Voting in the UK general election is under way at more than 40,000 polling stations across the country.

Polls opened at 07:00 BST on Thursday, with counting starting once voting ends at 22:00 BST.

A total of 650 Westminster MPs will be elected, with about 46.9 million people registered to vote.

That is up from the last general election, in 2015, when there were 46.4 million registered voters.

Some votes have already been cast, through postal voting, which accounted for 16.4% of the total electorate at the 2015 general election. People with an undelivered postal vote can still deliver it by hand to their local polling station.

Overall turnout in 2015, when the Conservatives won 331 out of 650 seats, was 66.4%, up from 2010.

Most polling stations are in schools, community centres and parish halls, but pubs, a launderette and a school bus have been used in the past.

Police have increased security at polling stations, including patrols by armed officers in some areas, following the recent terror attacks.

A handful of seats are expected to be declared by midnight, with the final results expected on Friday afternoon.

Unusually, no local elections are taking place at the same time, so results might come through earlier than in recent general elections.

In 2015 the first seat to declare was Houghton and Sunderland South, at 22:48 BST.

To form a majority in the House of Commons one party must win 326 seats – in 2015 a Conservative majority was not confirmed until 13:34 BST.

A woman and her dog outside a polling station

The weather forecast is for some rain in south-west England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on Thursday, with south-east England remaining cloudy and dry.

Polls close at 22:00 BST, but officials say anyone in a polling station queue at this time should be able to cast their vote.

The BBC’s main election programme, fronted by David Dimbleby, starts at 21:55 BST, with live coverage from scores of counts.

Dimbleby, fronting his 10th election night broadcast, will be joined by Mishal Husain, Emily Maitlis, Jeremy Vine.

David Dimbleby

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will have their own overnight programmes but will join Huw Edwards from 07:00 BST on 9 June.

On the radio, an overnight broadcast by BBC Radio 4 will be hosted by Jim Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn.

On BBC Radio 5 live, the overnight show will be hosted by Stephen Nolan and Emma Barnett.

Full coverage of the results as they come in will be on the BBC politics online live page and front page scorecard, with all the big breaking stories from around the country and analysis by correspondents


What you need to know about the election:

If you are on the electoral register, you should have received a polling card through the post which has your name, polling number and the address of your polling station printed on it.

Polling stations are usually set up in public buildings such as schools, community centres and village halls near where you live.

If you have not received a polling card but think you should have, contact your local authority’s election office.

If you have lost your polling card, the office will be able to tell you where your polling station is.

To find the contact details of your local office, enter your postcode on the About My Vote website.

Do I need to take my polling card with me?

A church in Teesside, England

No. The polling card is for your information only, but taking it to the polling station can speed up the process.

Can I go to any polling station?

No. You must vote at the polling station to which you have been assigned.

Any voter who has not had a chance to post their postal vote (if they have asked for one) can still take it to their polling station.

What do I do when I get to the polling station?

When you arrive, staff will take your details and cross off your name on their checklist. In Northern Ireland, staff will also ask for a form of photographic ID.

How to vote graphic

What happens next?

You will be given a ballot paper listing candidates and parties you can vote for. It will be printed on special paper or feature an official mark or number to combat fraud.

Then I vote?

Yes. Take the ballot paper to one of the booths, which are screened to ensure secrecy.

Each polling booth should include sharpened pencils, attached to string long enough to accommodate both right and left-handed voters. You can use you own pen or pencil if you prefer.

Read the ballot paper carefully before you vote.

How do I vote?

Put an X in the box next to the name of the person you want to vote for. If you mark any more boxes, your paper will be invalid.

Hand writing on ballot paper

Can I put a smiley face instead?

The Electoral Commission says the best way to make sure your vote is counted is to mark an X in a box. But a smiley face or anything which is interpreted by a returning officer as an expression of preference “must not be rejected if the voter’s intention is clear”, its guidance to Returning Officers says.

What do I do with my marked ballot paper?

Fold the ballot paper so others cannot see your choice and post it in the ballot box.

