London: Millions of people across the UK are set to vote in the general election on Thursday where the ruling Conservatives are predicted to secure an overall majority despite an energetic bid for power by the opposition Labour Party, the media reported. Voting will begin at 7 a.m. (local time) in over 40,000 polling stations across the country, the BBC reported. Counting will start once the voting ends at 10 p.m.
A total of 650 Westminster MPs will be elected, with about 46.9 million people registered to vote. Some votes have already been cast, through postal voting. A handful of seats will be declared by Thursday midnight, with the final results expected on Friday afternoon. To form a majority in the House of Commons, one party must win 326 seats.
On Wednesday, the last day of election campaigning, Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “feeling good” and used her final push to pitch for what she termed as “fiercely patriotic” voters across Labour Party strongholds — the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the north-east, reports the Guardian.
During a 48-hour tour of places in marginal constituencies such as Fleetwood, Bradford, Stoke, Southampton and Nottingham, she also made clear that she wanted people to vote in defiance of the terror attacks. May also stressed to voters that there were only 11 days until the Brexit negotiations start, saying the “final” choice was between her or Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn, attended six rallies, starting at Glasgow, Scotland at 8 a.m. and ending in Islington, London with a speech at 9 p.m., where he claimed that Labour’s anti-austerity message was the “new centre ground” of British politics. Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron urged supporters to “send a message” to May on issues such as Brexit and social care by supporting his party.
Campaigning in Edinburgh, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said re-electing Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs would ensure Scotland retained a “strong voice” in Westminster and deny the Conservatives a “crushing majority”, reports the BBC. At their final election rally, the Green Party called on people to “vote with their hearts”.
Visiting Great Yarmouth, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Paul Nuttall said only his party could keep the pressure on the next government to deliver a “real Brexit” — with lower immigration, exclusive fishing rights for British trawlers within UK territorial waters and no “divorce bill”.