Thursday is Election Day in the UK.
While Americans may have a passing familiarity with the issues that will bring UK residents to the polls, most of us have our own political insanity to keep up with. So here is a handy-dandy primer on the UK elections, what is at stake, and what to look for as the votes are counted.
- This is the third round of general elections in the UK in less than five years. Parliament voted in 2011 to use a fixed date to conduct elections. The next elections weren’t due until May of 2022, but the Brexit controversy forced Parliament to circumvent the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011 and call for a special election. This will be the first winter vote for the UK in 45 years and first December vote in 80 years.
- The major parties in contention for parliamentary seats are the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn and the Conservative Party, led by current interim Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
- Both parties have pledged to increase federal spending on everything from the NHS to welfare benefits, with Labour pledging greater increases than Conservative. The Conservatives have also pledged not to increase the income tax rate and have withdrawn their commitment to reduce the corporate tax rate from 19% to 17%. Labour intends to increase the corporate tax rate to 26%.
- Johnson has promised to see Brexit through once and for all if his party is reelected with a majority of the 650 parliamentary seats.
- Corbyn has promised to hold a second vote on Brexit.
- Johnson is the head of the Conservative Party, which in the UK is more akin to a centrist-socialist position than conservatism is in the United States. Jeremy Corbyn is an avowed Marxist and fully intends to pull the Commonwealth into an unprecedented era of communist/socialist governance.
- Corbyn is so far to the left that even members of his own party have questioned his fitness to lead.
- Polls have consistently had Johnson and the Conservatives leading by double-digits, but some surveys show the gap closing dramatically in the last few months.
- Nigel Farage is leading the Brexit Party on a platform solely dedicated to completing Brexit and moving forward with new deals with the European Union. It is not expected that they will make any major parliamentary gains but their performance in the general election will reveal a lot about the mood of the electorate.
- The weather is expected to have a literal chilling effect on voter turnout, with freezing temperatures and wet conditions predicted across the UK.
- Voters may vote in person or by mail.
- Polls close for both mail-in (which can be walked into any polling station for last-minute voters) and in-person voting at 22:00 GMT.
Obviously UK elections aren’t at all like American elections, but the direction of their elections will say a lot for the rising global sentiment that the doctrine of multiculturalism and elitism has ended up failing the most vulnerable among us. Britain’s decline began decades ago and the voters will not be voting to reverse any sort of financial spiral. Those days are long gone. But they will be voting to decide whether or not they want to remain British or simply be absorbed in the European behemoth.
We’ll update you as things move forward today and you can get more in-depth coverage from The BBC beginning at 21:45 GMT. If Johnson and his party end up pulling this off, they actually might be very entertaining to watch…2016 Trump/Clinton lite.