Casting a voteImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

What if I make a mistake?

Don’t worry. You can get your ballot paper reissued, so long as you have not put it in the ballot box.

Can I spoil my ballot paper?

Yes. The verification of the used, unused and spoilt ballot papers is a legal requirement. Some people spoil their votes as a means of registering their democratic right to express a view, but not vote for any of the candidates.

I have got a disability. Can I get help?

Polling station in a caravanImage copyrightTHINKSTOCK

Yes, everyone has the right to request assistance to mark their ballot paper. You can do this by asking the presiding officer to mark the paper for you. Or bring a close family member who is over 18, or someone who is eligible to vote at the election, such as a support worker, with you.

If you have a visual impairment, you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret. A large print version of the ballot paper should also be clearly displayed in the polling station.

Returning officers must also consider accessibility requirements when planning for an election, and polling stations are selected in consultation with local disability groups so that wheelchair ramps and disabled parking spaces are available.

If a voter cannot enter the polling station because of a physical disability, the presiding officer may take the ballot paper to the elector.

voting o


I have a learning disability. Can I get help?

Yes. If you need help, call the Electoral Commission’s public information line on 0333 103 1928.

A dedicated helpline for anyone with a learning disability who has questions about casting their vote, or experiences any difficulties in doing so, has also been set up by Mencap, a partner of the Electoral Commission.

The helpline is also available to the families and carers of people with learning disabilities, and to polling station staff. The number is 020 7696 5588.

What if I cannot get to a polling station?

Tattooed arm casts vote in ballot boxImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

If you are suddenly incapacitated or taken ill on polling day, you can apply for an emergency proxy up until 17:00 BST on the day.

I forgot to register, can I vote?

No. You cannot vote unless you are on the electoral register.

Is it compulsory to vote?

No, people cannot be forced to vote.

When will I know the result?

The votes will start to be counted as soon as the polls close at 22:00 BST. Constituencies will start to declare within the first few hours of the vote, with a large number expected between 03:00 BST on Friday and 05:00 BST. It is difficult to predict when a new government will be formed, and depends on how close the election is.




Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were left bruised but not battered as they survived tough questioning from voters and veteran interviewer Jeremy Paxman on Sky News.

In the 90-minute programme, the Prime Minister was repeatedly challenged on her policy u-turns – while the Labour leader was grilled on his past support for the IRA.

Both leaders dodged some awkward questions: Mr Corbyn on whether he would order the killing of a terrorist threatening an attack on the UK, and Mrs May on the Conservatives’ social care policy.

Supporters of both party leaders claimed victory after the Battle For Number 10 show by Sky News and Channel 4 – the first in this General Election to be broadcast in front of a live TV audience.

Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May took part in the first live TV audience Q&A

Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “The Prime Minister brought it back to the fundamentals – who is going to get the best Brexit deal, and in doing so who will be able to secure our economy, our public services and our national security.”

And a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “Theresa May floundered on her record on police cuts, on funding for our NHS and schools, and on her manifesto policy on social care that didn’t last more than a few days before it was amended with an unspecified cap.”

At times, Jeremy Paxman was scathing about both party leaders – claiming the PM’s u-turns made her look like a “blowhard who collapses at the first sign of gunfire”.

:: The verdict on Corbyn and May’s studio grilling

Mrs May is asked about recent U-turns

May: ‘A blowhard who collapses at first sign of gunfire’?

Mr Corbyn’s most uncomfortable moments during questions from the audience came when it was claimed he had “openly supported the IRA in the past” by attending a commemoration for IRA members killed by the SAS.

In reply, Mr Corbyn said there was a period of silence for “everyone who died in Northern Ireland” at the 1987 event.

Another member of the audience said he could not vote Labour due to Mr Corbyn’s “ruthless, shortsighted” policies, which include raising corporation tax to 26%, a £10-an-hour minimum wage and imposing VAT on private school fees.

Replying to another man who said he liked the Labour manifesto but did not see him as “someone who could run this country”, Mr Corbyn said he saw himself as a listening politician.

