Johnson victory in the UK’s ‘most important election in a generation’

Johnson victory in the UK’s ‘most important election in a generation’

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Voting is over in the U.K. and according to exit polling, the Tories – and Boris Johnson – are poised to win a very clear majority, with a historic loss for the Labour Party. In fact, the exit poll shows the best result for Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher won in 1987.

The story: The six-week campaign leading up to the election has been dominated by Brexit talk, which U.K. politicians have been struggling with since 2016, but also with discussions of other key issues, including healthcare, climate change, and taxes.

The results of the election are expected to be announced early Friday.

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A recent Savanta ComRes poll showed a tight race between Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party and opponent Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party. The poll showed Johnson's party leading with 41% against the 36% support for Corbyn.

“This election is our chance to end the gridlock but the result is on a knife-edge," Johnson said, according to the Telegraph.

The opponents: Corbyn visited Scotland and at least five key seats in a speedy tour across England this week during which he urged undecided voters to “vote for hope in this election,” according to The Guardian. “It’s time for a pay rise for 12 million people, for lower fares and bills, and for free childcare,” Corbyn said in Middlesborough on Wednesday.

“It’s time for pension justice for women born in the 1950s, and for free personal care for pensioners. And it’s time for everyone to have free education and decent jobs," he added. “We will put money in your pocket because you deserve it. The richest and big business will pay for it. We will save our NHS by giving it the money it needs, ending privatization and by not selling it out to Trump.”

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Johnson, meanwhile, was asked this week whether the election was “in the bag,” to which the prime minister replied, “absolutely not.”

“This is a very close-fought election, and we need every vote,” he told workers during an event in a JCB factory in Staffordshire. “The only mathematical alternative to a working majority for a Conservative government is the real, real risk of another hung parliament. That’s another five years of confusion, chaos, dither and delay. We cannot go down that route.”

“We’ve only got 48 hours to get this thing done. I want you now to reflect on the gravity of the choice we have before us. This is a momentous occasion for our country. I’ve never seen an election quite like it,” Johnson told workers at the factory.

Theresa May, Johnson's predecessor, lost the Conservatives’ governing majority during the 2017 general election, which prevented her from passing her Brexit deal on three occasions and ultimately forced Johnson, who also failed to deliver Brexit by the promised Oct. 31 deadline, to hold an early election. The next election was not due until 2022.

While Brexit is undoubtedly a key issue in the election, Corbyn has also focused on other important issues such as the National Health Service (NHS).

“Brexit is still a key issue, but the Labour Party has wanted to fight the election on other issues where they feel they have a stronger position in the electorate, particularly on the issue of health,” University of Bristol political sociologist Paula Surridge told ABC News. “Here they have focused on trade with the U.S. and issues around parts of the NHS being open to U.S. markets for drugs and medicines."

The latest poll from YouGov that the Conservative Party will win 339 seats, which would give them a governing majority of 28, but due to the margin of error there's a possibility of a so-called “hung parliament” in which no party has a governing majority.

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