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LONDON – Britain goes to the polls today to decide which party will form its next government.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced the early general election on April 18 and since then the opinion polls have taken political commentators by surprise.
Early in the campaign, May’s Conservatives enjoyed huge double-figure leads of up to 20% over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, suggesting the Prime Minister was strolling towards a landslide victory.
However, in the final few weeks of the campaign Labour has closed the gap on the Conservatives, and last week respected pollsters YouGov said that Britain could end up with a hung parliament as a result of significant Tory losses.
The country’s major polling companies have produced their final projections for today’s election. Here they are:
As the table shows, every pollster has predicted leads for the Tories – although the size of the lead varies dramatically.
BMG and ICM have given the Conservatives big leads of 13% and 12%. Both would translate to comfortable majority victories for May and a crushing defeat for Labour leader Corbyn. Kantar Public (5%), SurveyMonkey (4%), and Survation (1%) have projected a much closer contest – and the nature of the Tory lead could be absolutely vital.
If Survation’s projection is accurate, the Conservatives could end up losing seats and throwing away their majority in the House of Commons i.e. a hung parliament. Here’s a quick explainer on what a hung parliament would mean.
Britain’s pollsters may disagree on the size of the May’s lead – but they all agree that Corbyn has made up significant ground on her since the beginning of the campaign, albeit it could be too little too late.
This chart shows how the gap between the Tories and Labour has narrowed since April 18. It’s also interesting to note how support for the smaller parties – the Lib Dems, UKIP, and Greens – has gradually shrunk.
Labour and the Conservatives could accumulate their largest joint vote share in decades.
Voting is underway in polling stations across the country and will close at 22:00 (BST). We expect an overall result to become clear in the early hours of Friday morning.
Follow our live coverage of today’s developments in our live blog.