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Leaders vote in election that will determine future of Brexit

‘This contest is tight and getting tighter,’ Johnson says as polls show narrowing lead

 

 Likely winners – West Dunbartonshire – Martin Docherty Hughes (SNP), Argyll and Bute – Brendan O’Hara (SNP) and election leaflets.

By Bill Heaney and Denis Staunton

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have cast their votes in what has been billed as the UK’s most important general election in a generation.

The polls opened at 7am on Thursday in a vote that will determine the future of Brexit and the economic direction of the country, as Boris Johnson attempts to secure a Conservative majority.

Members of the public have been reported leaving before casting their votes due to long queues outside some polling stations.

Waits of more than half an hour were reported at various locations on Thursday morning, with queuing particularly widespread in London.

There was a steady stream of voters going to the polling stations, which ranged from schools to churches, casting their votes in West Dunbartonshire.

In Helensburgh, which is in the Argyll and Bute constituency, it was particularly busy at the Victoria Hall in Sinclair Street.

There were few if any posters on lamp posts in Dumbarton but posters for all parties were in evidence from Cardross through Helensburgh to Rhu for all the parties standing there.

UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson leaves the polling station after casting his vote. Photograph: Vickie Flores/EPA.
Prime Minster Boris Johnson leaves the polling station after his vote. 

In his closing rally in east London on Wednesday night, the prime minister portrayed the election as a stark choice, accusing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of representing a threat to national security.

“This contest is tight and getting tighter,” the prime minister told hundreds of Conservative activists at an arena on the site of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Polls show the Conservatives with a nine-point lead over Labour and a YouGov analysis based on more than 100,000 interviews in the last week suggested that Mr Johnson was on course to win a 28-seat majority.

But the poll’s margin of error also allows for a hung parliament with the Conservatives as the largest party. A poll by the Daily Telegraph and Savanta ComRes, published on Wednesday night, placed the Conservatives just five points ahead of Labour.

Mr Johnson has promised to secure parliamentary approval for his Brexit deal if he wins a majority and to take Britain out of the EU by January 31st. If he fails to secure a majority, the Conservatives will struggle to form a government because none of the opposition parties are willing to support Mr Johnson.

Mitchell JA with J Corbyn.jpg 2
West Dunbartonshire Labour candidate Jean Anne Mitchell and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, when he visited Scotland.

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