Britain goes to the polls today and the most likely outcome is still for the Conservatives to return to Parliament with an increased majority. However, it looks as though this majority will not be a landslide as the polls were indicating at the start of the campaign. Theresa May’s Conservatives currently have an average voting intention score of 42.9 per cent in the Telegraph’s poll tracker – 5.7 points ahead of Labour’s 37.2 per cent.
The Conservatives have taken a seven-point lead over Labour as voters head to the polls, according to the final survey of the election campaign. If borne out by votes, the result means that Theresa May can expect to return to Downing Street tomorrow with a majority of almost 50 seats, up from 17. The YouGov/Times poll showed a late dip in support for Labour. It put the Tories on 42 per cent, unchanged since Friday, Labour on 35 per cent, down three points, the Liberal Democrats on 10 per cent, up one, and Ukip on 5 per cent, up one.
When Theresa May called her “snap election” seven weeks ago, the polls were showing Labour facing a general election defeat on the scale of Michael Foot’s 1983 disaster when the party was reduced to just 209 MPs. Her newspaper cheerleaders, including the Sun, were declaring her the “new Maggie” and claiming she had the opportunity to kill off Labour and end its days as a serious electoral force. But, as ICM’s preliminary call on their final poll showed, May goes into election day with a 12-point lead of 46% to Labour’s 34%. This is up from David Cameron’s seven-point victory just two years ago and represents a swing to the Conservatives of 2.5%. The ICM results pointed to a Tory majority of 96 on electoral calculus estimates and it is at the higher end of seat predictions, but still short of the landslide many pundits were predicting six weeks ago.
THERESA May will secure a landslide victory over rival Jeremy Corbyn, according to polls released just hours before millions go out to vote. Election boffins dashed Jezza’s hopes of a hung parliament with the latest clutch of polls giving the Conservatives a lead as big as 12 points or as small as five. The Guardian’s ICM survey put the Tories on 46% – well ahead of Labour who are lagging behind on 34%. A ComRes poll also gave the Prime Minister a boost giving her party a 10-point lead. The survey also predicted the collapse of smaller parties with many supporters turning to either Labour, or the Conservatives. Half of UKIP voters told pollsters they will switch to the Tories, lending about two million ballots to Mrs May’s share of the vote.
Theresa May looks on course for a definitive victory over Jeremy Corbyn in the general election, as the final poll for The Independent shows her party enjoying a 10-point lead over Labour. If the figures in the ComRes poll are replicated on Thursday, projections indicate a concrete 74-seat majority – the largest the Conservatives have secured since the days of Margaret Thatcher. But the survey also gives key insights as to where Mr Corbyn could have fallen short, despite Labour having halved the Conservative lead since the start of the election campaign. The survey shows a majority of the public raising concerns over Mr Corbyn’s ability to pay for his spending promises and his approach to security and Brexit, while many also believe there is now a need for a new centre-ground political party in the UK.
A RAFT of final polls forecast a wide array of different election results, as betting firms predicted a Tory majority in the 80s today. With the beleaguered polling industry’s reputation again on the line, one firm – ICM – gave the Tories a 12 point lead, on 46% versus Labour’s 34%. And respected pollsters ComRes put Theresa May’s party 10 points ahead of Labour on 44 per cent. When “don’t know” voters were included on the basis of who they preferred as PM, the Tory lead rose 12 points to 46 per cent. ComRes analysis showed half of 2015 Ukip voters had now turned to the Tories – a total of 2m votes.
BRITS will be casting their vote today with Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn battling it out to become Prime Minister. At the time of May’s snap General Election announcement the Tories were 15 points ahead – but how has that changed as campaigning has gone on? The Tories have led the way in the polls since the election was announced but Labour made unexpected gains, with one poll on May 31 even predicting a hung parliament. At the start of the election the Tories were predicted to get a whopping 50 per cent of the vote, which would give them a majority bigger that Tony Blair’s in 1997.
