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British voters head to polls in high-stakes general election

8 June 2017 15:51


British voters have started to cast their votes in the 2017 snap general election, following a fierce campaign that saw the ruling Conservative Party lose support to Labour, the main opposition.

Over 40,000 polling stations across the country opened on Thursday morning and voters will have until 10 pm local time to elect the party they deem most competent to form the next government.

More than 46 million people are eligible to vote in what is the fourth major poll in the UK over the past three years, following the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2015 general election, and the 2016 Brexit vote.

Some analysts have predicted a turnout of more than 70 percent given the high stakes that are at play.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who made the surprising call for the vote in mid-April, is defending her party’s Parliament majority and has set eyes on more seats.

Labour, on the other hand, has recovered from a major disadvantage against the Tories under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and is now hoping for a hung parliament, a scenario that some polls say is more than possible.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Thousands of heavily armed police officers will be guarding the polling stations as terror alert remains high in the wake of the recent wave of terror attacks across the UK.

Police officers at a polling station in Belfast, June 8, 2017. (Photo by PA)

Missing voting forms

The Election Day began with a bombshell report by The Independent about hundreds of postal votes that had gone missing.

Apparently, around 400 postal voting forms issued by Plymouth City Council had failed to reach their destination, a matter that was under investigation by Royal Mail.

The council said it had to reissue “around 370 replacement ballot packs” to those who had contacted them about their missing votes. Others with the same problem were urged to contact the officials immediately.

  • May showed up early to cast her vote.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip, leave a Polling Station after casting their ballot paper in Sonning, west of London, on June 8, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
  • Corbyn went to a poll station in north London to vote.
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at a polling station to cast his vote in north London on June 8, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
  • Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon cast her vote in Glasgow.
  • UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Paul Nuttal voted in Congleton.
  • Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron cast his vote in Kendal.
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