Polls open in UK election after campaign marred by attacks


The poll, released on Wednesday by startups.co.uk, an independent advice site, revealed that the Conservatives held a four-point lead over Labour in a survey of over 1,500 new business owners on the question 'which party is best for business?'

A police officer stands on duty outside a polling station in Tower Hamlets, London, Britain June 8, 2017.

She will stay on as Prime Minister if she retains that majority.

Millions of people across the United Kingdom are set to vote in the general election on Thursday where the ruling Conservatives are predicted to secure an overall majority despite an energetic bid for power by the opposition Labour Party, the media reported.

Britons are voting on Thursday in an election called by prime minister Theresa May to strengthen her hand in looming Brexit talks, with her personal authority at stake after a campaign that saw her lead in opinion polls contract.

The election's early stages pointed toward the predicted coronation for May and the Conservatives, campaigning under the slogan "strong and stable government".

After three attackers killed eight people in a vehicle and knife rampage around London Bridge on Saturday, May said "enough is enough" and vowed to clamp down on extremism, even if that means watering down human rights laws.

She argues a larger majority will help her deliver a better Brexit deal for the UK.

Corbyn, a veteran left-winger who unexpectedly won the Labour leadership in 2015 after three decades on the party fringe, has hit back that Conservative fiscal austerity has hurt the poor and increased social inequalities. But that enormous lead has been squandered and so she goes into election night in some respects a diminished figure, although still the clear favourite to win.

Asked what would constitute success, the 60-year-old vicar's daughter said: "I never predict election results".

Some in the European Union are hoping May does increase her majority, on the basis that the main risk for the bloc is a collapse in talks, and that is more easily avoided with a British government that is not vulnerable at home.

So if there isn't a clear victor Friday morning, we could be in for a long round of negotiations.

But others have sought to downplay the impact of the election regardless of the outcome, suggesting that it was little more than a domestic political sideshow. Five more years of a Tory government, five more years of austerity, five more years of cuts.

May's troubles began on May 18, when she announced a new policy on care for the elderly that quickly proved unpopular. Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon speaks while on the last day of campaigning for the General Election during an event at the Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. The last thing many wanted was another divisive campaign.

"They're more experienced - Jeremy Corbyn can't be trusted on security", said Talib Hussain, 46, a postmaster from Bradford in the northwest of England.

He proposes building a fairer society through policies such as raising taxes for the richest 5 percent, scrapping university tuition fees and investing 250 billion pounds ($315 billion) in infrastructure - plans which the Conservatives say are fiscally irresponsible.

Despite its distaste for much of Theresa May's platform and implacable hostility to her Brexit rhetoric, the "fringe figure" of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was enough to make the Financial Times' leader writers hold their nose and swing behind her.

"Labour's campaign has already changed the face of British politics", Corbyn said in a final campaign rally.