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World Polls open in crucial U.K. election as Brexit hangs in the balance

13:33  12 december  2019
13:33  12 december  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

'Nervous' PM Johnson promises Brexit and less immigration ahead of election

  'Nervous' PM Johnson promises Brexit and less immigration ahead of election British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was nervous about his narrowing lead in opinion polls ahead of Thursday's election but pledged to deliver a "transformative" Brexit on Jan. 31 that would allow lower immigration. © REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives on the platform to board a train in London, Britain December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool The Dec. 12 election will decide the fate of Brexit and the world's fifth largest economy with a stark choice between Johnson's pro-market Conservatives and the socialist-led opposition Labour Party.

The polls open at 7 a.m. local time and close at 10 p.m., with the results of a usually reliable exit poll announced almost immediately after that. The opposition Labour Party saw its support grow substantially, gaining 32 seats, driven in part by a spike in the youth vote. What looks likely this time?

UK election issues. Balancing the books. The Liberal Democrats of Jo Swinson (pictured, left) were the only party deemed by Britain's Institute for Brexit has dominated the campaign, with political deadlock over the UK 's planned departure from the EU triggering Thursday's election in the first place.

Video by Reuters

LONDON — Millions of voters headed to the polls across the United Kingdom on Thursday for the country's third nationwide general election in less than five years.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party is facing off against the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, for the keys to 10 Downing St.

Smaller parties include the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party, the Scottish National Party, Wales' Plaid Cymru, and the Green Party — any of whom might be asked to form a coalition if no clear winner emerges from the big two.

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Britain’s Miserable Election . I have never faced such an unappealing set of choices in my life. Both are promising rank impossibilities. Mr. Johnson tells voters he can deliver Brexit , quickly and The Tories are ahead in the polls and apparently heading for a majority, though the race is tightening and

UK election issues. Balancing the books. The Liberal Democrats of Jo Swinson (pictured, left) were the only party deemed by Britain's Institute for Brexit has dominated the campaign, with political deadlock over the UK 's planned departure from the EU triggering Thursday's election in the first place.

The vote has been billed as potentially the most pivotal for the country in years. It has been a campaign dominated by Brexit — Britain's ongoing debate around its departure from the European Union — as well as the future of its publicly run National Health Service.

British broadcasting rules prevent discussion or analysis of election issues after the polls open at 7 a.m. local (2 a.m. ET). An exit poll produced by three broadcasters is published when voting closes at 10 p.m. local time, and has in recent years provided an accurate prediction of how the parties have fared.

Most results won't be confirmed until the early hours of Friday morning, with results from some tight races and votes in remote parts of the country delayed until much later that day.

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How does the election work?

In the U.K. there are no separate races to choose the government and the legislature (like the presidential and congressional elections in the U.S). Here in the U.K. they are combined into one.

The country is split into 650 areas, known as constituencies. People in every constituency vote for one lawmaker they want to send to the House of Commons.

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The main parties in Thursday's UK election have pledged major public spending hikes, but will it be enough to heal the self-inflicted Brexit wound? Britain may even need an extra shot in the arm as global growth slows. The United Kingdom votes on Thursday on whether to give Prime Minister Boris

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Any party that wins 326 seats or more would have a majority in the Commons and therefore becomes the new government. The victorious party leader usually becomes prime minister and selects his or her Cabinet members from their party's newly elected lawmakers.

Things get complicated when no party achieves more than 50 percent of these parliamentary seats. That happened at the last election in 2017. Although Theresa May's Conservative Party won more seats than anyone else, it did not get more than half of the total.

That forced it to enter into an informal coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party.

The DUP, as its known, is one of the smaller parties that dominate the 18 seats in Northern Ireland, alongside Sinn Fein, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Alliance, and the Ulster Unionist Party.

In Northern Ireland the mainstream British parties don't have much of a presence.

Scottish leader Sturgeon demands a post-Brexit independence referendum .
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will on Thursday demand the right to hold a new independence referendum, challenging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to keep the United Kingdom together as he grapples with its coming split from the European Union. © Reuters/RUSSELL CHEYNE FILE PHOTO: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon campaigns in Paisley A month before Britain embarks on its momentous journey out of the EU, Sturgeon will say she has won a mandate to call for a fresh independence vote after winning 47 of the 59 seats in Scotland in last week's election, 11 more than in 2017.

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