On the eve of the United Kingdom’s second general election in the post-Brexit vote era, polls are tightening between Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party—leading some observers to wonder if Britain is headed to a hung Parliament.
Johnson’s projected 68-seat majority in Parliament is now expected to be more than halved to 28 seats, according to new YouGov polling. While that result would maintain Tory control of the chamber, it won’t make Johnson’s path to delivering the U.K. out of the European Union any easier than it is now—and Johnson has beeen stymied at every turn in his efforts on Brexit.
“Take nothing for granted,” tweeted British journalist and activist Ash Sarkar of the polling in a call to action for Labour organizers. “Every vote is vital.”
Estimated Tory majority has HALVED since the last MRP. It’s within the margin of error for a hung Parliament. And that’s not taking into account ground game/youth turnout.
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) December 10, 2019
The polling coincided with a new craze sweeping the nation: banners and graffiti promoting a rejection of the Conservatives and a viral hastag, #reclaimyourfuture.
“Last night’s polls have given a new boost to everyone hoping to get the #ToriesOut,” tweeted Liverpool Echo political editor Liam Thorp.
Uncertainty around the results has shaken the British pound and had ripple effects in the London Stock exchange.
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“Markets for the first time need to worry about a hung parliament and what that might mean in terms of more uncertainty over the economy and Brexit,” said Markets.com chief market analyst Neil Wilson.
As UK political parties enter the final few hours of campaigning before tomorrow’s election, polls show Labour closing in on the Tories.
— DW Europe (@dw_europe) December 11, 2019
An outright victory for Labour is seen as incredibly unlikely, though the London Aquarium’s penguins chose Corbyn in an unofficial zoological poll on Wednesday.
“It was exciting to watch our penguins get involved in making a fun political prediction,” said Sea Life London Aquarium executive director Graham McGrath. “We look forward to finding out if their prediction was the right one when voters go to the polls this week.”
Corbyn on Wednesday asked voters to go to the polls and vote for a better future. Johnson on Wednesday hid from Piers Morgan in a fridge.
Voters in the U.K. go to the polls Thursday from 7am to 10pm GMT.