second referendum, but that platform has only earned them a modest increase in the opinion polls. The staunchly pro-EU Liberal Democrats hope to scoop up voters opposed to leaving the bloc.

Brexit, which had been expected to dominate the campaign, has played a surprisingly small role.

"The political rulebook says the power of the press will give the Conservatives the upper hand on this issue, but I think it is possible that Corbyn has come out slightly ahead on this one".

May's critics inside the party blame her over-reliance on the advice of a handful of key aides and their failure to consult more widely before deciding on policies and strategies.

May called a snap election in April, aiming to increase that majority substantially.

But it soon became clear that Corbyn's anti-austerity message was resonating with many voters, especially the young.

The election of pro-European French President Emmanuel Macron has given new impetus to these efforts, seen as even more important as the European Union copes with a hard partner over the Atlantic in the form of Donald Trump. It was also accused of being in "chaos" after the PM said she had aimed at reaching the debatable target before 2022 and was undermined by her Brexit secretary later.

May then made the disastrous move of backing down on the policy, seriously undermining her "strong and stable" mantra.

Two of the three London Bridge attackers, who were all shot dead at the scene by police, had been known to authorities beforehand.

Corbyn has criticised May for a drop in police numbers during her time as interior minister.

The more Corbyn appeared on television, the more people liked him: sobre, reasonable, focussed on cutting poverty, refusing to indulge in personal attacks, and with a sense of humour.

The attacks by Islamist militants in Manchester and London threw the spotlight onto security.

He cited how the Conservative Party in government had handled the financial crisis and pledged that if Labour are elected, that only the top five per cent of earners would be taxed more to pay for required services. More recent surveys still point to victory for May - but not necessarily the landslide she seeks.

So despite the fact the headline writers have done their best to make this thing sound gripping, no one votes for economic chaos, so the conservatives will win, and I wouldn't even rule out a big win despite the polls. The difference depends largely on the size of turnout among young people, traditionally the least likely to vote.

Polls are open from 7 a.m.to 10 p.m. (0600GMT to 2100GMT), with most results expected in the early hours of the morning.

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