General election 2019 live: Result 'too close to call' as polls open - latest news

Henry Bodkin
The PM casts his vote in Westminster...with a little help from a friend. - AP

Voters are preparing to go to the polls this morning, with the Telegraph’s final poll of the campaign showing the general election is now “too close to call”.

The exclusive Savanta ComRes survey puts the Conservatives on 41 per cent ahead of Labour on 36 per cent, the smallest Tory lead since mid-October.

The result would give the Prime Minister a narrow majority of just six, although the poll predicts a hung parliament as a “plausible” outcome.

“This election is our chance to end the gridlock but the result is on a knife-edge," Mr Johnson said, as  party leaders made the final push in what has been dubbed "the most important election in a generation". 

Jeremy Corbyn urged voters to “shock the establishment” and “back change” as he ended his campaign with a whirlwind 464-mile tour of marginal seats from Glasgow to Bedford.

On the eve of the election, final data showed one in six (17 per cent) voters said they could still change their mind, according to the poll.

The survey also found that more than one in five voters (22 per cent) intending to vote Labour would not like to see Jeremy Corbyn leading a majority government - suggesting that they are holding their noses and voting tactically.

Seventeen per cent of voters said they would consider leaving the country if Mr Corbyn became prime minister while almost one in seven (13 per cent) said they would consider selling financial investments.

Voter turnout could play a major role in the election outcome with rain, wind and chilly temperatures forecast for much of the country throughout Thursday.

Mr  Johnson, who gambled his premiership by triggering the vote, has sought to focus on his pledge to "get Brexit done" throughout the campaign.

Mr Corbyn has instead tried to highlight his party's credentials on the health service and other domestic issues.

9:25AM

Let's hear it for the guide dogs

Joking aside, it's a big day for these animals.

 

9:05AM

Big beasts at risk

While today's election is of course all about the future of the country and Brexit, don't forget that it's really 650 individual elections, and that some prominent political figures are at risk of losing their seats.

Foreign Secretary and Brexit cheerleader Dominic Raab is one, as well as Theresa Villiers, the environment Secretary.

Have a read of who else it at risk here.

8:57AM

Police blow up suspicious device near polling station

There has been some worrying police activity in Motherwell overnight, as our Scottish Correspondent Auslan Cramb reports:

In Scotland, a controlled explosion was carried out near a polling station after police received a report of a suspicious device on the ground floor of Glen Tower flats in Motherwell.

A cordon was placed round the building, where a community room was to be used as a polling station, and residents were evacuated before an explosion was carried out by Explosive Ordnance Device staff as a precautionary measure.

The discovery was made around 1am and North Lanarkshire arranged for a new polling station at Knowetop Primary School to open from 7am.

Police said inquiries would establish “how viable the device was and the full circumstances surrounding the incident”.

8:50AM

Luna (and Sadiq) hit the polls

Luna Khan takes her owner Sadiq, who happens to be mayor of London, for a walk to the polling station this morning.

 (Strap in for a lot of these today)

8:38AM

Boris Johnson votes

The Prime Minister was pictured a short time ago walking with his and Carrie Symonds' rescue dog Dilyn to Westminster Central Hall to cast his vote.

The PM casts his vote in Westminster...with a little help from a friend. Credit: AP

 He'll now settle in for the long wait until the all-important exit poll is published at 10pm.

8:27AM

Social media RULES!

This election has been fought hard on social media, but special rules apply on election day.

One question often asked is whether it is illegal to share your vote on social media. Fear not, we have the answer. 

 

8:16AM

It's time for Dogs at Polling Stations 

What says general election in Britain more than dogs at polling stations? And not just dogs for that matter. In 2017 we saw horses, rats and even guinea pigs. The hashtag #dogsatpollingstations is already trending so there's plenty to come but here's a starter for 10 and it's a special Christmas entry. 

7:38AM

Bleak, bleak mid winter

The weather today is frankly appalling, with most parts of the country expecting heavy rain for significant stretches of the day.

It's particularly bad in the West Country (gale force winds) and Scotland (hail and sleet).

Analysts are divided as to whether this will favour any particular party - we'll keep an eye out for any reports that voting is being hampered by the conditions.

7:19AM

How do I vote?

We know that many of our readers are avid followers of politics, but for those of you who haven't thought about the logistics of voting yet, have a read of our practical how-to guide here.

And don't forget to wrap up warm!

5:54AM

'Uncertainty is the only certainty in this rancorous election'

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of Savanta ComRes,  has shared his thoughts on the final Telegraph poll ahead of today's election. 

The survey puts the Conservatives on 41 per cent ahead of Labour on 36 per cent, the smallest Tory lead since mid-October.

The result would give the Prime Minister a narrow majority of just six although the poll predicts a hung parliament as a “plausible” outcome.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Hawkins wrote: 

This Jingle Hells election has become utterly unpredictable. The current analysis points to an exceptionally large number of marginal seats whoever wins. Not only have traditional party loyalties fractured, but the presence of disruptive smaller parties makes once binary contests a series of multi-party scraps. Even with some polls using huge national sample sizes, the range of perfectly justifiable outcomes stretches from a hung parliament to a Tory majority of 100.

Read the full analysis. 

5:51AM

Our guide to election night

The polls may be opening shortly, but the real drama won’t kick off until 10pm, when the exit poll results are announced.  

From then on, channels will be vying for our attention, from the Swimgometer on the BBC to Channel 4’s quirky guests.

Here’s our run down of what you can expect as the results roll in. 

5:46AM

Could weather rain on Tory parade?

Voters heading to the polls on Thursday can expect heavy rain and wind for the first December election in almost 100 years. 

Terrible weather will hit most of the country from first thing in the morning - with the Met Office warning that winds could reach the 30mph mark. 

On Wednesday, there were 30 Environment Agency flood alerts in England and Wales as well as eight flood warnings.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency had 12 flood alerts in place and 26 of the more severe flood warnings.

Read on to find out if that could have a bearing on the result. 

5:45AM

Welcome

Good morning! 

It's time for Britain to decide. Election day is upon us and polls will be opening at 7am, kicking off what has been dubbed  "the most important election in a generation".  

With the result now “too close to call”, according to an exclusive Telegraph poll, and 17 per cent of voters still open to changing their mind at the ballot box, here's the Telegraph's complete guide to election. 

Click here to find out how to vote and who to choose.  

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