Labour Home Secretary
Diane Abbott’s string of poor media performances was due to a long-term illness, a shadow cabinet colleague said yesterday after Jeremy Corbyn withdrew her from the front line. Mr Corbyn began the last day of the election campaign by announcing that Ms Abbott had been replaced as shadow home secretary and was “taking a break from the campaign” on health grounds. A disastrous radio interview, in particular, in which she struggled to cost Labour’s policing policy made her an inevitable target for Tory attacks on the party’s credibility. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, took her place for a debate on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and a hustings organised by the Evening Standard on Tuesday.
Diane Abbott is being replaced as Labour’s shadow home secretary during a “period of her ill health”, the party has confirmed. Ms Abbott has suffered from a series of gaffes and difficult interviews in recent weeks, with the Conservatives increasingly focusing their political fire on her performance. She will be replaced by Lyn Brown, who currently serves as the party’s the shadow policing minister. On Wednesday Jeremy Corbyn refused to say whether Ms Abbott would be given the job of Home Secretary if Labour won on Thursday. He said only that she had done “a good job” but was “not well today”.
Jeremy Corbyn has temporarily replaced Diane Abbott due to illness as he blasted “totally unfair attacks” on the Shadow Home Secretary. The top shadow minister pulled out of two hustings yesterday after a difficult interview on Sky News in which she was accused of not knowing fine details of a policing report. After Labour said she was ill, right-wing newspapers raised speculation about the statement because she was pictured at a Tube station. But a key ally strode to her defence today, revealing she had a “long-term illness” that she was “coming to terms with”.
DIANE ABBOTT today insisted she is “still standing” despite being replaced as Shadow Home Secretary for the rest of the election campaign after apparently falling ill. Lyn Brown, the shadow policing minister who once quit because of Jeremy Corybn’s leadership, will stand in for Ms Abbott ahead of tomorrow’s General Election. The announcement casts doubt on whether or not Ms Abbott would become Home Secretary if Jeremy Corbyn took power. Yesterday she withdrew from two debates after Labour said she was unwell. She has previously suffered embarrassment thanks to a series of car-crash interviews where she has forgotten key facts and figures – which her allies now say was because of her long-term illness.
NEW fears have been raised that Jeremy Corbyn is planning to ditch Brexit if he wins power after he appointed an arch Remainer to a top job on his front bench. The hard Left Labour leader has made West Ham MP Lyn Brown as his shadow Home Secretary after sidelining the gaffe-prone Diane Abbott because of a mysterious “illness”. With voters going to the polls today, the Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that they need to vote Conservative to “save Brexit”. Ms Brown was one of a group of 47 hardcore “Remoaner” Labour MPs who refused to back the Article 50 Bill to start the process of liberating Britain from Brussels rule. The promotion of an uncompromising pro-EU figure follows revelations by the Daily Express that European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and his Brussels cronies want Mr Corbyn to win the election because they believe he will undo the Brexit vote.
Diane Abbott’s replacement as Shadow Home Secretary (she’s taking time off ill) voted against triggering Article 50, saying Brexit will “reduce living standards and destroy opportunities”. Lyn Brown was previously Shadow Home Secretary but resigned because she thought Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was “untenable”. On Brexit, Brown said: “I could not, in good conscience, give my permission for the Tory Government to take us down that wrong and dangerous road.” Well this should be interesting, a potential Home Secretary who can’t stand her Party Leader and doesn’t accept the democratic will of the people.
BRITAIN could unshackle itself from the embattled European Union (EU) by as early as this summer as Brussels bosses desperately attempt to avoid a Brexit “crisis”, sources have claimed. EU negotiators are said to be steeled for chaos following the lead up to the General Election 2017, which has stoked tensions across the continent. Theresa May’s refusal to reveal her hand over leave negotiations has riled up EU chiefs, including Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who is keen to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain. Left reeling by the Prime Minister’s claims “every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain”, one European Union source said: “Frankly the size of the majority does not matter to us.”
It was not supposed to be like this, a veteran Brussels diplomat said at the start of this week. Only last month senior European Union figures had expressed support for the prospect of an increased majority for Theresa May that, they hoped, would make it easier for her to ride out the political flak from a Brexit compromise that they believed she was ready to make. That prospect has now receded and Brussels is braced for walkouts or even the collapse of negotiations as a weak prime minister uses EU-bashing to try to stamp her authority on a more fractious and Eurosceptic Tory party.
LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked “anti-terror hysteria” in the UK just weeks before the 7/7 bombings, The Sun can reveal. And days after jihadi bombers killed 52 people in London in 2005, Mr Corbyn said the Islamist murderers had been “denied hope and opportunity”. In the wake of the attack on the capital, Mr Corbyn claimed any clampdown “merely hands power to the security services” in a column for the communist Morning Star newspaper he blamed UK foreign policy for the bombings but also suggested innocent people were killed “in the crossfire”.
Theresa May has said she will rip up some human rights laws if they “stop us” from tackling terrorism. Speaking on the election trail, the Prime Minister told supporters she would change any laws that got in the way of preventing jihadis from launching attacks in Britain. Mrs May used one of her final speeches of the General Election campaign to step up her rhetoric against Islamist extremism in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack that left seven people dead and more than 40 injured. She said: “As we see the threat changing, evolving becoming a more complex threat, we need to make sure that our police and security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need.
Europe, the United Kingdom, and Russia have witnessed terror attacks or attempted attacks every nine days in 2017 on average, analysis of security incidents has revealed. Since January, around 52 people have been killed by mostly Islamic terrorists, while almost 250 have been injured. The only known incident not linked to jihadism in 2017 was the attack on the Borussia Dortmund soccer team by a Russian-German national attempting to profit from short-selling stock in the company. Attacks and attempted attacks have taken place in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.
BRUSSELS has been attacked for trying to turn the European Union into a “second NATO” after unveiling controversial new defence proposals which critics say would effectively lead to the creation of an EU army. Critics branded bold plans published by the EU Commission today “unnecessary, irresponsible and unacceptable” and said eurocrats should stop trying to pool ever more military power in their own hands. Today EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini set out three visions for the future of European defence, all of which include tying member states’ forces ever closer together under the supervision of Brussels.
The EU should be transformed into a ‘military power’ amid growing animosity between the bloc and Donald Trump, Brussels chiefs said yesterday. Revealing proposals to create a Brussels-led defence force in the aftermath of Brexit, officials called for the bloc to ‘act alone’ in global conflicts. The move comes just days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the EU could no longer fully rely on America as a partner. EU bosses believe the possibility of creating a centralised ‘defence union’ has been boosted by Brexit, after the UK’s repeated dismissal of plans in recent years.
FRAUD investigators are probing a number of high-ranking EU officials over allegations that they used offshore bank accounts to avoid paying tax, it emerged today. In a bombshell move the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) announced it is forensically examining the accounts of several top EU officials and civil servants over revelations contained in the Panama Papers. An astonishing 40,000 people connected to the European Union were named in the massive document leak, which showed how the rich and famous had been using secret offshore accounts to dodge paying their fair share of tax. Only one of those has been publicly named – the Dutch former Commissioner Neelie Kroes – but the number is believed to include EU Commission officials, contractors and politicians.
A fresh borders row erupted last night after it emerged that EU rules meant Britain could not have stopped one of the London Bridge killers coming into the country. Youssef Zaghba, 22, was flagged on an international watchlist by the Italian authorities, who also told MI6 that he had tried to travel to Syria. A Brussels diktat stating that EU citizens can only be turned away if there is a ‘genuine, present and serious’ threat meant border guards could not stop him entering the UK at least twice after being put on the watchlist. Just over a year after the Islamist was placed under round-the-clock surveillance by Italian counter-terror officers, he was part of the gang that murdered eight in a van and knife rampage around London Bridge on Saturday night.
A TOP eurocrat has today admitted her surprise at how British ministers have U-turned over their opposition to an EU army in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Polish official Elżbieta Bieńkowska said representatives from the UK were “mute” when the bloc’s plans to significantly up military cooperation were drawn up, adding they not offered “any opposition”. She said many eurocrats had been left stunned by the lack of kickback from Britain over the controversial proposals, which were unveiled by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini today. British ministers including defence secretary Michael Fallon and foreign secretary Boris Johnson were involved in the discussions, which took place at several EU Council meetings earlier this year.