Britain braces for election in wake of terror attacks

Eloi Lecerf
Junho 8, 2017

This is a far cry from the 20 point lead the Tories enjoyed when Prime Minister Theresa May called the election on April 18.

The Prime Minister, who began the campaign promising "strong and stable leadership" on Brexit, has been forced in the final days to turn to pledges on fighting terrorism.

May has also promised to crack down on extremism if she wins - even if that means watering down human rights legislation.

"There needs to be a strong injection of social awareness and a real willingness to deal with social problems", said Lawrence Dodd, who was holding a banner depicting Corbyn and John Lennon.

"Many people will see it for what it is, which is a rather crass last minute attempt to divert attention from the much more hard questions around our anti-terrorism policy", said former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat.

As one anonymous respondent said: 'I was going to vote LibDem but I feel Labour have come along way this election.

Following attacks in Manchester and London that killed 29 people, voters are anxiously aware of the threat the country faces from worldwide terrorism, and demanding to know why authorities failed to apprehend suspects whose extremist leanings were well-known.

As May takes flak for her Home Office record, the Tories have concentrated their fire on the Labour leader's past relationship with extremist groups, and the performance of his home-affairs spokeswoman, Diane Abbott.

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A poll conducted by Survation for the news programme Good Morning Britain, and published on Tuesday showed support for the Conservatives dropping from 46.8 per cent to 51.5 per cent, while support for Labour has surged from 30 per cent to 40.4 per cent, giving the Conservatives a 1 point lead. The Labour manifesto strikes a chord and I do not believe in where Conservatives are taking this country'. "Not the Few"; the few, Corbyn repeatedly pointed out, were the rich and the very rich, for whom the Conservative government had reduced taxes, ignoring the plight of the masses of poor.

When it resumed, May was facing questions about her record as Britain's interior minister between 2010 and 2016 - years in which police budgets were cut and the number of officers fell by nearly 20,000.

Although the Conservatives seem to be leading in the run-up to the elections, many are preparing for the unexpected as the British electoral system is based on the principle of first past the post, which can exaggerate parliamentary majorities where the majority vote in a constituency gets the win. We've taken a look at some key seats which could determine what the 2017-22 Parliament will look like - some are interesting in their own right, others more emblematic of the kinds of the seats the parties will be looking to take for their campaigns to be considered a success.

That's effectively down to the party's less harsh stance on Brexit than the Tories. They said: "Whatever the election result, the episode has changed her party's perception of May and will change the balance of power inside her government after the election".

If Labour emerges as the single largest party and goes on to form a minority government with support from the Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats and others, calling the mid-term election will spell nothing less than an historic blunder for May - the next election was not due before 2020.

Facing harsh questioning from Paxman, one of Britain's best known TV journalists, May defended her about-face on Brexit.

An oft-ignored fact in the cut-and-thrust of campaigning is the weariness about another round of voting across the United Kingdom - which some say is now a dis-United Kingdom after the 52/48 per cent "Out/In EU" vote in the June 2016 EU referendum.

The U.K. election has turned a lot more unpredictable in recent weeks, increasing the risk of a pound plunge if the market's worst-case scenario unfolds in Thursday's vote, according to analysts. But Corbyn's rise appears to have helped shed some of that weariness and cynicism among voters.

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