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General election results live: Post-election polls in minutes, last-minute votes cast that could end Tories' power

Sunak goes to the polling station to cast his vote in the general election

Huge turnouts are being reported at polling stations across the country, with millions of people casting their votes in a general election that could bring major upheavals in British politics and end 14 years of Conservative government.

With polling stations closing at 10pm, many are reporting long queues in fine weather and it is now expected that voter turnout could be one of the highest in recent election history.

The 10pm post-election poll will give a first indication of the night ahead for Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

The Prime Minister cast his vote alongside his wife Akshata Murty in his North Yorkshire constituency, and Keir Starmer cast his vote in London accompanied by his wife Victoria.

A large survey for The Independent suggested yesterday that Mr Sunak would lead the Conservatives to their worst defeat in history, with just 82 seats.

If the forecast is correct, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt and Defense Secretary Grant Shapps are among the long-serving Conservatives set to be ousted.

According to polls, Sir Keir could enter 10 Downing Street as the winner with an unprecedented majority of 272 seats.

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The battle for the chancellorship

Archie Mitchell met voters in the Godalming and Ash constituency:

Jane DaltonJuly 4, 2024 21:15

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Do men and women vote differently in parliamentary elections?

Do men and women vote differently in parliamentary elections?

Women and men have often had different ideas when it came to voting in elections. In the 2019 general election, the UK Election Study found one of the largest gender gaps in party support in modern British history, with more men voting Conservative and more women voting Labour. But what about today? Alicja Hagopian, the Independent's data correspondent, delves into the numbers. A recent YouGov poll shows the gender gap between Labour and Tory voters is narrowing this election – but the real divide is among Reform voters. The latest polls, released just yesterday (3 July), showed 40 per cent of women planned to vote Labour, compared to 38 per cent of men. The same is true for Conservative voters, with 23 per cent support among women and 21 per cent among men.

Holly EvansJuly 4, 2024 21:01

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What happens to the MPs who lose their seats in the elections?

For some, the defeat may come as a surprise, while others recognized the signs of the times during the election campaign.

In the coming days and weeks, several moving vans will be travelling around the Parliament grounds as former MPs vacate their offices and make room for the new MPs.

Some of the new MPs are expected to arrive in Parliament within hours of the results being announced, as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

As soon as the areas are cleared, they will be allocated office space in Parliament by their group leaders.

The taxpayer-funded Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which manages MPs' expenses, supports those candidates who have lost their seats.

Winding down payments are intended to help outgoing MPs close their offices and cope with the departure of staff.

Joe Middleton July 4, 2024 20:56

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Everything you need to know after the polls close

John Rentoul’s guide to the “Portillo moments” you should look out for – and when to take a power nap:

Jane DaltonJuly 4, 2024 20:55

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Tension rises in the election poll

Voters are waiting for the exit poll that will show who won the general election when the last votes are cast after weeks of campaigning by party leaders.

Polling stations across the UK opened at 7am, giving millions of voters the chance to decide whether incumbent Tory politician Rishi Sunak will remain in top office or Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will move into Downing Street.

Opinion polls suggest that Labour is well on its way to winning a large majority in the House of Commons and forming a new government.

The first indications of whether the pollsters were right will emerge shortly after the polls close at 10 p.m., when the post-election poll is broadcast by BBC, Sky and ITV.

People queue to cast their vote at a polling station in London.
People queue to cast their vote at a polling station in London. (REUTERS)

Holly EvansJuly 4, 2024 20:54

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When will we find out who won? An hourly guide

However, the campaign was shaken by the last-minute appointment of Nigel Farage as the new leader of Reform UK. Farage was nipping at the Prime Minister's heels in surprise polls, trailing the Conservatives in the party's vote share by just a small margin.

Read the whole story here:

Holly EvansJuly 4, 2024 20:49

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Follow the parliamentary elections live from 10 Downing Street

Jane DaltonJuly 4, 2024 20:30

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Why we vote with pencils: Fact check

There were claims on social media that voters should bring their own pen to the polling station because a pencil could tamper with their vote.

In polling stations, pencils are often used instead of ballpoint pens because the ink could get onto different areas of the ballot paper and thus obscure the voter's choice.

However, the Election Commission's guidelines for polling station staff state that voters can vote using a pen or pencil.

It states that pencils are typically used for practical reasons – pens could dry out or spill something in the voting booth.

Additionally, folding the ballot paper can cause ink to spill onto different parts of the page, which can invalidate a vote if the voter appears to have selected multiple candidates.

The Election Commission adds that security measures have been put in place to prevent ballot tampering.

After voting is completed, the ballot boxes are sealed and will not be removed until the counting of votes begins.

Jane DaltonJuly 4, 2024 20:10

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Britain's northernmost ballot papers must travel 290 kilometers to be counted

Ballot papers from the northernmost ballot boxes in the United Kingdom – a remote island in the Shetland Islands – must be transported 300 kilometers to be counted.

Loganair said it was preparing to transport boxes from the island of Unst to Orkney for counting. The journey would involve two ferries, two cars and a plane.

Jane DaltonJuly 4, 2024 19:45

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Watch: Boris Johnson implores voters to avoid ‘nightmarish’ Labour government

Boris Johnson asks public to avoid ‘nightmarish’ Labour government on the road to election

Boris Johnson has asked voters to avoid the “nightmarish prospect” of a Labour government in a video he recorded on his way to the polling station. The former prime minister encouraged the public to vote Conservative, telling the camera: “[There’ll be] more wokery, more illegal immigration, more senseless, impotent kowtowing to Brussels and, of course, ever higher taxes.” Only a few days ago, Mr Johnson joined Rishi Sunak in the final leg of his election campaign to avoid a “supermajority” for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

Salma OuaguiraJuly 4, 2024 19:20