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Conservatives likely to win British election but majority government less certain


Conservatives likely to win British election but majority government less certain

british election 2019
Photo: Xinhua

Britons head to the polls today in a pivotal general election: its outcome will not only determine control of the country but the direction of Brexit—the most consequential foreign policy decision in decades.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains the favourite to win the election. Recent polls show his Conservative Party attracting 43% of the vote, with the opposition Labour Party receiving 33%. The staunchly anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats are polling at 13%, while the Brexit Party and Greens got the nod from around 3% of those polled.

Unsurprisingly, Brexit has dominated the political campaigns of all parties. Johnson’s Brexit deal remains in limbo and has not been ratified by lawmakers; the EU granted a fourth extension in October, pushing Brexit back to January 31, 2020. Other key issues on the ballot today include Labour proposals to nationalise the utility and transport sector, increase taxes for corporations and reform the National Health Service.

While Conservatives are expected to emerge victorious, they may well fail to receive an outright majority. If Johnson falls short, a likely scenario is a coalition government between Labour and the Liberal Democrats with Corbyn in charge. That could send ripples throughout the Brexit process if Labour holds a second referendum as promised.

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Whatever the outcome, results of today’s vote are expected to be announced tomorrow and the first meeting of the new parliament is set for December 17.

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