Brits Say Terror, EU Exit Are Keys To Election Today
After a seven-week election campaign that veered from the boredom of staged sound bites to the trauma of two deadly terrorist attacks, Britain’s political leaders today want voters to choose: Who is best to keep the U.K. safe and lead it out of the European Union?
“Quite frankly, the polls are all over the place,” said Graham Wilson, a political science professor who has taught British politics at Boston University. “They all give the conservatives some lead, ranging from more or less a knife’s-edge lead all the way to a 12 point lead, which would be a massive victory.”
Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn crisscrossed the country on the final day of campaigning yesterday, trying to woo voters with rival plans for Brexit, building a fairer society and combating the terrorist threat made all too immediate by attacks in Manchester and London.
May promised to crack down on extremism if she wins Thursday’s vote — even if that means watering down human rights legislation.
“We are seeing the terrorist threat changing, we are seeing it evolve and we need to respond to that,” May said.
Corbyn argued that the real danger comes from Conservative cuts to police budgets — an issue that has dogged May, who oversaw the cuts in her prior job as Home Secretary.
“We won’t defeat terrorists by ripping up our basic rights and our democracy,” he said.
Wilson suggested the election could come down to the youth-voter turnout. If they stay home, expect a double-digit conservative victory, he said.
“If young people ‘feel the Bern’ and turn out in large numbers, it could get more interesting,” said Wilson. “One thing to bear in mind, for the age group in university, which is pretty large in the U.K. these days, university is still in session, so you might get a group of people on them to them to the polls and vote.”
All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in today’s election. A party needs to win 326 seats to form a majority government.
May called the snap election three years early in a bid to boost the Conservative majority in Parliament, which she says will strengthen Britain’s hand in divorce talks with the European Union.
“Get those negotiations wrong and the consequences will be dire,” she warned yesterday.
This article is written by Chris Cassidy from Boston Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.