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UK election exit poll suggests Conservative majority

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2019 | 5:39 PM
Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson with his dog Dilyn as he leaves after voting in the general election at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, Thursday, December 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

LONDON (AP) — An exit poll in Britain’s election projected Thursday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament, an outcome that would allow Johnson to fulfil his plan to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union next month.

The survey predicts the Conservatives will get 368 of the 650 House of Commons seats and the Labour Party 191.

It projects 55 for the Scottish National Party and 13 for the Liberal Democrats. Based on interviews with voters leaving 144 polling stations across the country, the poll is conducted for a consortium of UK broadcasters and regarded as a reliable, though not exact, indicator of the likely result.

Polls have closed across the UK and ballots are being counted, with official results expected early Friday.

If Conservatives do win a majority of seats, it will vindicate Johnson’s decision to press for Thursday’s early election, which was held nearly two years ahead of schedule.

He said that if the Conservatives won a majority, he would get Parliament to ratify his Brexit divorce deal and take the UK out of the EU by the current January 31 deadline.

That would fulfil the decision of British voters in 2016 to leave the EU, three and a half years after the divisive referendum result.

It would start a new phase of negotiations on future relations between Britain and the 27 remaining EU members.

A Conservative victory would also raise questions over the future of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who will have led his left-of-center party to two electoral defeats since 2017.

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