By Lydia O'Kane
Voters are going to the polls Thursday in a UK General Election.
The election is being held more than two years ahead of schedule and 650 MPs will be chosen for seats in the British House of Commons.
Prime minister Boris Johnson called early elections in the hopes of breaking an impasse in Parliament that held up approval of his Brexit agreement in October.
Opinion polls have put Johnson's Conservative Party in the lead, but recent surveys suggest the margin may have narrowed in the final days of campaigning.
Dr. Elodie Fabre is a lecturer in Politics at Queen’s University, Belfast. Asked about the prospect of a hung parliament in this election, she says, “it’s alway’s a possiblity. What we’ve seen in the last few days, week is a narrowing of the polls between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, whether it is a true reflection of opinion or whether it’s pollsters hedging their bets, it’s hard to tell at this stage. “
Dr. Fabre notes that Brexit has been the dominant issue of this election, but that parties such as Labour have tried to bring issues, such as health to the fore. “Boris Johnson’s campaign has been very much about let’s get Brexit done, which is the slogan they’ve been repeating on and on”, but there is also the idea that Brexit needs to go through in order for a Conservative government to focus on other areas such as immigration, the health service and taxation, she says.
Polling stations will remain open across the UK until 10pm GMT and counting is due to start immediately. First results are expected early on Friday morning.