The Latest: Labour Party voters in shock at projected losses

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s Brexit general election (all times local):

1 a.m.

For Labour supporters at a pub in London, it’s looking like a very long, tough night.

Rachel Rollinson says “at the minute I feel devastated. I feel shocked.” She says to see that we’ve lost something like 70 seats is devastating.”

An exit poll in Britain’s election Thursday projects that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament. The survey predicts the Conservatives will get 368 of the 650 House of Commons seats and the opposition Labour Party 191 seats.

Labour Party candidate Gareth Snell says he expects to lose his seat in Stoke-on-Trent and is blaming the loss on his party’s Brexit strategy and leadership. He says “it’s disastrous, the exit poll is a catastrophe for the Labour Party.”

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12:35 a.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson campaigned on one theme alone — “Get Brexit done” — and if the results of an exit poll projection are correct, that just may happen.

The U.K. exit poll predicts that Johnson’s Conservatives won a substantial victory Thursday night in the country’s general election.

But even if Johnson pulls Britain out of the European Union by the Jan. 31 deadline, he will still face the mountainous task of negotiating a complex trade deal with the EU by the end of next year — a task many experts say is not possible.

Evercore analyst Krishna Guha is warning that that significant Brexit-related risks still loom. Guha says Britain could still crash out of the EU without a trade deal — a so-called hard Brexit — at the end of 2020 if Johnson does not seek an extension of the Brexit transition period.

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11:55 p.m.

In a London pub, Conservative supporters are drinking and cheering following an exit poll that suggests their party will win a majority of seats in the House of Parliament.

Jack Rydeheard, 20, says “I think it’s fantastic. It’s a big relief.” He says the Conservatives could see “the opportunity to get Brexit done and get everything else that we promised.” He says that includes more “investment in the NHS (National Health Service), schools, hospitals, you name it.”

Keith Schofield, a 75-year-old retiree says “we want Brexit to get done.” He says with a majority in Parliament, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a much stronger hand in negotiating with European Union officials over Britain’s Brexit divorce deal.

Britain is now scheduled to leave the European Union on Jan. 31.

11:20 p.m.

France says an exit poll shows the British election appears to have produced the “clarification” needed to move forward with Brexit.

France’s European affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin was asked about an exit poll projecting a clear majority for U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s

Conservatives. She said if the result is confirmed, it will allow EU leaders to move rapidly toward building a new relationship with Britain.

EU leaders will meet Friday morning with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier about next steps regarding Britain’s impending departure from the bloc.

De Montchalin says “the most important thing is not the method of divorce but the new legal framework.” ___

11 p.m.

If the results of a U.K. exit poll are confirmed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson could become the most electorally successful Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher.

The survey was released just after polls closed late Thursday in Britain’s general election. It predicted the Conservatives would get 368 of the 650 House of Commons seats and the Labour Party would get 191. That would be the biggest Tory majority since Thatcher’s 1980s’ heyday and Labour’s lowest seat total since 1935.

That result would be a triumph for Johnson and a disaster for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is facing immediate calls to resign.

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10:45 p.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tweeted his thanks to people who participated in Thursday’s national election.

He did not address an U.K. exit poll suggesting that his Conservative Party would likely win a strong majority of the 650 seats in the House of Commons Parliament. Official results are not yet in, but if the exit poll is correct, it would be a disastrous result for the opposition Labour Party.

Johnson wrote on Twitter: “Thank you to everyone across our great country who voted, who volunteered, who stood as candidate. we live in the greatest democracy in the world.”

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10:35 p.m.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party may be facing a notable drubbing in the country’s general election that could raise questions over the future of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

An exit poll in Britain’s election has projected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament in Thursday’s vote. That outcome would allow Johnson to fulfil his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union on Jan. 31.

If that prediction is confirmed by actual results, Corbyn will have led his left-of-center party to two electoral defeats since 2017.

Labour trade spokesman Barry Gardiner says “certainty this exit poll is a devastating blow.”

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10:10 p.m.

The pound has surged after an exit poll in Britain’s Brexit election projected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament.

The pound jumped over two cents late Thursday against the dollar, to $1.3445, the highest in more than a year and a half.

Many investors hope a Conservative win would cement the the country’s impending departure from the European Union and ease, at least in the short term, some of the uncertainty that has corroded business confidence since Britons voted in 2016 to leave the bloc.

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10 p.m.

An exit poll in Britain’s election projects that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament.

That outcome would allow Johnson to fulfil his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month.

The survey predicts the Conservatives will get 368 of the 650 House of Commons seats and the Labour Party 191 seats. It projects 55 seats for the Scottish National Party and 13 seats for the Liberal Democrats, both parties that want to stop Brexit.

The poll, based on interviews with voters leaving 144 polling stations across the country, is conducted for a consortium of U.K. broadcasters.

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9:15 p.m.

Polls close in less than an hour in Britain’s general election, where voters are deciding which party will form a government and try to break the country’s political deadlock over Brexit.

Some 46 million people are eligible to vote in the country’s first December election since 1923. Thursday’s vote came amid rounds of blustery weather.

Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hoping to win a majority of the 650 seats in the House of Commons so he can lead the U.K. out of the European Union on Jan. 31 as promised.

The main opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, is promising a new referendum on Brexit.

An exit poll will be released when polls close at 10 p.m. (2200 GMT). Ballots will be counted throughout the night, with most results declared by Friday morning.

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3 p.m.

Britain’s general election is going to the dogs.

Voters on Thursday took their pooches to polling stations up and down the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party set the tone early when he took his Jack Russell cross Dilyn with him as he voted in London.

The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party, followed Johnson’s lead, posting a video of himself and his dog Luna at a polling station and urging people to vote.

By early afternoon, the hashtag #dogsatpollingstations was trending on Twitter.

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11 a.m.

People in Oxford could have brought their dirty laundry with them as they cast their vote in Britain’s general election.

That’s because the Ace Launderette in the English university city was pressed into service as a polling station. Thursday’s early election was called by Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to break the country’s Brexit stalemate.

There were plenty of odd polling locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the town of Hampshire, voters could also check out the automobiles for sale at the Petersfield Used Car Centre. And in the West Midlands town of Dudley, a converted shipping container was turned into a voting booth.

In addition to traditional polling stations at churches and schools, many picturesque pubs also served as voting centers.

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7 a.m.

Britons who have endured more than three years of wrangling over their country’s messy divorce from the European Union are cast ballots in an election billed as a way out of the Brexit stalemate in this deeply divided nation.

Braving blustery rain, voters went to polling stations Thursday in schools, community centers, pubs and town halls after a five-week campaign rife with mudslinging and misinformation.

The contest pits Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will take Britain out of the European Union by Jan. 31, against the opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, who has promised another referendum on Brexit.

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election. Opinion polls suggest the Conservatives have a lead over Labour. But all the parties are nervous about a volatile electorate fed up after years of Brexit wrangling.

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Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

Categories: International News