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UK on election countdown during last few hours of voting

The polls close at 10pm.

IT HAS BEEN a full-on day of voting for UK citizens today, as Theresa May’s snap election comes to its final stages.

General Election 2017 Polling Day A Welsh 'Blwch Pleidleisio' or 'Ballot Box' is carried inside the Grange Pavilion bowling club, which is a polling station in Grangetown, Cardiff. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Exit polls due at 10pm will give an indication of the results we can expect, but some last-minute polls carried out before voting took place indicate a lead for the Tories.

According to the Lord Ashcroft poll, which was released today:

The final results from the Ashcroft Model shows an increase in the estimated Conservative majority compared to Tuesday’s figures. The new data is based on an updated survey conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, which found a hardening of the Conservative vote as Tory supporters gave a higher likelihood of turning out to vote than in previous rounds. The upshot is as follows:

It estimates that the Tories will grab 373 seats, giving the Conservatives a majority of 96.

Meanwhile, the Guardian warns that people should be cautious about a Wired poll which gives Labour a 2.8 percentage point lead.

The newspaper’s own poll tracker puts the Conservatives ahead at 43.91%, and Labour at 35.93%.

The election is May’s first since taking office in July last year, after Britons voted by 52% to leave the European Union.

While it’s generally expected that the Conservatives will increase their majority, it won’t be the overwhelming win that looked certain when May first called for the election.

With part of Labour’s success in the election hinging on votes from young people, queues outside universities were notable. But as people learned from Brexit, photographs on Twitter don’t necessarily translate into game-changing polling.

May called the election three years early in a bid to strengthen her slender majority going into Brexit talks, which begin on June 19, but some polls have suggested she may end up with a hung parliament in which the Conservatives would fall short of the 326 seats needed for a majority.

Polling stations are due to close at 10pm, after which we’ll get the first exit poll results.

Unlike Ireland, the UK doesn’t have a proportional representation system. This means that it’s ‘first past the post’ – there are no transfers.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives to vote at the Polling station in Islington. London, UK 08/06/2017 Jeremy Corbyn arrives to vote in Islington, London. Source: Ik Aldama

By about 1am, we can expect to have around a dozen results announced. At 2.30am, Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency of Islington North will declare, while around 4am will see Maidenhead, Theresa May’s constituency, declaring its result.

One thing that has been keeping people’s spirits up during the nailbiting day is the #dogsatpollingstations hashtag on Twitter:

- Contains reporting from - © AFP, 2017

Read: Election Day: Here’s what to watch for as voters decide on Corbyn v May>

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