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Thread: UK Voters Hit The Polls Thursday

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    UK Voters Hit The Polls Thursday

    Voters in Britain will go to the polls on Thursday following three deadly terrorist attacks since March, most recently in London last weekend.

    In the aftermath of the attack on the British capital, President Trump sharply criticized the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.Trumpís intervention drew the ire of politicians across the British political spectrum: Prime Minister Theresa May, a Conservative, came to the defense of Khan, a member of the rival Labour Party.
    Trumpís intervention has also forced May to defend her perceived closeness to him. Itís not the first time the U.S. president has made life difficult for his British counterpart.

    A week after Trump's inauguration, May became the first foreign leader to visit the president in the White House. But within hours of her departure, he announced the first version of his controversial travel ban. The timing was a big embarrassment at home for May.

    Beyond Trumpís role, what's going on in the election?

    The basics

    The United Kingdom held its last general election just two years ago, with the Conservatives ó also known as the Tories ó emerging as the winners.

    The Tories had been the major party in a coalition government since 2010, ruling alongside the much smaller Liberal Democrats.

    The 2015 result allowed them to go it alone, albeit with a modest working majority of 17 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons.

    What happened next?

    Brexit, basically.

    The 2016 referendum in which U.K. voters opted to leave the European Union sent the biggest shockwave in decades through the British political system.

    David Cameron, who had led the Tories to their 2015 win, resigned as prime minister in the aftermath. He had called the referendum and campaigned hard to stay in the EU. The votersí rebuke ended his political career.

    The Conservative Party then elected May as its leader, making her the nationís second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.

    Like Cameron, May had supported staying in the EU ó but, in her case, with no great enthusiasm. After the referendum, she shifted her stance to one of insistence that the votersí wishes be respected.

    Why did she call a new election?

    First, the 2015 election victory belonged to Cameron, not her. In theory, at least, a win on Thursday would bolster her authority.

    Second, she argued that a bigger majority would give her greater leverage as she negotiates the specifics of her nationís departure from the EU.

    Third ó and perhaps most importantly ó she fancied her chances.

    Labour, the main opposition party, elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader after the 2015 election. Corbyn is the most left-wing leader Labour has had in more than 30 years. Elected on a wave of grassroots enthusiasm, he has had to endure constant expressions of dissent from his more centrist colleagues in Parliament.

    Even some in his own party feared an apocalyptic meltdown at the polls when the campaign began.

    What's going to happen?

    The Toriesí once-huge polling lead has eroded to a startling extent since the beginning of the campaign.

    In polling averages collated by the Daily Telegraph, the Conservative lead has fallen from around 18 points when the election was called in mid-April to around 6 points.

    Labour and Corbyn are desperately hoping that this momentum can see them spring a surprise on Thursday.

    That said, Americans were reminded last November of the dangers of placing too much faith in polling, and the perils are even greater for Britons because of an unusual amount of volatility.

    Major polls just within the last week have pegged the Conservative lead at anywhere between 1 point and 12 points.

    Can Labour win?

    Almost certainly not, at least in the sense of becoming the largest party.

    It would be an enormous success for the party, and for Corbyn personally, to deprive the Conservatives of an overall majority. Remember, May called the election in the strong belief that she could win a landslide.

    The Tories will almost certainly still be the largest party when the results come in. But they have a disadvantage when it comes to forming a government. The smaller nationalist parties ó most notably the powerful Scottish Nationalists ó would have a very strong preference for a Labour-led coalition over enabling the extension of Conservative rule.

    Labour supporters should not get too excited, though. If the Tories perform at the upper end of their range of expectations, they could end up with a thumping majority of almost 100 seats.

    Labour under Corbyn is also even more heavily dependent than usual on youth turnout ó and young people in Britain, as in the U.S., are among the least reliable groups when it comes to showing up on Election Day.


    9

    The UK election: What you need to know
    © Getty Images
    Voters in Britain will go to the polls on Thursday following three deadly terrorist attacks since March, most recently in London last weekend.

    In the aftermath of the attack on the British capital, President Trump sharply criticized the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.


    Trumpís intervention drew the ire of politicians across the British political spectrum: Prime Minister Theresa May, a Conservative, came to the defense of Khan, a member of the rival Labour Party.
    Trumpís intervention has also forced May to defend her perceived closeness to him. Itís not the first time the U.S. president has made life difficult for his British counterpart.

    A week after Trump's inauguration, May became the first foreign leader to visit the president in the White House. But within hours of her departure, he announced the first version of his controversial travel ban. The timing was a big embarrassment at home for May.

