Britain Goes To the Polls

Several voters in the United Kingdom are heading to the polls to cast their votes in the 2017 general elections.

More than 40,000 polling stations have been opened across the country and a total of 46.9 million voters are expected to cast their votes.

A total of 650 Westminster MPs will be elected by close of the elections. To form a majority in the House of Commons one party must win 326 seats.

A call by Prime Minister Theresa May for a snap election which recieved the necessary two-thirds majority in a 522-to-13 vote in the House of Commons on 19 April 2017 prompted the elections which otherwise was not due until May 2020. Prime Minister Theresa May began her campaign on April 18 confident that she’d win by a massive margin. The opposition Labour Party was down by about 16 points in the national polls; its leader, left-wing firebrand Jeremy Corbyn, had a net-negative approval rating among voters from his own party.

But since then the race has gotten much closer, with Corbyn behind by a little under 8 pointsin the national poll averages heading into today’s vote.

This owes largely to May’s own screw-ups — most notably a boneheaded health care proposal that would functionally tax elderly people for getting dementia — but nonetheless means that Corbyn has now made this a real race.

Despite the fact that every objective indicator suggests May should win by a fair margin, things feel very unsettled — especially in the wake of Saturday’s deadly terrorist attack in London.

May and Corbyn disagree strongly on issues ranging from Brexit to the country’s relationship Donald Trump to the future of the NATO alliance, meaning that this election has the potential to further unsettle a global political system rocked by the controversial American president.

Polls close at 10 p.m. UK time (5 p.m. ET), with results expected to begin rolling in within an hour or so after voting finishes.

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