Sky News reports that the Conservatives have won the general election and Boris Johnson will enjoy a commanding House of Commons majority, the broadcasters’ exit poll suggests. The poll – conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Sky News, the BBC and ITV News – forecasts the Tories will win 368 seats, with Labour on 191 seats, the SNP on 55 seats and the Liberal Democrats on 13 seats.
To form a majority government in the Commons, a party needs to win more than 325 seats. The exit poll suggests Labour are set for a hugely disappointing night, with the party forecast to secure their lowest number of seats for decades.
At the last election in June 2017, Jeremy Corbyn saw Labour win 262 seats. The exit poll numbers would give Prime Minister Boris Johnson a Commons majority of 86, vindicating his decision to push for a winter election. It also puts the UK on course to leave the EU on 31 January, after Mr Johnson fought the election campaign on his promise to “get Brexit done”.
The Guardian reports that the pound has surged after exit polls showed Boris Johnson’s Conservatives were on track for the biggest majority in more than thirty years, as investors in the City bet the outcome would lift some of the intense political uncertainty hanging over the British economy.
Immediately after publication of the exit poll, which showed the Tories were on track for a majority of 86, sterling jumped by more than two cents against the US dollar to trade at about $1.35 on the international money markets. The pound also rallied strongly against the euro, gaining by a similar amount to €1.21.
The pound had risen earlier this week to the highest level since before Theresa May lost the Conservatives’ majority three years ago, reflecting polls showing that Boris Johnson’s party was on course for a majority.
Earlier: Voting in the general election is well underway with the first exit poll expected at 10pm (local time) and results to follow soon after.
The First Exit Poll is expected to be published soon after.
The Telegraph’s final poll of the campaign estimates the final result is now “too close to call”. The result would give the Prime Minister a narrow majority of just six, although the poll predicts a hung parliament as a “plausible” outcome.
On Wednesday, political party leaders in the UK issued their final rallying cries as the country prepares to head to the polls. Ahead of the polls opening at 7am on Thursday, the leaders of the main political parties spent Wednesday travelling around the country in a big to drum-up last minute support at the ballot box.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn focused on Brexit and public services in their final hours of campaigning. In their last interviews with the BBC ahead of Thursday’s poll, Mr Johnson repeated his main pledges, saying: “Only if you get Brexit done [can you] move the country forward.”
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn said there was a “greater understanding” from the public that the country “cannot go on with underfunded public services”. The contest, the first to be held in December in nearly 100 years, follows those in 2015 and 2017.
Polling stations in 650 constituencies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland open at 07:00 GMT. After the polls close at 22:00 GMT, counting will begin straight away. Most results are due to be announced in the early hours of Friday morning. Many people have already put a cross next to the name of their favoured candidate by voting by post – more than seven million people used a postal vote two years ago.
A total of 650 MPs will be chosen under the first-past-the-post system used for general elections, in which the candidate who secures the most votes in each individual constituency is elected. Elections in the UK traditionally take place every four or five years. But, in October, MPs voted for the second snap poll in as many years. It is the first winter election since 1974 and the first to take place in December since 1923.
Follow the latest results’ review of news and information on the British Election.
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CiConsulta – Diplomatique.Expert