British voters will go to polling stations to elect 650 deputies
About 46 million Britons will vote on the 12th of December in the early parliamentary elections, in the United Kingdom, called by the government to try to unblock the impasse created in parliament over the process of leaving the country from the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will seek to regain an absolute majority, something he lost before to deputies dissatisfied with Brexit’s course and also due to a disagreement with Ireland’s allied Union Democratic Party (DUP).
On the opposite side, the Labor Party is leading the opposition in an attempt to halt Johnson’s negotiated agreement with Brussels to complete the EU exit process by January 31st, promising to renegotiate the terms and refer the result to a referendum.
Since 1923, the United Kingdom had not held national elections in December, when the days are shorter, colder and wetter due to winter.
In London, today, the sun rises at 07:57 and sets at 15:51, but in the north of the country the dawn is even later.
Polling stations will be open from 7 am to 10 pm for face-to-face voting, but it is also possible to vote by correspondence, whose ballots have been sent several weeks ago.
Voters who are unable to move, either for justified absence or for health reasons, may request a proxy vote.
The votes are 650 seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of the British Parliament, to which there are 3,322 candidates, of which 1,124 women, having the parties Conservative (635), Labor (631), Liberal Democrats (611), Green ( 498) and Brexit Party (275) competing in the largest number of constituencies at national level.
Surveys over the past few weeks have consistently shown the Conservative Party’s comfortable advantage over the Labor, but the system of single-majority voting in the First Past may make the outcome unpredictable.
In 2005, Tony Blair’s Labor Party secured an absolute majority of 356 deputies with only 35.3% of the national vote, just three percentage points more than Michael Howard’s Conservative Party, which stood at 198 deputies.
The narrowing of the gap between the two parties, in recent weeks, has increased speculation about the possibility of a split parliament.
In 1992, polls also suggested this possibility but in the end John Major, Margaret Thatcher’s successor, led the Conservative Party in a fourth victory with a consecutive absolute majority.
A joint poll of the three main British televisions BBC, ITV and Sky News will be released shortly after 10 pm, when the counting process will begin, but the main results are only expected during the early hours of 13th of December.