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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Polls Show Steep Fall in Conservative Support Ahead of British General Election

By Henry Ridgwell December 11, 2019

With fewer than 24 hours to go until the ballot boxes open in Britain for the general election, the latest polling shows a sharp drop in support for the ruling Conservatives. While most polls still suggest Prime Minister Boris Johnson will win a majority – it's by no means certain that he'll still be in 10 Downing Street after the election.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined an early morning milk round in the northern city of Leeds Wednesday.

Johnson's Conservatives are hoping to make gains in these northern seats – that were once safe opposition Labour seats but which voted strongly for Brexit.

"We can get Brexit done. We are ready to go," he said.

But with fewer than 24 hours to go the latest polling has checked Johnson's momentum. One of the largest surveys involving over 100,000 voters predicts a Conservative majority of 28 MPs – down sharply from two weeks ago.

And the margin of error means a hung parliament, with no one party gaining a majority, is still a possibility.

Some Conservative opponents are urging people to vote tactically – for whichever candidate is most likely to beat the Conservatives in their constituency.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hasn't given up hopes of victory.

"We're not into coalitions or tactical voting. We are determined to win this election," he said.

Britain's politics is being uprooted. Polls show the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats could take seats in the south of Britain that were once solid Conservative territory – but which voted strongly to remain in the EU.

Brexit remains the defining issue of the election, says Jill Rutter of the Institute for Government.

"The Conservatives really have to get an outright majority if they want to pursue their sort of Brexit on their timeline because they're very short of potential allies in parliament," said Rutter.

Opposition parties are targeting the seats of several government ministers, with even the prime minister's constituency among those up for grabs.

Results are due Friday morning – when we'll know whether a Conservative-led Britain is heading for Brexit – or whether Boris Johnson himself could be out of power and out of parliament.

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