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Express
THE odds on what and who the bookmakers believe will triumph at the polls today have been released and it makes good reading for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives. As the country goes to the polls between 7am and 10pm today, many were initially speculating of a close race between the Tories and Labour. However, the gap appears to have widened now as the Conservatives have stormed ahead Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. It also looks bleak for the Liberal Democrats, who have endured a difficult campaign. The Pools has opened up marks on possible outcomes from the general election and beyond. The Conservatives remain strong favourites to finishing ahead of Labour, with the Lib Dems, Brexit Party and Green Party all staggering far behind in the latest odds.
Conservative Party – 1/25
Labour – 9/1
Lib Dems – 500/1
Brexit Party – 500/1

Express
THE CONSERVATIVE Party is forecast to secure a slim majority of just 28 seats in Thursday’s general election as Boris Johnson faces a crunch final 24 hours of campaigning to try and secure victory in the historic poll. The last YouGov MRP poll before this week’s crunch vote has dramatically cut the predicted size of the Conservative Party‘s majority in the House of Commons. The forecast showed the Tory lead down to nine points from 11 points since a similar poll last month. The Tories are forecast to win 339 seats out of 650 in the general election – down from 359 in the last poll but up from 317 in the 2017 general election.

Reuters
Britain’s governing Conservatives have seen their lead over the opposition Labour Party cut to five percentage points, according to a Savanta ComRes poll for The Telegraph newspaper published on the eve of an election. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party stands unchanged at 41%, according to the survey, whilst Labour was up 3 percentage points to 36%, the smallest lead recorded by the pollster since mid-October and the best showing for Labour since January.

Telegraph
Boris Johnson has warned the general election is “on a knife edge” as the Telegraph’s final poll of the campaign shows that the Conservatives’ lead has shrunk to just five per cent. With the result now “too close to call”, the exclusive Savanta ComRes  survey puts the Conservatives on 41 per cent ahead of Labour on 36 per cent, the smallest Tory lead since mid-October. The result would give the Prime Minister a narrow majority of just six although the poll predicts a hung parliament as a “plausible” outcome.

Mail
Boris Johnson made his final plea for voters to help him ‘get Brexit done’ tonight hours before the ballot boxes open – and with polls showing the result is still on a knife edge.  The PM said it is ‘up to you now’ after another frenetic day of campaigning in which he warned the risk of a Jeremy Corbyn government is still ‘very real’. ‘Now is the time for this amazing country to come together and remember what it is capable of doing,’ he told a glitzy rally at the Olympic Park in east London.

Times
Boris Johnson has warned that every vote for the Brexit Party today will increase the likelihood of Labour gaining power after a new analysis revealed that Nigel Farage could stop the Tories taking 16 seats. The prime minister issued a direct appeal to potential Brexit Party voters, saying that they were risking the “terrifying prospect of Jeremy Corbyn moving into Downing Street”. The move came as an analysis by YouGov identified 16 Labour marginals where the Tories could fail to make a breakthrough because Mr Farage’s party was splitting the Leave vote.

Independent
On eve-of-election poll by BMG Research for The Independent  has put Conservatives on 41 per cent, Labour on 32 and Liberal Democrats on 14, pointing towards a small overall majority for Boris Johnson’s party but leaving open the possibility of a hung parliament. The survey of more than 1,600 voters, conducted between 6 and 11 December, found headline voting figures unchanged from a similar poll last week. If repeated on 12 December, they point to a Johnson majority of around 25-30 in the House of Commons, freeing the prime minister to press ahead with taking the UK out of the EU on 31 January.

Huffington Post
Tactical voting against the Tories in just 30 seats could deny Boris Johnson a majority in the general election, new analysis of YouGov’s authoritative latest poll  suggests. Just 21,215 voters could hold the balance of the election in their hands if they vote tactically to deny the Tories in marginal seats they are currently expected to hold or gain. The analysis, by the anti-Brexit Best for Britain campaign, is based on YouGov’s constituency-by-constituency MRP poll, which predicted a hung parliament in 2017 and is seen as the most trustworthy.

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn insisted today that a Labour election upset was ‘no problem at all’ despite signs that his party is on course to lose seats and suffer a humiliating defeat.  He spoke on the campaign trail less than 24 hours before the polls open for a vote that could decide the course of Brexit.  Boris Johnson is on course to win the general election with a majority of 28 that would allow him to complete Brexit, according to the YouGov polling analysis which correctly predicted a hung parliament in 2017.

Mail
Nigel Farage could scupper Boris Johnson‘s hopes of winning a majority at the general election tomorrow with Labour and the Tories neck and neck in dozens of seats.  A new YouGov survey showed there are 85 constituencies where the leading party is ahead by five per cent or less which means the result is on a knife edge.  And in many of those seats the Brexit Party is standing a candidate, with Tories concerned that could be enough to split the Leave vote and allow a Labour victory.