And in one of his better moments during the programme, he pointed to his ear first and then his mouth, and said: “Leadership is as much about using this as using this.”

Mr Corbyn refused to be drawn on immigration levels under Labour after Brexit, though he said they would “probably” be no higher than at present.

:: The Battle for Number 10: What we learned (and what we didn’t)

Jeremy Corbyn says leadership is about listening

Corbyn on leadership: It’s about listening

Then, in fierce clashes with Mr Paxman, Mr Corbyn was asked why he had been unable to get his long-held belief in nuclear disarmament into the Labour manifesto, which backs the renewal of the Trident deterrent system.

“This manifesto is the product of the views of the Labour Party – party conference decisions and the views put forward by individuals in the shadow cabinet,” Mr Corbyn said.

The renewal of Trident was “a conference decision by the Labour Party and as the leader of the party I accept the democracy of our party”, the leader added.

As Mr Paxman repeatedly interrupted him, Mr Corbyn said light-heartedly at one point: “Come on, give us a chance.”

And when he was challenged over why some of his “core beliefs” – such as nationalising banks – did not feature in the Labour manifesto, he said: “I’m not a dictator who writes things to tell people what to do.”

The Labour leader appeared surprised when asked why he was not proposing to abolish the British monarchy, saying: “It’s not on anybody’s agenda, it’s certainly not on my agenda.”

Corbyn says abolishing monarchy ‘not on agenda’

During her grilling from the studio audience, Mrs May was accused by a police officer of presiding over “devastating” cuts, asked by a midwife to justify her “chronic underfunding” of the NHS and heckled over school funding.

She told the police officer: “What we had to do when we came into government in 2010 was to ensure that we were living within our means and that was very important because of the economic situation we had inherited.

“It’s not just about the numbers of police – people often focus on the numbers of police. It’s actually about what the police are able to do and how they are being deployed on our streets.”

Mrs May was then tackled on social care plans, dubbed the “dementia tax”, by an elderly audience member wearing a military tie and blazer, who asked: “Why should we in my generation vote for you?”

She told him: “We will put an absolute cap on the level of money that people have to spend on care.

“And I think what we’re doing is ensuring we can have a sustainable solution for the long-term.”

She was then heckled by an audience member after a replying to a question on school funding, saying: “Nobody can guarantee the real terms per pupil funding increase.”

:: ‘You’ve clearly failed’: Voter heckles May

:: Corbyn: I won’t be soft on terror if I become PM

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Theresa May heckled over school funding

Mrs May also repeated her “no deal is better than a bad deal” slogan when asked if she was prepared to walk away from Brexit talks.

When Mr Paxman asked whether she was prepared to walk away, Mrs May replied: “I think you have to. In negotiations you have to recognise that you’re not in there to get a deal at any price.”

But the toughest exchanges for the Prime Minister came when Mr Paxman challenged her on a series of u-turns, on social care, national insurance and calling an election.

Mr Paxman told her: “What one’s bound to say is that if I was sitting in Brussels and I was looking at you as the person I had to negotiate with, I’d think ‘she’s a blowhard who collapses at the first sign of gunfire’.”

:: Watch the highlights of May v Corbyn: The Battle For Number 10 on Sky News at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.





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British Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead over the opposition Labour Party dropped to 6 percentage points in a poll published on Tuesday, the latest to show a tightening race since the Manchester bombing and a U-turn over social care plans.

Barely two weeks ago, a series of surveys showed May was on course for a landslide parliamentary majority in a June 8 snap election which she called to secure a strong mandate for Brexit talks.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn – support rose 3% following Manchester bombing


But her Conservative Party remained on 43 percent according to a survey conducted by Survation for ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme, seeing their lead drop as support for Labour rose 3 percentage points to 37 percent.

The poll was conducted on May 26 and May 27 in the aftermath of a suicide bombing which killed 22 people in Manchester last Monday and following a government U-turn on unpopular proposals to make elderly people pay more towards their care.

