Britain goes to the polls in one of the most important elections ever

A man dressed as Elmo waited for Theresa May to cast her vote

POLLING stations around the UK opened at 7am and will remain open until 10pm (UK time) to allow up to 46.9 million to vote.

In actual fact it is estimated that around 16 per cent of those eligible (including some expatriates around the world) will already have taken up the option of submitting a postal vote and after complaints at the last election, anyone in a queue at a polling station at 10pm will still be eligible to cast their vote.

The opinion polls, which many now consider to be virtually pointless, show a vast disparity with one predicting a Conservative majority, 13 per cent above Labour whilst another shows the result as close as one per cent.

All however do predict a Conservative win with little progress for the LibDems, UKIP or any of the other smaller parties.

What no-one can predict is whether the Labour call for the young to register and vote will have been successful as that could completely change the outcome.

At the last election which saw a Conservative majority, 66.1 per cent of those eligible to vote actually did so which means that if the young have decided to register and vote, Labour could receive an additional 469,000 votes for every extra one per cent who turn out.

The first result is normally declared before midnight, but if the voting is close, it is unlikely that the name of the winning party will be agreed before noon on Friday.

Hopes and aspirations of politicians and voters will be resolved quite soon as the country prepares for a potentially tough two years of Brexit negotiations.

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