UK Election 2024 Live: Rishi Sunak urges people to vote for Conservative Party, says ‘stop Labour supermajority’

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UK Election 2024 Live Updates: The United Kingdom is set to vote today, with polling stations open from 7 am until 10 pm (0600-2100 GMT). An exit poll at 10 pm, after voting concludes, will provide the first indication of the outcome, with detailed results expected early Friday. Opinion polls for this year’s UK Election indicate that the centre-left Labour Party is poised for a historic victory in Thursday’s election. This would potentially end 14 years of Conservative rule and place Starmer in the prime minister’s office at 10 Downing Street by Friday morning. YouGov’s final seat projection, released on Wednesday, suggests Labour is on course to win a majority of 212 seats, the largest of any party in modern history.

On the final day of campaigning, both Labour leader Starmer and Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned voters of severe economic repercussions should the other candidate win.

Who is Labour Party’s candidate Keir Starmer?

Keir Starmer, 61, a Labour Party candidate standing against Rishi Sunak in the UK Election 2024, assumed leadership of the party in 2020 following its worst electoral defeat in 84 years in 2019 under veteran left-wing figure Jeremy Corbyn. He focused on shaping Labour as a party known for competence and pragmatism rather than being driven primarily by ideology. Starmer, a former human rights lawyer who ascended to become Britain’s top prosecutor, entered parliament in 2015 and served as Corbyn’s spokesperson on Brexit. He was named after Keir Hardie, the founder of the Labour Party.

Starmer’s campaign has centred on a simple promise of ‘change’, which resonates with public dissatisfaction over Britain’s strained public services and declining living standards. These are symptoms of a sluggish economy and political uncertainty.

Key points to know

– The United Kingdom is voting on Thursday to decide on Sunak’s 20 months in office and the four Conservative prime ministers before him. They are widely expected to do something they have not done since 2005: elect a Labour Party government.

– British general elections are determined by individual votes in 650 districts, each representing a seat in the House of Commons. A party needs 326 seats for a majority, though about 320 seats typically suffice because the speaker and three deputies do not vote. Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fein abstains from taking their seats in Westminster.

– The Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid newspaper The Sun endorsed Labour and Starmer on Wednesday, stating in an online editorial: “It’s time for a change.”

– Sunak has tried to convince voters that his 20 months in office have set the economy on a positive trajectory following the external shocks of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, and has marked the end of years of turmoil under his Conservative predecessors. Facing an approximately 20-point deficit in opinion polls against Labour, Sunak turned to former prime minister Boris Johnson—the man he helped oust in 2022—inviting him to speak at a late-night Conservative rally on Tuesday.

– Many election experts predict a low voter turnout, below the 67% recorded in 2019. However, this election could bring significant change to Britain if it results in a large Labour majority and a weakened Conservative Party.

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