For me, the ten issues shaping tomorrow’s 2017 UK General Election:
1. UKIP — it is the end of the road for the party at a national level, and their voters are going Conservative in a big way
2. Lib Dems — their poor performance on the campaign trail has left the party rudderless and their votes going to Labour
3. Trump — is he an ally or albatross — his recent outbursts and attacks against the mayor London have been less than helpful to the Conservatives
4. Brexit — hard or soft — what is the UK’s future relationship with the EU — what does this look like and who will lead negotiations
5. Austerity — ending soon with price controls for energy and more spending for social programs, schools, hospitals, university students, and police
6. Corbyn — exceed expectations and is a genuinely good campaigner — he likes to be on the campaign trail and engaging voters
7. May — failed expectations and is a genuinely poor campaigner — she does not like being on the campaign trail and engaging voters
8. Dementia Tax — hurts seniors and showed Conservatives to be weak and wobbly — not the desired message of strong and stable leadership
9. Facebook — too much influence and free reign to surpass paid campaign limits — regulation is coming
10. Terrorism — three attacks in three months plus a decrease in police spending — does this help the Conservatives or does this help Labour
Voting in the UK general election takes place tomorrow — Thursday, June 8 — with polls closing at 10:00 pm BST (5:00 pm ET).
How to watch:
The BBC, Sky, and ITV are all running live coverage throughout the night with CNN providing updates from London.
Also, the BBC will be live streaming its results show on Twitter at bbcelection.twitter.com.
When will we know the results:
At 10:00 pm BST (5:00 pm ET) an official exit poll will be available and widely reported. It’s not always accurate, but in the 2015 general election, the exit poll was close to being correct.
If there is a clear winner for PM and party, we will have a good idea of the result by 3:00 am BST (10:00 pm ET).
If it is close, we could be waiting until Friday morning around 7:00 am BST(2:00 am ET).
PM Theresa May will address the results of the election with a scheduled speech at the count in her Maidenhead constituency at 6:00 am BST (1:00 am ET).
326 seats are needed to form a majority government. Currently, the Conservatives are on 330 seats and Labour 229 seats.
At the start of the contest, there were Tory dreams of a 100 seat majority, but recent YouGov poll suggested a hung parliament with the Conservatives only securing a total of 302 seats.
Overall, this has not been a great campaign for Theresa May, the Conservatives, or the staff at CCHQ. But the Conservatives have benefited from the demise of UKIP, the party will do better in Scotland than they have in recent campaigns, and Jeremy Corbyn as PM seems fanciful even for the most Labour party faithful.
I believe the Conservatives will expand their majority only slightly and will enjoy a majority of 30–40 seats by the time is all said and done.
Though this will keep May as prime minister, it will do little to suppress her unruly party and disgruntled cabinet members. More concerning, she may have weakened her hand in Brexit negotiations in what will be seen as an unnecessary and unhelpful snap decision to call for an election.
As I see it — the final tally:
Conservatives — 365
Labour — 216
SNP — 40
Lib Dems — 8
Others — 21