London / Polling stations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland opened at 7 am local time on Thursday for the United Kingdom’s third general election in under five years that will be crucial toward determining the country’s future in light of its scheduled exit from the European Union.
The voting will see 650 members elected to the House of Commons with a first-past-the-post – or winner-take-all – system in which the most-voted candidate in each constituency snags the seat.
The contest comes on the heels of the last two elections in 2015 and 2017. Although the usual interim between general polls is four or five years, the political instability resulting from Brexit – which led Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May to resign – has prompted these snap (i.e. early) elections.
Incumbent Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party and his main challenger, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, are set to vote in their constituencies, Uxbridge-South Ruislip and Islington North, respectively.
Johnson was forced to call for the election – which would usually have taken place in mid-2022 – after repeatedly failing to muster enough support within the upper echelons of his own Tory party for his government’s Brexit plan.
Not only did his proposed Brexit deal flounder in Parliament: his attempts to trigger a snap election were blocked three times by the House until it finally relented in a fractious vote on Oct. 29.
The PM has vowed to finalize Brexit by the deadline agreed to with Brussels, Jan. 31 of next year. Corbyn, meanwhile, wants to re-negotiate a new deal that would later need to be put to a people’s vote, with one of the options being remaining within the European bloc.
By Thursday, Johnson was still the favorite to be re-elected to 10 Downing Street in most polls, though the gap between the two main parties has significantly tightened over the past few weeks of campaign.
A YouGov survey of over 100,000 prospective voters last week showed the Tories ahead with 43 percent support and Labour trailing behind with 34 percent (a 9-point deficit compared to the 13-odd points most polls had shown earlier).
According to that same poll, the Liberal Democrats would garner 12 percent of ballots, followed by the Brexit Party, the Green Party and the Scottish Nationalist Party, with around 3 percent each.
In any case, the electoral system does not take the national popular vote into account, meaning that the same percentage could give the Conservatives anywhere between 311 and 367 seats. Therefore, securing the House of Commons majority needed to effectively govern – 326 MPs out of 650 – is by no means a foregone conclusion.
Most polling stations have been set up at schools and community centers.
After they close at 10 pm, an exit poll will be broadcast, while the first official results will likely start trickling in around an hour later (although in the last election in June 2017, Newcastle Central declared its winner just half an hour after voting had ended).
Any registered British citizen aged 18 or older is eligible to vote. A few Commonwealth (including the UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories) and Irish citizens may vote too if they meet certain qualifying criteria. (December 12, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
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Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas (Read the news and answer the questions)
la celebración de comicios hoy en el Reino Unido.
las veces que intentó el primer ministro británico adelantar las elecciones.
la salida del Reino Unido de la Unión Europea.
los colegios electorales estarán abiertos hasta las diez de la noche.
estas elecciones no se celebran antes de lo previsto.
ya se está difundiendo una encuesta a pie de urna en Reino Unido.
el actual primer ministro británico obtendría la mayoría absoluta sin ningún problema.
los laboristas reducirían su diferencian con los conservadores.
el partido de Corbyn obtendría menos votos que los liberaldemócratas.
los conservadores conseguirían solo 300 escaños según un sondeo.
Corbyn considera que el acuerdo que alcanzó Johnson con la UE es muy bueno.
Johnson quiere que el Reino Unido salga de la UE a finales del mes que viene.
Johnson dijo que estas elecciones no son muy importantes para los británicos.
el Parlamento británico estaría muy fragmentado según un sondeo.
Corbyn no quiere que se celebre otro referéndum sobre el 'brexit'.
se celebran antes de lo previsto.
se celebran más tarde de lo previsto.
se celebran justo cuando está previsto.
'como poco' o 'como mínimo'.
'no hay nada'.