Nuevo Imparcial.- More than 40 million Britons participate today in the closest election in 40 years with Labour and Conservatives virtually tied in the polls according to the final results. If neither party achieves a simple majority then the new British government will be decided with a final game of coalitions and underhand negotiations that can lead the country to political paralysis.
Early British risers queued at the more than 40,000 polling stations to vote at seven in the morning (eight in the morning in Spain). They may cast the vote until ten in the evening, local time with macro-TV exit polls broadcast immediately after the first projections.
The count in the UK is particularly slow. It is estimated that at about two in the morning the winning party may be known.
The BBC polls yesterday gave the conservatives 34% of the voting intentions, versus 33% of Labour, who have regained ground in all the polls in the sprint finish. Neither of the two parties can foreseeably reach 300 deputies out of a total of 650. Even with an agreement with a single other party will there be a guarantee to reach the 323 needed for a simple minority (The Speaker of the House of Commons and the two empty seats to Sinn Fein do not count ).
«Nightmare on Downing Street» was the headline on the cover ‘The Daily Telegraph’, predicting chaos to come. «Occupy Downing Street» could be read in an editorial in The Times where they speculated that the possible «assault» would be led by Ed Miliband, even after losing the popular vote and the support of the SNP ,that has been eluding both parties during the campaign.
The Scottish issue resurfaced as the (almost obsessive) primary concern of the conservatives in the last hours. Former Prime Minister John Major and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Cameron echoed the risk that threatened to «break up the country» if Labour reach an agreement with the SNP.
Premier David Cameron has put much emphasis at the end to conquer the 23 «marginal seats» that by his opinion will make a difference, and delegitimize the already called «coalition of losers» (in case they intend to support the Labour party despite losing the elections mathematically).
To reach the 323 deputies, Cameron may be forced to also negotiate with Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) . In the event that even with the Northern Irish Unionists they cannot reach a simple majority, the conservative leader may try to run with a minority government.
The hostile tabloid campaign culminated yesterday with the cover of ‘The Sun’, which provided a snapshot of the Labour leader making a humiliating bite with his teeth into a sandwich and warning that the UK awaits the same fate as the «bacon». The cover sparked an immediate reaction on social media with the hashtag #JesuisEd, in solidarity with the eating habits of the Labour leader and denounced the manipulation by the Rupert Murdoch tabloid.
‘The Sun’ has starred in a curious unfolding campaign that speaks volumes about the growing distance between London and Edinburgh. While the London edition endorsed David Cameron, the Scottish edition crowned Nicola Sturgeon as Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars’: «May the force be with you in Westminster.»