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The UK goes to the polls – here's what you need to know

The UK goes to the polls – here's what you need to know

It all started on a rainy day in May. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to everyone's surprise, announced that the election would be held before July. After 43 days of political campaigning, 46,000,000 Britons have been given the chance to vote for the party in power for the coming years.

According to all predictions, the Conservative Tories will be out of power after 14 years. Instead, a landslide victory is expected for Labor and their party leader, Keir Starmer.

In recent polls, just 40 per cent of voters said they wanted to vote Labour.

Economics controls voters

For voters, the most important election issues are about the economy. From 2021, Britons will suffer from high inflation and stagnant wages. This worsened the situation with the cuts that followed the 2007 economic crisis, from which the country has yet to recover.

Many Britons are also dissatisfied with healthcare within the NHS, the National Health Service, which suffers from a lack of investment, long queues and staff shortages. Care queues have tripled since 2010, when the Conservatives came to power.

Immigration and homelessness are key election issues.

Small parties are hard to break

A British election is similar to about 650 smaller elections in which each seat in the House of Commons is won by the party that receives the most votes in that constituency, regardless of how large a margin they win. This means that while Labor is expected to get 40 per cent of the vote, they are predicted to win 430 of the 650 seats.

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This also means that even though smaller parties generally have relatively large support among the population, they do not have as much influence in parliament. But still some parties can influence the decision.

A party expected to take about ten percent of the mandates is the Liberal Democrats (LDP). Although unlikely to win elections, they campaign strategically and target specific constituencies to make an impact.

Some of the hardest hit by the British electoral system are the relatively new party reform UK. The right-wing populist party is led by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who is usually cited as the Brexit get-goer. The party campaigns for a complete end to immigration and the restoration of “British values”.

In recent opinion polls, they have the support of about 17 percent of Britons, but they are expected to win a handful of mandates.

In Scotland, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), which won big in 2019, is expected to lose many of its seats after several scandals in recent years.

A short and intense election campaign is a bit ridiculous. Reactions to most of the expeditions often focused on the uncomfortable framing, particularly of Rishi Sunak and the LDP.

Ed Davey, leader of the LDP party, even made political statements from strange places like a kayak, a SUP (which he fell off) and in the middle of a bungee jump.

Labor has had more political problems, where many candidates have stopped representing the party in the middle of the election campaign, after some of them had already started knocking on doors to engage voters. There were candidates on the left compared to the direction chosen by the party.

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Then the result is expected

Polls close at 10pm in Great Britain, meaning voting closes at 11pm in Sweden. However, there is a relatively reliable polling station survey that is released when polling closes and has a relatively accurate picture of what the distribution of mandates looks like in past elections.

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