Britain starts general election voting to break Brexit deadlock

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-12 19:17:48|Editor: xuxin
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LONDON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Polling stations opened in 650 constituencies across Britain at 7:00 a.m. (0700 GMT) Thursday in the country's general elections.

This is the second general election Britain has witnessed since its Brexit referendum in 2016.

The 46 million registered voters in Britain will be handed slips of paper containing the names of candidates in their respective constituencies, and some of them have already voted via postal votes, waiting to be added to the final tally.

A woman working at the polling station located at St. Vincent's School, Westeminster, told Xinhua that there were 10 or 11 voters in the first six minutes of opening.

"That's a good turnout. We take their voting numbers so that we can contact those who haven't voted to encourage them to vote," she said.

Jason Smith, a policeman, said he voted for the Conservatives. "I am sick of Brexit. This is the best chance for the country. Only by getting Brexit done can we be more focused on the recruitment of police and the Conservatives have pledged to increase policeman numbers," he said.

Hannah Darcy, who voted for the Liberal Democrats, said there are more people talking about the election compared with previous years and "Brexit is a big reason".

After thousands of polling stations across Britain close at 22:00 p.m. (2200 GMT) Thursday, counting will begin immediately and most results will come out Friday.

Elections in Britain traditionally take place every four or five years, but members of parliament voted in October for a second snap poll in roughly three years.

It is also the first winter election since 1974 and the first to take place in December since 1923.

The general election was called in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock, which has gripped Britain ever since the seismic 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union. After struggling to lead a minority administration, Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson hopes to secure a majority government that will enable him to take Britain out of the bloc on Jan. 31.

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