Published: Sat, December 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Britain goes to poll in historic election

Britain goes to poll in historic election

The exit poll has the Tories on track to win 368 seats, giving them a clear majority in the House of Commons as Mr Johnson attempts to ram his Brexit agenda through.

Johnson, who has said the result is on a "knife edge", was the first party leader to vote in person, arriving at a central London polling station with his Jack Russell dog, Dilyn.

With a surge in registration of younger voters, tactical voting, split party loyalties over Brexit and considerable uncertainty over the potential turnout, the result is really anyone's guess.

Britons braved winter storms and howling winds as they lined up to cast ballots in what Johnson and Corbyn have both called the most important vote in a generation.

Up for grabs are all 650 seats in the British parliament, which has been deadlocked since the 2016 referendum on European Union membership that saw a narrow majority vote to leave. That effort got a boost when the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage decided at the last minute not to contest 317 Conservative-held seats to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.

According to YouGov, Johnson had been slated to win a majority of 28 seats.

Boris Johnson's Conservative Party is forecast to win the United Kingdom election with an outright majority, according to a BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll released after the close of voting.

A victory for Labour would make Corbyn the party's first prime minister since Gordon Brown in 2010 - and at 70, the oldest first-time premier since Viscount Palmerston in 1855.

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"I am devastated, I don't know how you could have any other reaction other than being utterly heartbroken", Labour's Jess Phillips said.

Johnson is now free to lead his country swiftly out of the vast trading bloc but faces the daunting task of negotiating trade deals around the world, not least with the European Union itself, and of keeping a divided kingdom in one piece.

The exit poll showed voters had gone with Johnson's "Get Brexit Done" promise and pro-market philosophy and rejected left-wing veteran Corbyn, who had promised a second Brexit referendum and a radical expansion of the state.

Huge lines were reported across the country in the election that pits current prime minister and Tory leader Boris Johnson against the leader of the opposition, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn. A leaked recording of the EU's chief negotiator made it clear that it was "unrealistic" to conclude trade talks with the United Kingdom by the end of 2021. But parliament has been deadlocked since May's failed bet on a 2017 snap election over how, when and even whether to leave.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says Britain's election result is "very disappointing" for his party, but he is resisting pressure to step down right away.

Meanwhile, Corbyn on Wednesday launched a fierce attack in Glasgow on the prime minister's integrity, accusing him of "not telling truth" about his talks over the National Health Service, the system of public healthcare providers in Britain, with U.S. President Donald Trump in London last week.

"With Johnson's victory Brexit has become inevitable", said German lawmaker Norbert Roettgen, of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party.

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