Telegraph
The Conservatives will win a majority of between 30 seats and 40 seats in Thursday’s general election, Nigel Farage has said, as he warned that bad weather on polling day is set to depress the Labour vote. In his final interview ahead of polling day the Brexit Party leader said that a win of this size for the Tory party would give huge influence once again to the European Research Group of Tory MPs. Mr Farage said he will carry on campaigning for a ‘clean break’ Brexit even if he wins no seats in the election.

Labour Party

Times
Labour is preparing to adopt key policies proposed by the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats to woo them into supporting a minority government led by Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Corbyn used a series of rallies in key marginal seats yesterday to urge voters to “shock the establishment” in a “truly historic” choice about the future direction of the country. The call came as 15 former Labour MPs appealed to voters on the eve of the election not to support the party, warning that Mr Corbyn was “not fit to be prime minister”.

Mail
Millions of workers would have their pension savings hammered by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government, FTSE 100 boss Paul Walsh warned last night. Mr Walsh, who ran drinks giant Diageo for more than a decade and now chairs catering firm Compass, sounded the alarm over Labour’s ‘hidden threat to all our retirement plans’.  The 64-year-old cited estimates that Labour could wipe an average of £11,200 from savers’ pension pots and delay their retirement by three and a half years.

Buzzfeed
A Labour frontbencher was secretly recorded this week saying the party was struggling in the heartlands; candidates and voters told BuzzFeed News he was right. In seats throughout the north of the country, in what were once Labour’s heartlands, there is a fundamental disconnect emerging between the party and areas that have traditionally voted for it. Whatever happens when Britons go to the polls on Thursday, the 2019 election has exposed growing fault lines between the party and its once-loyal voter base, which it will want to address once the dust has settled.

Sun
THE Pound will plummet if Jeremy Corbyn snatches the keys to No10, City experts warned last night. Investors fear a splurge in public borrowing to pay for Labour’s pie-in-the-sky nationalisations and free broadband. But Sterling could experience a “Boris Bounce” if the Conservatives hold onto power and dodge a hung parliament. Neil Wilson, of City firm Markets.com, said: “Sterling will suffer a hard drop if there is anything other than a Tory majority. “There should also be a bit more upside should the Conservatives secure a strong majority — a Boris Bounce perhaps.”

Conservative Party

Times
Boris Johnson invoked the memory of the 2012 Olympics as he urged voters to “stop the chaos” at the polls today. The prime minister held his final campaign rally on the eve of the election at the Copper Box Arena in east London, which staged several sporting contests during perhaps the most memorable event of Mr Johnson’s eight years as mayor. After bringing to a close a 500-mile dash replete with visual metaphors that left little to the voters’ imagination, Mr Johnson warned that the election remained on a “knife edge” despite the Tory leads in the polls.

Lib Dems

Times
Jo Swinson has admitted that the Liberal Democrats have missed a “moment of opportunity” in the election campaign as her party was accused of miscalculating its manifesto pledges by up to £1.7 billion. The Lib Dem leader again defended her decision to campaign on a promise to cancel Brexit, saying that it would be a “nonsense” to claim that the party would have renegotiated Britain’s departure from the EU.

Yahoo News
The Liberal Democrats have admitted to an undercosting of £1.7bn ($2.2bn) in spending figures presented in their manifesto, following calculations from Yahoo Finance UK. The £1.7bn shortfall is in their day-to-day costs — government spending excluding capital expenditure. The party miscalculated costs around the policy of reintroducing maintenance grants for university students.

The Brexit Party

Guardian
Nigel Farage has claimed that Brexit party candidates have been “hounded and bombarded in the most extraordinary way”, complaining that “the tone of politics has deteriorated hugely” over the course of the election campaign. Speaking the day before the country goes to the polls, the Brexit party leader said the campaign had been “very, very nasty” and that he was surprised his candidates had been able to withstand the abuse they had been subjected to. “I’ve seen people who want to put themselves forward for election, which of course is our right in a free society, [be] hounded and bombarded in the most extraordinary way,” he said.

Breitbart
Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party have the only “sensible, realistic” proposals on immigration, the Chairman of Migration Watch UK told Breitbart London. Alp Mehmet, the chairman of the mass-migration sceptic think tank Migration Watch UK and first-generation immigrant, told Breitbart London that the Brexit Party has “understood what many people feel in the country about immigration”. Mehmet said that “their leader has come up with the only sensible, realistic suggestions” on immigration.

Ireland

Independent
Trade experts have uncovered fresh evidence that Boris Johnson is misleading voters about the impact of his Brexit deal on  Northern Ireland – and are warning it is unlawful. Tariffs would be charged on around 75 per cent of imports – including those from Great Britain – under the plan for a customs border in the Irish Sea, they have found. “This is not easily reconciled with the government’s assertion that Northern Ireland remains within the UK customs territory,” said Professor Alan Winters, of the UK Trade Policy Observatory, at the University of Sussex.

