Who will rule Britannia?

May 7, 2015

British citizens are heading to the polls today in what is expected to be the closest election in decades, but the real outcome may not be known for some time.

BritPolls050715-620As these Reuters graphics show, the Conservative and Labour parties are neck-and-neck, with each earning between 30 and 35 percent of the projected vote in the most recent tallies from six major polling outfits. In all likelihood neither party will reach a majority in the country’s 650-person parliament, meaning that they will need to either broker a formal coalition government with the country’s smaller parties, or run a limited-power minority government.

Beyond control of one of the world’s largest economies — with a nuclear arsenal to boot — major issues at stake include whether the Great Britain should leave the European Union and the fate of Scotland independence movement. British law allows for two-thirds of parliament to call an early election at any time, and a simple majority can put a no-confidence vote in motion, which could also lead to another election.

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