UK votes in elections with Labour as favourites

UK votes in elections with Labour as favourites
UK votes in elections with Labour as favourites

The British vote this Thursday in a general election in which Labour led by Keir Starmer can getaccording the surveysan absolute majority and end 14 years of conservative governments.

Polling stations opened at 07:00 local time (06:00 GMT) and will close at 22:00 (21:00 GMT), when the first exit polls will be announced, pending the official result in the early hours of Friday.

The Conservative Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, 44, appeared to accept defeat in recent days, calling for votes to prevent a Labour “supermajority”.

Possible Labour majority in Parliament

Keir Starmer.jpg

Keir Starmer leads the Labour Party and is tipped to be a future prime minister

The formation of 61-year-old Starmeraccording to polls, would win more than half of the seats in the House of Commons, in an election in which 650 deputies will be elected, representing each of the United Kingdom’s constituencies.

During the election campaign, Starmer has maintained an advantage of around 20 percentage points over Sunak.

“We need to stop the Labour supermajority,” Sunak wrote on Instagram on Wednesday, implicitly admitting defeat. The Conservative Party, mired in internal struggles and in a deep crisis, with three prime ministers in less than two years, will thus aim to avoid a historic debacle.

The latest survey by the YouGov institute On Wednesday, it gave Starmer’s party 431 seats, a record for an election won by Labour.surpassing Tony Blair’s record of 418 in 1997. Both Sunak and Starmer voted in their respective constituencies.

Fears of a crushing defeat prompted former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a figure with a strong appeal among Tory voters, to make his first appearance on the campaign trail on Tuesday, two days before the vote.

Some polls even cast doubt on Sunak winning his constituency seat.in the north of England, something that has never happened to a head of government.

The then Prime Minister took office in October 2022 after a disastrous economic mandate of just 49 days by Liz Truss, who had replaced Boris Johnson, embroiled in the scandal of parties at his official residence during Covid-19. Sunak stressed in the campaign that he reduced inflation from 11% to 2% year-on-year in the less than two years he has been in office. But the Conservative electorate seems disenchanted with the Tories.

Brexit in 2020 and its consequences for the British economy, Covid-19 and the rising cost of living have all contributed to the Conservative downfall.

For his part, Labour’s Starmer appears to have benefited from moving his party towards more centrist positions following the defeat of his more left-wing predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, in the 2019 elections.

“I woke up thinking there might be a change of air, although I’m not really sure,” “Ianthe Jacob, a 32-year-old writer, told AFP.

“I really feel that everything has gone wrong in this country,” she said as she left a polling station in east London. “How could a developed country have ended up like this?”

The third force in Parliament

The far-right Reform UK party appears as the third possible force in terms of percentage of votes in these elections. Nigel Farage, one of the drivers of Brexit.

Farage, who has failed to win a seat seven times, could lose the Conservative Party seats.

Some polls put Farage at between 15 and 17% of the total votes, close to the figures predicted for the Conservatives.

Reform UK would still get far fewer seats than the Conservatives, or even the Liberal Democrats, because of Britain’s electoral system, where every seat in each constituency goes to the winning party.

Sunak, facing unfavourable polls, sought votes by repeatedly accusing Starmer of raising taxes.

“There will be no increase in income tax, social security or VAT,” “This week, Starmer replied, having stressed during his campaign that he would only raise rates for certain taxpayers, including private schools and companies in the hydrocarbon sector, but not for workers.

Starmer, with the polls in his favour, has kept a low profile, promising cautious management of the economy as part of a long-term growth plan that includes strengthening criticised public services, particularly healthcare.

“The important thing is to grow the economy and create wealth”said Starmer, who lacks the charisma of Blair, who also ended 18 years of Conservative rule in 1997.

Source: Ambito

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