Date
20 January 2017
David Cameron addresses party activists at a campaign rally in Carlisle in northern England on Wednesday. Britain is gearing up for its closest general election in decades. Photo: Reuters
David Cameron addresses party activists at a campaign rally in Carlisle in northern England on Wednesday. Britain is gearing up for its closest general election in decades. Photo: Reuters

Britain votes in cliffhanger election

British voters will cast their ballots Thursday in the nation’s closest general election in decades, with the Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party neck and neck in opinion polls.

“This race is going to be the closest we have ever seen,” Labour leader Ed Miliband told supporters in northern England on the eve of the vote. “It is going to go down to the wire.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, said only his Conservatives can deliver a strong and stable government, warning that “all other options will end in chaos”, Reuters reported.

If neither party wins overall majority in the 650-seat parliament, talks will begin on Friday with smaller parties in a race to strike deals.

That could lead to a formal coalition, like the one Cameron has led for the past five years with the centrist Liberal Democrats.

Or it could produce a fragile minority government making trade-offs to guarantee support on key votes, the report noted.

Of seven opinion polls released on the last day before voting, three showed the two main parties tied. Three put the Conservatives ahead by a single percentage point, while one gave Labour a two-point lead.

The Conservatives have vowed to boost jobs and economic recovery, promising to cut income tax for 30 million people while forcing through further spending cuts to eliminate the nation’s budget deficit.

Labour has promised to cut the deficit –which is running at 5 percent of GDP– each year, raise income tax for the highest one percent of earners and defend the interests of working families.

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RC

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