    Beyond Trumpís role, what's going on in the election?



    The basics

    The United Kingdom held its last general election just two years ago, with the Conservatives ó also known as the Tories ó emerging as the winners.

    The Tories had been the major party in a coalition government since 2010, ruling alongside the much smaller Liberal Democrats.

    The 2015 result allowed them to go it alone, albeit with a modest working majority of 17 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons.



    What happened next?

    Brexit, basically.

    The 2016 referendum in which U.K. voters opted to leave the European Union sent the biggest shockwave in decades through the British political system.

    David Cameron, who had led the Tories to their 2015 win, resigned as prime minister in the aftermath. He had called the referendum and campaigned hard to stay in the EU. The votersí rebuke ended his political career.


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    The Conservative Party then elected May as its leader, making her the nationís second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher.

    Like Cameron, May had supported staying in the EU ó but, in her case, with no great enthusiasm. After the referendum, she shifted her stance to one of insistence that the votersí wishes be respected.



    Why did she call a new election?

    First, the 2015 election victory belonged to Cameron, not her. In theory, at least, a win on Thursday would bolster her authority.

    Second, she argued that a bigger majority would give her greater leverage as she negotiates the specifics of her nationís departure from the EU.

    Third ó and perhaps most importantly ó she fancied her chances.

    Labour, the main opposition party, elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader after the 2015 election. Corbyn is the most left-wing leader Labour has had in more than 30 years. Elected on a wave of grassroots enthusiasm, he has had to endure constant expressions of dissent from his more centrist colleagues in Parliament.

    Even some in his own party feared an apocalyptic meltdown at the polls when the campaign began.



    What's going to happen?

    The Toriesí once-huge polling lead has eroded to a startling extent since the beginning of the campaign.

    In polling averages collated by the Daily Telegraph, the Conservative lead has fallen from around 18 points when the election was called in mid-April to around 6 points.

    Labour and Corbyn are desperately hoping that this momentum can see them spring a surprise on Thursday.

    That said, Americans were reminded last November of the dangers of placing too much faith in polling, and the perils are even greater for Britons because of an unusual amount of volatility.

    Major polls just within the last week have pegged the Conservative lead at anywhere between 1 point and 12 points.



    Can Labour win?

    Almost certainly not, at least in the sense of becoming the largest party.

    It would be an enormous success for the party, and for Corbyn personally, to deprive the Conservatives of an overall majority. Remember, May called the election in the strong belief that she could win a landslide.

    The Tories will almost certainly still be the largest party when the results come in. But they have a disadvantage when it comes to forming a government. The smaller nationalist parties ó most notably the powerful Scottish Nationalists ó would have a very strong preference for a Labour-led coalition over enabling the extension of Conservative rule.

    Labour supporters should not get too excited, though. If the Tories perform at the upper end of their range of expectations, they could end up with a thumping majority of almost 100 seats.

    Labour under Corbyn is also even more heavily dependent than usual on youth turnout ó and young people in Britain, as in the U.S., are among the least reliable groups when it comes to showing up on Election Day.

    How will the terror attacks in London and Manchester affect the election?

    As a general rule, the Conservatives are favored when national security becomes a key issue, similar to Republicans in the U.S.

    However, the picture is complicated because the party has pushed a series of austerity measures since coming to power in 2010 ó and those have included significant reductions in the number of police officers.

    Total police strength in England and Wales has fallen by about 17 percent, or by about 20,000 officers in absolute terms, since 2010.

    Labour has seized on those numbers to suggest that Tory cuts have made the nation less safe.

    How big a factor is Trump?

    Trump is deeply unpopular in Britain. One poll in March gave him an approval rating of just 18 percent.

    His intervention after the recent attack has also made Mayís earlier offer of a state visit to the U.K. a political hot-button issue again. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, on Monday tweeted that May should withdraw the offer, accusing Trump of ďinsulting our national values.Ē

    Still, itís implausible that many British voters will cast ballots based on their views of the American president. They have their own issues to think about.

    Anything else?

    Yes, the Conservatives could be aided by an apparent collapse in support for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), previously led by Trump friend Nigel Farage.

    UKIP has in ways been a victim of its own success: The vote for Brexit was an endorsement of its fierce Euroskepticism but has left it without any clear purpose.

    UKIP became a force in part because it siphoned off Conservative voters. Those voters might well return to their natural political home on Thursday.

    When will we know the result?

    Polls close at 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern time, but British elections are conducted by paper ballot so counting takes time.