Express
NORTHERN IRELAND parties clashed in a special BBC election debate held earlier this week – but with 18 seats up for grabs, who will win the election in NI? Voters will hit the polls on Thursday to choose who they wish to represent them in Westminster in the 18 Northern Ireland seats. The key issues for the electorate in Northern Ireland are Brexit, healthcare and the collapse of the assembly. No UK-wide party has ever won a seat in Northern Ireland, so which party is predicted to win Northern Ireland on Thursday?

EU

Express
BORIS JOHNSON’S bid to “get Brexit done” has been mocked by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. The Brussels Brexit chief told a private meeting of senior MEPs trade negotiations could not be completed in the timeframe set out by the Prime Minister. In a leaked recording, Mr Barnier is heard dismissing the UK’s 11-month timetable to wrap up trade talks by 2021 as “unrealistic” and suggesting negotiations will drag on until long after the end of next year.

Evening Standard
Michel Barnier has delivered a blow to Boris Johnson’s election promise to “get Brexit done” by admitting privately that trade negotiations cannot be finished in an 11-month timetable. In the leaked recording, obtained by The Independent, the EU’s chief negotiator is heard telling a closed meeting of senior MEPs in Brussels that wrapping up global trade talks by 2021 is “unrealistic”. The Prime Minister has consistently vowed to take the UK out of the EU by January 31 and then finalise a trade deal with Brussels within 11 months to meet the transition period deadline.

Telegraph
One thing is certain as voting day finally arrives: Europe is rooting for Boris Johnson.  The more seats, the better. Nobody in high office will say it. A few Commission diehards might still hope to overturn Brexit – or still imagine that such a reconquest would be digestible – but the overwhelming view in the great capitals is that further years of British civil war and cross-Channel brinkmanship risk a strategic debacle. They can only roll their eyes at the naïveté of Hugh Grant and the Beautiful People, as if tactical voting can surgically deliver the right hung Parliament: that is to say a revocation referendum, without that little extra problem of an anti-NATO Marxist, one who thinks that Mao’s Great Leap Forward was a success, finds no fault with Vladimir Putin, and excoriates Western self-defence.

Times
European Union leaders at a summit tomorrow will reject Boris Johnson’s plan to get a final Brexit trade deal by the end of next year. The prime minister has pledged to “get Brexit done” if re-elected by taking Britain out of the EU at the end of next month and by concluding negotiations and ratification of a new trade deal by this time next year. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has repeatedly warned that there will not be enough time because Mr Johnson has ruled out extending a planned transition period beyond December 31 next year.

Express
BRITISH members of the European Parliament have blocked an EU deal on green taxonomy in a final stand against Brussels which dealt a major blow to the bloc’s climate ambitions. The group refused to compromise on a new set of rules governing which financial products can be called “green” and “sustainable” with less than two months to go until the Brexit deadline. The decision brings to a halt a landmark deal struck last week by EU lawmakers and the Finnish presidency of the EU.

Independent
Brexit trade negotiations cannot be finished in the timeframe claimed by Boris Johnson, the EU’s chief negotiator has privately admitted – blowing a hole in the prime minister’s big election promise to “get Brexit done”. In a leaked recording obtained by The Independent, Michel Barnier tells a private meeting that the UK’s 11-month timetable to wrap up trade talks by 2021 is “unrealistic” and suggests negotiations will drag on until long after the end of next year.

Morning Star
FRENCH unions rejected President Emmanuel Macron’s “mockery” of a pension reform plan today, leaving the country to expect further strike action. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on national television that the government would press on with plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, but offered concessions in a bid to calm nationwide protests. According to the government, the new scheme is aimed at replacing a complicated pension system that includes special privileges for some sectors with one set of rules for all.

Mumps

Mail
Hundreds of students have been struck down by a severe outbreak of mumps that is spreading across British universities. Public Health England figures show that more than 7,200 suspected mumps cases have been reported in the UK since July, almost triple the same period last year. Health officials said students were driving the surge and urged any who missed out on the MMR jab to get vaccinated.  In recent weeks, outbreaks of the highly infectious disease have been reported at universities including Edinburgh, Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol.

Plastic

Times
Plastic pollution is up to 500 times worse in the rivers of Asian countries where Britain sends its waste than in European waterways, according to the most detailed study of the problem to date. Most of the eight million tonnes of plastic that end up in the ocean each year comes from rivers in countries with poor management of plastic waste. The worst plastic pollution rates recorded in the study were in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, all of which began taking more plastic packaging from the UK after China banned imports of plastic waste two years ago.

Air travel

Times
America’s aviation watchdog allowed the Boeing 737 Max to continue flying after a deadly crash despite concluding that it would suffer a fatal accident every two or three years. An internal analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration, disclosed yesterday by investigators, found that Max jets would crash more over the lifespan of the fleet than earlier 737 models. The FAA began the analysis after a Max operated by Lion Air, an Indonesian carrier, crashed in October last year, killing all 189 passengers and crew, but before a Max operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in March this year, killing all 157 people on board.

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