Questions continue to mount over how much Britain knew about Salman Abedi, responsible for the deadliest militant attack on British soil for 12 years. May was interior minister from 2010 to 2016.

Just over half of the 1,009 respondents said May would make the best prime minister, whilst support for Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn stood at just 30 percent, albeit higher than in previous surveys.





Jeremy Corbyn is to exploit his status as the underdog in the general election with a vow that he won’t “play by the rules” of usual politics and will take on the media as well as the Tories to change Britain’s “rigged system”.

In his first official speech of the campaign, the Labour leader will deny that the race to No.10 is “a foregone conclusion”, despite a raft of opinion polls putting his party around 20 points behind the Conservatives.

Speaking in central London, Corbyn will promise his government would take on the “few powerful and wealthy individuals and corporations” who the Tories have allowed to effectively run Britain in their own interests.


On the first full day of campaigning since the House of Commons gave the go-ahead for a June 8 election, he deliberately contrasted his own approach with Theresa May’s more traditional message of offering “strong and stable leadership” – as well as the pitch of previous Labour leaders.

Corbyn made an impromptu street visit in the London marginal of Croydon Central on Wednesday, taking selfies with supporters as he talked of cuts to the NHS, social care, wages and housing.


By contrast, May took a helicopter to a golf course in another marginal of Bolton, using an autocue to ram home her message of delivering a smooth Brexit. Neither leader took questions, however.

In his speech on Thursday, Corbyn will seek to underline his ‘people’s campaign’, which was boosted by £200,000 raised by his party’s new members in just 24 hours.

He will say that the rich who run Britain should feel threatened by Labour as its policies will restore rights and income to “the true wealth creators” – the majority of the public – rather than “the wealth extractors”.

“Much of the media and establishment are saying this election is a foregone conclusion. They think there are rules in politics, which if you don’t follow by doffing your cap to powerful people, accepting that things can’t really change, then you can’t win.

But of course those people don’t want us to win. Because when we win, it’s the people, not the powerful, who win. The nurse, the teacher, the small trader, the carer, the builder, the office worker win. We all win.

They say I don’t play by the rules – their rules. We can’t win, they say, because we don’t play their game. They’re quite right I don’t. And a Labour Government elected on 8 June won’t play by their rules.”

Tony Blair

The remark is a big contrast to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband as well as David Cameron, all of whom have said that they want to stand up for people who “play by the rules”.

Corbyn wants to reset public assumptions about Labour’s chances, scotching talk of it heading for an historic defeat. However, two polls gave the Tories huge 21-point leads just before the Prime Minister’s surprise announcement of a June poll.

Pollster Matthew Goodwin forecast that Labour could lose up to 80 seats and leave them with just 154 seats, their worst result since 1931.

In his speech, Corbyn served notice that he would play to what he sees as his own strengths as an outsider taking on the powerful.

“If I were Southern Rail or Philip Green [the former boss of BHS], I’d be worried about a Labour Government.

“If I were Mike Ashley [the boss of Sports Direct] or the CEO of a tax avoiding multinational corporation, I’d want to see a Tory victory.

“Labour is the party that will put the interests of the majority first.

That’s why we will prove the establishment experts wrong and change the direction of this election – because the British people know that they are the true wealth creators, held back by a system rigged for the wealth extractors.”




Corbyn will add that the Tories – and by implication even New Labour – had “created a cosy cartel which rigs the system in favour of a few powerful and wealthy individuals and corporations”

“It’s a rigged system set up by the wealth extractors for the wealth extractors. But things can, and they will, change.”

In remarks that appear to refer to Labour’s own reign during the 2008 financial crisis as well as the Tory record since, Corbyn will say: “How dare they crash the economy with their recklessness and greed, and then punish those who had nothing to do with it.

“We will overturn this rigged system. The Conservatives will never do that. Seven years of broken promises show us that: on wages, the deficit, the NHS, our schools, our environment.

“The Conservatives will use all the divide and rule tricks of the Lynton Crosby trade to protect the wealth extractors’ rigged system.”