The Latest 5/8 The UK goes to the polls in a national election with results expected early Friday

The Latest 5/8 The UK goes to the polls in a national election with results expected early Friday

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Voters in the U.K. are casting their ballots in a national election to choose the 650 lawmakers who will sit in Parliament for the next five years. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak surprised his own party on May 22 when he called the election, which could have taken place as late as January 2025.

After 14 years in power under five different prime ministers, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ‘s Conservatives are widely expected to lose to the main opposition party, the left-of-center Labour Party led by Keir Starmer. Sunak’s party has struggled to reassure voters on issues including the rising cost of living and a crisis in the National Health Service.

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Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 10 p.m. on Thursday night. Even before in-person voting began, hundreds of thousands of people had cast their ballot by postal vote.

An exit poll commissioned by the main U.K. broadcasters will be published as soon as the polls close, giving an indication of the likely result.

Counting will begin immediately but most of the results will only be announced in the early hours of Friday.

Here’s the latest:

Sunak votes in his Northern constituency

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak cast his ballot Thursday in a national election that will determine if he remains in office.

Sunak, who tried to bring stability to a Conservative Party in chaos when he was picked as leader in October 2022, spent the past six weeks trying to persuade voters across the U.K. to give his party another term after 14 years in power.

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Pollsters and politicians widely expect the Labour Party to win for the first time since 2005.

Sunak’s campaign got off to a soggy start when he called the snap election in a downpour outside 10 Downing Street in May.

He had been expected to wait until the fall, when expected improvements in the economy would give him a better chance.

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Sunak voted shortly after polls opened in his constituency in Yorkshire in northern England.

Polls open in vote that could end Tories’ 14 years in power

British voters are picking a new government on Thursday after polls opened at 7 a.m. for a parliamentary election that is widely expected to bring the opposition Labour Party to power.

Against a backdrop of economic malaise, mounting distrust of government institutions and a fraying social fabric, a fractious electorate is delivering its verdict on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party, which has been in power since 2010.

The center-left Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer, has had a steady and significant lead in opinion polls for months, but Labour leaders have warned against taking the election result for granted, worried their supporters will stay home.

Sunak, for his part, has tried to rally his supporters, saying on Sunday that he still thought the Conservatives could win and defending his record on the economy.

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