UK Election: Britain Goes To The Polls

Two of the three London Bridge attackers, who were all shot dead at the scene by police, had been known to authorities beforehand.

Ms May has seen her once-commanding lead over the Labour Party and its veteran hard-left leader Jeremy Corbyn narrow sharply since she surprised nearly everyone by calling a snap election in April.

The main problem for pollsters has been factoring in whether people who state a preference will actually end up voting.

"I can only build that better country and get the right deal in Brussels with the support of the British people", she said.

May went into the election with a reputation for quiet competence, and campaigned on a promise of "strong and stable government".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has in the past been a sharp critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, signing a parliamentary Early Day Motion expressing concerns about various humanitarian issues in India, when Mr. Modi visited Britain in November 2015.

"Get those negotiations wrong and the consequences will be dire", she said on a final campaign stop on Wednesday.

"A comfortable Conservative win probably would boost sterling to only $1.30, given that it is the main scenario priced-in now, and some hard Brexit risk will linger regardless of the size of the Tories' win", Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote on Wednesday. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, centre, gestures at a rally while on the general election campaign trail, in Birmingham, England, Wednesday June 7, 2017.

The EU will deal with the de facto head of state of the United Kingdom irrespective of the party he or she represents and of the size of their parliamentary majority: that person represents the United Kingdom in the negotiations, no more or no less. This is up sharply from the working majority of 17 she has had until now and bigger than any Conservative majority since the days when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.

May's poll lead has shrunk over the past three weeks.

She said: "There are challenges ahead".

YouGov caused shockwaves in the media last week when they published an analysis that predicted a number of different scenarios, one of which showed the Conservatives losing their majority.

At least five opinion polls are expected before voting begins at 0600 GMT on Thursday.

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A handful of seats will be declared by Thursday midnight, with the final results expected on Friday afternoon.

Britain's top-selling newspaper The Sun urged its readers to back the Conservatives, nicknamed the Tories.

"Will the election of more Tory (Conservative) MPs give May a greater chance of securing a better Brexit deal?"

At the time, opinion polls suggested the Conservatives held a lead of 20 percentage points over their next closest rival, the opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

"The choice is quite simple".

The vote will determine who gets to negotiate Britain's departure from the European Union over the next two years, and the strength of mandate that the government will have in parliament for five years.

Each constituency is won on a first-past-the-post basis, meaning the candidate with the most votes in that seat becomes its MP.

Security dominated the late stages of the campaign, after the attacks in Manchester and London. They made another arrest in east London in connection with the attack.

Then came the suicide bombing at a Manchester concert on May 22, which killed 22 people including seven children, followed by Saturday's knife and van attack in London, which left eight dead.

But May also faced uncomfortable questions over cuts to police numbers during her years as interior minister from 2010 to 2016.

"We are seeing the terrorist threat changing, we are seeing it evolve and we need to respond to that", May said.

At stake is not only the direction that the forthcoming talks on Brexit will take in Brussels, but also the personal standing of May, whose campaign focused on her image of being a "bloody hard woman", who alone could face down European Union negotiators in Brexit talks.

  • Jack Mann