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General Election voting under way after weeks of campaigning

04 Jul 2024 4 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, arrive to cast their vote in the 2024 General Election at Kirby Sigston Village Hall in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Polling stations across the UK have opened as voters have their say at the General Election after weeks of campaigning.

Millions of people will cast their vote between 7am and 10pm, with opinion polls suggesting Labour is on course to secure a big majority in the House of Commons and form a new government.

It is the first General Election where voters will need to show photographic ID before they can receive their ballot paper following a law change in 2022.

Exit poll

An exit poll, published shortly after 10pm on Thursday, will provide the first indication of how the election has gone on a national level.

These take place at polling stations across the country, with tens of thousands of people asked to privately fill in a replica ballot as they leave, to get an indication of how they voted.

The first of the 650 seats are likely to declare their results from 11.30pm.

Party leaders have made their final appeals to voters after touring the country since the election was called.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Thursday represents a “pivotal moment” for the country’s future as he claimed Labour would “wield their unchecked power” to increase taxes should they secure a “supermajority”.

Mr Sunak was joined by his wife, Akshata Murty, as they visited a polling station to vote on Thursday.

He said “morning” and waved at reporters as he entered Kirby Sigston Village Hall in Northallerton.

In his final stump speech on Wednesday evening, Mr Sunak said: “This underdog will fight to the final whistle.”

The Prime Minister called on Tory activists to continue campaigning, claiming they had “urgent work to do” to “save the UK” from a Labour government.

Future

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK “cannot afford” five more years under the Conservatives, adding Britain can “begin a new chapter” under his party.

He said: “Britain’s future is on the ballot.”

Sir Keir was also cheered by activists as he spoke at a community centre in Redditch, Worcestershire, as his campaigning came to a close.

He said: “That’s what we are fighting for, let’s continue that fight.

“If you want change, you have to vote for it.”

As the bookies’ favourite to be the next prime minister, Sir Keir said he was pleased with Labour’s campaign and his party was “ready for what comes next”.

Ending a campaign that was dominated by headline-catching stunts, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey drove off in a pink Cadillac convertible with his deputy Daisy Cooper after his last election campaign stop.

The Lib Dem leader gave a stump speech at Hammond’s End Farm in Harpenden to the tune of ABBA’s Take A Chance On Me.

Sir Ed said he had enjoyed the campaign, which saw him travel the entire length of the UK, cover 6,000 miles on the Lib Dem’s Yellow Hammer One bus and bungee 160 feet.

He added: “Communities are angry. The water companies have been allowed to pour their filthy sewage into our rivers, lakes and onto our beaches. This has to change. The Conservatives have got to go.”

Scotland’s First Minister has urged “every single SNP voter” to turn out on Thursday in what he said will be an “incredibly close” contest throughout the country.

Addressing supporters at a pre-election rally in Leith on Wednesday evening, John Swinney said the Conservatives were going to be “heavily defeated” by the Labour Party in England, but that there were “narrow margins” between Labour and the SNP north of the border.

An average of all polls completed during the seven days to July 3 puts Labour on 39%, the party’s lowest rating since the campaign began, 18 points ahead of the Conservatives on 21%, followed by Reform on 16%, the Lib Dems on 11% and the Greens on 6%.

The Tories are up slightly on the figures for the previous week while Labour are down, with the averages for the seven days to June 26 being Labour 41%, Conservatives 20%, Reform 16%, Lib Dems 11% and Greens 6%.

On May 22, the day Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the General Election, the seven-day averages stood at Labour 45%, Conservatives 23%, Reform 11%, Lib Dems 9% and Greens 6%.


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Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
10 days ago

Well here we are on the day of the election on breakfast t v saying that today they must not talk politics on any party on the day of the election as it is against the law to do so i read the newspapers online Torygraph Daily Mail Daily express all tory rags running stories against Labour and other parties when they know its against the law the tory rags newspapers have run dirty campaign based on lies false information and personel attacks on oppostion politicians SCUM NEWSPAOERS FOR A SCUM PARTY

Garycymru
Garycymru
10 days ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Hopefully we’ll all get to enjoy the tears of both forms of scum tomorrow.

John Ellis
John Ellis
10 days ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Strict OFCOM rules for the broadcast media on polling day, but none at all for the press. Makes no rational sense, but the major parties clearly still fear press barons and editors. Even though fewer people buy newspapers year on year.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
10 days ago

Unfortunately there is little to choose between the two main parties. Both are monetarist with little regard for working people. Its Plaid for me but I dread the emboldened Gething when Labour win. I hope other parties go full throttle on a ‘vote no confidence’ in him after election.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 days ago

Bangor Aberconwy needs your Plaid Vote…the pot-holes are massing and moving West…stop them with an X…

Pete Cuthbert
Pete Cuthbert
10 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Yes, please get out there and vote the Tories out. The site https://www.getvoting.org/ can tell you which is the best tactical vote in your constituency. This is a non-party site so using that will mean that you should not fall into any Tory spoof sites (I have not spotted any yet but they may be about).

Today is a “hold your note and vote” day. After that it will be on to the PR campaign to ensure that we never have to use First Past The Post again.

Last edited 10 days ago by Pete Cuthbert

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