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Polls open in 'most important general election in a generation'

The polls have opened for the general election after a six-week campaign dominated by Brexit, the NHS, claims of bias and accusations the prime minister was ducking media scrutiny.

Article originally published by The Guardian. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

The polls have opened for the general election after a six-week campaign dominated by Brexit, the NHS, claims of bias and accusations the prime minister was ducking media scrutiny.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have branded Thursday’s vote the “most important in a generation” as the two sides have vastly different plans for Brexit and spending on public services.

It is the third time in five years that Britons are casting their votes in a general election.

Boris Johnson attended Methodist Central Hall in Westminster with his dog, Dilyn, to cast his vote. The prime minister arrived at the Storey’s Gate polling station, a street overlooked by Westminster Abbey, at about 8.15am. He left about three minutes later, after posing for a picture with his pet.

Jeremy Corbyn is expected to cast his vote later in Islington, north London.

As soon as voting closes at 10pm GMT, the results of the traditional exit poll will be announced, a joint survey for BBC News, ITV News and Sky News carried out by Ipsos Mori.

The exit poll is derived from voters at 144 stations being asked to fill in a mock ballot paper as they leave, disclosing how they have voted.

In the last general election in 2017, the exit poll correctly predicted a hung parliament while in 2015 it was more accurate than the opinion polls during the campaign but did not predict the Conservative majority that emerged.

The first results are announced about an hour after the close of the polls. Out of 650 UK constituencies, Houghton and Sunderland South holds the record for being the quickest to return a result after declaring at 10.48pm in 2015.

The rest of the results are declared throughout the night. The majority of counts will be completed by 6am GMT on Friday.

If a party wins in 326 constituencies it will have gained a majority.

Boris Johnson spent the final day of campaigning on Wednesday travelling from West Yorkshire, through Wales and to London, insisting the Conservatives are the only party who can “get Brexit done”. However, the canvassing was overshadowed by the prime minister retreating into a fridge to apparently avoid a television interview at a dairy farm in Pudsey, Yorkshire. Earlier in the campaign, there were claims he was trying to avoid a televised grilling by the interviewer Andrew Neil.

Jeremy Corbyn worked his way through six constituencies, finishing in east London, offering a “vote for hope” and attacking Tory “negativity”. He also criticised many in the national media for “relentless” criticisms of Labour. “I believe in a free press. I just wish they would free themselves from the shackles of the billionaires. They are determined to stop real change.”

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats leader, also toured remain-supporting seats, urging voters to back her candidates to stop Brexit while the Scottish National party’s Nicola Sturgeon made her final pitch in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Dunbartonshire.

This article was written by Nadeem Badshah from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Article originally published by The Guardian. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

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