Voters go to the polls in a dramatically different UK from last General Election

Voters go to the polls in a dramatically different UK from last General Election

It will soon become clear if Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer will be our prime minister after the election (Picture: Getty)

The Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the death of Queen Elizabeth II – they’ve all happened since the last time the UK held a General Election.

We’re living in a very different world now compared to December 2019, when Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to a landslide victory by promising to ‘get Brexit done’.

Since then, the prime minister has changed twice and polls suggest the political landscape has changed significantly.

But ultimately, all that matters is how the country is feeling today and where voters will draw the X on their ballots.

The decision made at today’s election will determine the broad direction of our politics for the next five years or more.

Polling booths across the UK open at 7am, and will continue to welcome voters wishing to make their voices heard until 10pm.

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As soon as those stations close their doors, we’ll also get our first large-scale indication of how the country has voted with the release of Sir John Curtice’s exit poll.

However, until tomorrow morning we won’t know for certain the full story of which party will form the next government, how big its majority might be, and which high-profile figures have won or lost their seats.

How do you win a General Election?

Over the years, many different tactics and strategies have been deployed to win a General Election – but there’s really only one way to do it.

You need to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons. That number rises and falls as the number of constituencies changes, but since 2010, it’s meant winning at least 326 of them.

If your party has more than 50% of the seats in the House, it can pass legislation without the need for cooperation from another party to get it over the line.

At the 2010 General Election, no single party crossed the 50% threshold, resulting in what’s called a hung parliament.

It was resolved when the Liberal Democrats decided to join the Conservatives – who had won the most seats, but not the majority of them – in a formal coalition government.

It’s clear that the 2024 General Election will have considerable ramifications for the UK – whether the government changes or not.

The best way to play an active role is also the simplest: head out to your local polling station and vote.

After that, it’s up to you whether you stay up all night to watch the results trickle in or just head to bed and find out what happened when you get up.

Metro will be running its politics live blog all night long to bring you the very latest news from across the UK as it happens.

For now, there’s no way of knowing what the next five years will bring, but between 7am and 10pm today you can have a direct impact on who will be in charge to face them.

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