UK election goes from dull to dramatic as contest tightens

Owen Stevens
June 1, 2017

Speaking to supporters in Reading, the Labour leader said: "It's very odd that we have an election campaign where we go out and talk to people all the time, and the Prime Minister seems to have difficulties in meeting anyone or having a debate".

The other participants traded barbs over everything from immigration to public spending, but were united in attacking May's refusal to appear.

Mr Farron kicked off with a jibe about Mrs May's absence, saying: "Where do you think Theresa May is tonight?"

"Far from being a boring election, I think this one may come to be seen as the beginning of a realignment in politics that changes the political map and our concepts of right and left" - Daniel Finkelstein in the Times.

The Labour leader will seek to build on encouraging signs in the polls as he seeks to steer the campaign away from Brexit and on to his favoured battleground of public services. We will cut class sizes, take a million people off the NHS waiting list and ensure people get the care they deserve.

May called a snap parliamentary election for June 8 - three years early - arguing that a bigger majority for her Conservatives will strengthen Britain's hand in Brexit negotiations with the European Union. Since then, the bombing that killed 22 people at a Manchester concert and some policy missteps by May's party have thrown the contest into uncertainty.

Mr Corbyn's intervention comes as a seat projection by pollster YouGov suggested that the United Kingdom could be heading for a hung parliament, with Labour making gains and Mrs May's Tories suffering losses.

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"This is just a snapshot based on data from the past seven days and people can and do change their minds in the closing days of a general election campaign" - YouGov chief executive Stephan Shakespeare, after his company issued a seat projection poll suggesting a hung parliament.

But it follows a trend.

"Every single pollster, using whatever method, has found a rise in Labour support and something of a decline in Conservative support", said polling expert John Curtice.

She said budgets were now being protected for both counter-terrorism forces and overall policing.Labour is on 37%, up three points on a week ago and six points behind the Tories, who are unchanged on 43%.

"Theresa May is not only risking the health of some of our youngest children, but she will also create awful inequality in the classroom", former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said as the party launched a poster campaign on the issue in London.

"Theresa May called this election because she is taking you for granted".

Other reports by VgToday

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