Poll predicts Tories’ majority loss as UK votes

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British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives will win 302 seats in the election, pollster YouGov said yesterday. Voters cast their ballots today (Thursday) in a snap election.

According to YouGov, the Tories could lose up to 28 seats, and also their majority in parliament. In its last poll before the vote, the polling firm predicted that the Tories will receive 42 per cent of the vote, with Labour on 38 per cent. The lead is 1 percentage point greater than YouGov’s poll last week.

The pollster projected Labour will increase its number of seats in parliament to 269 from 229.

While most polls have indicated the Conservatives’ lead is shrinking, the margin of that lead has varied greatly.

Theresa May, new British PM
Theresa May, new British PM
Jeremy Cornby
Jeremy Cornby

Security around polling stations is constantly being reviewed and updated in the wake of the terrorist attacks that have hit Britain, a senior police officer has said.

Deputy assistant commissioner Lucy D’Orsi acknowledged that today’s general election would take place during “unprecedented times” in the wake of attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge.

D’Orsi, the National Police Chiefs Council lead for protective security, said: “Plans are in place to make sure that resources are appropriately allocated. The general threat level remains at severe, so we continue to ask the public to be alert and to report any concerns to police. We appreciate that these are unprecedented times and together with our partners we continue to keep communities safe.”

The “severe” threat level stands is the second-highest, indicating that an attack is seen as “highly likely”.

The prime minister said voters have a very clear choice about who they want to lead the Brexit negotiations: “It’s either going to be me, or Jeremy Corbyn.”

May rejects the assertion that she has revealed little about her Brexit negotiation stratgey. Her 12 objectives for the talks include a “deep and special” relationship with the EU, she tells Snow.

Voters want someone “willing to be difficult and to stand up for Britain”, May said.

Turning to the issue of terror in the wake of Saturday night’s attacks, the prime minister promised to boost security for Britain by making it easier to deport foreign terror suspects and to restrict the movement of terror suspects.

The campaign has been marked by two terror attacks at London Bridge and Manchester, but neither even seems to have had an impact on the polling.

However, political pollsters have taken a beating recently after failing to predict a Conservative majority in 2015, a Leave vote last summer and a Donald Trump victory in November.

Coral’s latest odds for the election have Mrs May as most likely to continue as Prime Minister after the election. The latest odds for the party to emerge with the most seats are:

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are stressing core themes as they and other party leaders criss-cross the UK in a last push for general election votes.

The Tory leader said she was the only person who could “deliver for Britain” and negotiate the right Brexit deal.

Warning of “five more years of Tory austerity”, Labour’s leader promised more spending on health and education.

The Lib Dems are focusing on Remain-voting target seats while UKIP says only it can stop Brexit “backsliding”.

In Scotland, the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has warned that a vote for Labour risks “handing the keys of No 10” to Theresa May, while leaders in Wales and Northern Ireland are also making their last pitch for votes.

After a week dominated by security issues since the terror attack in London, the prime minister returned to her central message on Brexit – the reason she gave for calling Thursday’s election 50 days ago.

Mrs May said that money which has until now been spent on EU projects could deliver “huge benefits” across the UK after its withdrawal, due in 2019.

But emphasising Labour’s plan to invest billions on public services, to be paid for by higher taxes on business and top earners, Mr Corbyn said the NHS could not afford “five more years of underfunding, understaffing and privatisation”.

The Labour leader reshuffled his top team on the eve of the election after announcing shadow home secretary Diane Abbott would be taking a break because of ill health.

Ms Abbott pulled out of a number of media engagements on Tuesday and the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, said Lyn Brown, the shadow police minister and candidate for West Ham, had been asked to stand in for her indefinitely.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron urged Labour supporters to “send a message” to Theresa May on issues such as Brexit and social care by supporting his party in seats where they are the Tories’ main challengers.

Endorsing tactical voting on campaign stops in Solihull, St Albans and Twickenham, he said: “This was undoubtedly an election called in the interests of the Conservative Party and it hasn’t quite turned out the way she expected because Theresa May’s made some very poor decisions, that have shown weakness and a level of heartlessness.”

Former Business Secretary Vince Cable said his party offered an alternative to the continuing austerity proposed by the Conservatives and Jeremy Corbyn’s “Venezuelan-style socialism”.

Campaigning in Edinburgh, the Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said re-electing SNP MPs would ensure Scotland retained a “strong voice” in Westminster and deny the Conservatives the “crushing majority” they were expecting.

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