12 December 2019 09:06

VOTERS across England will mark their crosses on ballot papers for the general election.


His wife is one of the millions of women affected by the change in pension rules and he liked Labour's promise on that front, while Labour is the only party that can beat the Conservatives in Stevenage. "I don't believe Corbyn or most Labour members are antisemitic," said Harvey who is the descendant of German Jews. "After watching Corbyn's interview with Andrew Neil and his refusal to apologise for the antisemitism in the Labour party, I feel I cannot now give them my vote," he wrote. "The closer we get to the election the more I feel I have to vote to get Johnson out. The last week in a campaign generally involves shoring up your vote and delivering it to the polls.

tactical voting

The trouble in Stevenage is that the parties don't know where much of their vote is. It is also partly apathy; it's close to Christmas and they just don't want to talk or think about the election. Local Labour activists say they have seen evidence of a slight rise in the polls as waverers come home, but they fear it may be too late. Voters generally cite one of three reasons for not backing the party under him: he's too leftwing, he supported the IRA, or antisemitism. Meanwhile the core vote is holding up, while support for the Tories is softening, as they bleed votes to the Liberal Democrats, and there's a fair bet the spike in registered voters – estimated to be at least 2,000 – may break their way.

tactical vote

Emma Skinner, the daughter of Jeff Bullock (my late mother's former financial adviser who we met in my previous despatch), is supporting Labour for the first time after voting Conservative most of her life. "I feel I'm going to vote Labour because they are the party that's going to give the money to the services that I think are important." "I get this vibe off him that he's a bit of a snake." She voted Tory before because she doesn't like the way Labour "just throws money about". Even Dave, the manual labourer we also met in the last despatch, has managed to persuade one of his colleagues to vote for Corbyn. Abby Clark, the constituency party secretary, joined the day Corbyn was elected. The canvassers mark them down, tell them where the polling station is, ask them if they want a ride.

Most people I spoke to in Stevenage had been canvassed by Labour; from the Tories they had just had a leaflet. It's the voters they don't know about that makes it feel so close. Polling station signs are already popping up ahead of the General Election (Picture: REUTERS/Hannah McKay) At the time of writing, we are mere hours away from being able to vote in the third General Election in four years. Registered voters will soon be making their way to local polling stations up and down the country to have their say on who they want to run the country in what some have termed the 'Brexit Election'. As the December General Election approaches, here's what you need to know about when and how you can vote. How to vote in the General Election It became too late to register to vote in time for this General Election as of midnight on Tuesday, 26 November If you were registered in time, you should have received a polling card in the post which will tell you where your local polling station is. MORE: General election weather forecast says we'll be voting in wind and rain MORE: Can EU citizens vote in the General Election? UK election: how the voting system works and what it could mean for Brexit After a six-week campaign, the UK goes to the polls on Thursday (Thursday night in Australia) in a vote to determine whether the Conservative party's Boris Johnson or Labour's Jeremy Corbyn will form government. Here's a quick guide to how the voting works, when we're likely to get a result and what that result could mean for Brexit. There are 650 constituencies throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and voting will take place in 40,000 polling stations. It's a simple first-past-the-post system, which means that those 46 million voters will make one cross or tick on a ballot paper listing the candidates standing in their constituency. It's the first election held in December since 1923 and parties have typically avoided polls in winter (there was one in February 1974) because it's considered harder to get the vote out in poorer weather – especially for Labour. Final scramble for votes in 'most important election in a generation' Read more The Tories are on 43%, Labour on 33%, the Lib Dems on 13%, and the Greens and Brexit parties on 3% each. Anti-Tory parties have been combining to argue for tactical voting in order to keep Conservative candidates out. But this seems less likely because many Tories who voted against him are not standing for re-election this time so his parliamentary support should be firmer. VOTERS across England will mark their crosses on ballot papers for the general election. 2 It's tradition for British voters to use pencil to mark ballot papers Credit: Getty Images Why do we use pencils to vote in UK elections? It is a tradition in the UK for voters to mark ballot papers with lead pencils, which are supplied in polling booths. When the paper is folded over, pen ink might transfer into another box, making it look like the voter has voted more than once. At the EU referendum, police were called to a polling station after a voter lent another his pen amid rumours of a conspiracy to erase pencil marks. Can you use a pen to vote in UK elections? Pencils are supplied at the polling station - often attached to a string in each booth. How do I cast my vote in the general election? If you are registered to vote you should have received a polling card in the post that tells you where your nearest polling station is.

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