    Some crucial seats should begin announcing results around 8 p.m. ET. Barring an exceptionally close outcome, the overall result should be apparent by midnight at the latest.
    When will we know the result? Polls close at 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern time, but British elections are conducted by paper ballot so counting takes time. Some crucial seats should begin announcing results around 8 p.m. ET. Barring an exceptionally close outcome, the overall result should be apparent by midnight at the latest.

    So if May does not get a clear majority, does she lose her PM position? If that happens, are we even certain who else would be PM next?

    It seems to me, UK polticial ads are tamer than in the US. Is that true, do you think?

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    Next round of election fraud, coming right up. Weakling Corbyn is Putin's guy. 'Cause he can't break female leaders with a pussy trap.

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    Anyway Teresa May wanted to increase her majority probably more to avoid the tensions within her party between the hard Brexiters and the others. If she has oly a tiny majority she will loose her bet and find herself in a weak position as well within her own party and toward the negotiations for the Brexit. She seems not to realize that she has no real allies in Europe ready to offer her access to the great market without the constraint about free immigration from the Continent and other rules to which members must abide. Now with Macron in France, anti EU parties defeated all over Europe the future of negotiations is more gloomy for UK than before. Teresamay is no more in a position to weigh on Brussels tellinbg that if you do not offer me what I want, the EU will desintegrate because other countries want to leave too. The problem is now that with a strong FRench German leadership and the failures of anti-European parties in elections to get real results, the risk of desintegration is much more limited and that Europeans have no reason to offer a deal to UK, which otherscould request for themselves........ And the ones who pay are mainly Germany and some other countries which are frimly committted to the Union.
    Thanks from Madeline, Friday13 and MaryAnne

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    Vote on Thursday means that the radical Muslim terrorist attacks will magically end by Friday.

    At least that's what some people seem to think.

    Hang in there UK, just get though today.

    Starting tomorrow all will be peace and love!
    Thanks from Madeline and CEngelbrecht

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    Will your Trump avoids attacks in the USA with his policies more than what happens in UK ? At leasteven if kitchen knifes are easily available in GB, guns are not, which makes life more difficult for mass murderers or terrorists in GB than in the US..... Nobody thinks in Europe that whatever the police does there will not be new attacks....
    Thanks from Madeline

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    Quote Originally Posted by galatin View Post
    Will your Trump avoids attacks in the USA with his policies more than what happens in UK ? At leasteven if kitchen knifes are easily available in GB, guns are not, which makes life more difficult for mass murderers or terrorists in GB than in the US..... Nobody thinks in Europe that whatever the police does there will not be new attacks....
    One member seems to think the radical Muslim terrorist attacks in recent weeks in the UK, are because of this election.

    Starting tomorrow, no more upcoming election, no more radical Muslim terrorist attacks!
    Thanks from Madeline

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    You make me think with the type of reasoning your report to the Englishman who arrived in Calais(France) for the first time, saw a red head woman and decided that all French women had red head..... Has your post a real purpose or are you ony sarcastic ?

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post
    Next round of election fraud, coming right up. Weakling Corbyn is Putin's guy. 'Cause he can't break female leaders with a pussy trap.
    Could you say this with a bit less snark? I'm not sure I understand you.

    Why would Putin want a liberal as PM of the UK?
    Thanks from bajisima

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galatin View Post
    Anyway Teresa May wanted to increase her majority probably more to avoid the tensions within her party between the hard Brexiters and the others. If she has oly a tiny majority she will loose her bet and find herself in a weak position as well within her own party and toward the negotiations for the Brexit. She seems not to realize that she has no real allies in Europe ready to offer her access to the great market without the constraint about free immigration from the Continent and other rules to which members must abide. Now with Macron in France, anti EU parties defeated all over Europe the future of negotiations is more gloomy for UK than before. Teresamay is no more in a position to weigh on Brussels tellinbg that if you do not offer me what I want, the EU will desintegrate because other countries want to leave too. The problem is now that with a strong FRench German leadership and the failures of anti-European parties in elections to get real results, the risk of desintegration is much more limited and that Europeans have no reason to offer a deal to UK, which otherscould request for themselves........ And the ones who pay are mainly Germany and some other countries which are frimly committted to the Union.
    Why can't the UK reverse on Brexit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Could you say this with a bit less snark? I'm not sure I understand you.

    Why would Putin want a liberal as PM of the UK?
    (I still don't understand the Yank use of 'liberal'...)

    He wants the weak leader. And he sure as hell wants to get rid of female leaders. 'Cause those he can't manipulate and break, that little KGB prick. Merkel is next on his list.
    Thanks from Friday13 and MaryAnne

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