On the eve of the Thursday election in Britain, N1 television's Domagoj Novokmet talked with James Ker-Lindsay, Visiting Professor from the London School of Economics (LSE), who offered analysis of the trends and issues shaping this election.
He said that recent polling suggests a hung parliament, but also that the Thursday election might be decided by a small fraction of voters in strategic places, as little as 50,000 of them out of a voting population of 46 million.
"The polling at the moment looks like the conservatives are going to win. But what's very interesting is that it is going to come down to a small number of places and a small number of votes, it is estimated that even 50,000 people in the right places might end up in what we call a hung parliament, so a parliament where there's no overall winner,"
Ker-Lindsay commented on several issues marring this election, and what this election might mean for the future of Britain. An expert on Southeast Europe, he recently published an article comparing UK's pre-Brexit atmosphere with the initial stages of the breakup of Yugoslavia.
"Yeah that article has got a lot of attention from people because I said was that ereally what I found ineteresting is that a lot of people from former Yugoslavia and who are living here in Britain now are saying that some of the things they are seeing here reminded them of what was taking place in Yugoslavia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And it made me think... There are some interesting parallels with Britain here, we're a mixed country, we've got Scotland, we've got Wales, we've got England, we've got Northern Ireland. And I think there's a real sense that the country is starting to pull apart. And I personally believe that within the next ten years we could cvery clearly see a united Ireland and an independent Scotland. probably not an independent Wales yet, but who knows," Ker-Lindsay said.
He also commented on allegations of Russian influence in UK politics, an issue much talked about after the ruling Tory party decided to postpone the publication of a parliamentary report on Russian interference to date.
"This is becoming such a big issue. And it's not just here in Britain, we've seen this in the United States, we are seeing this all across Europe. There's this real concern about the way Russia might be influencing elections. And once you start to look into it you can see how it happens. It might seem very conspiratorial to talk about this, but when you start to understand how Facebook ads can shape elections - and we don't actually know who is seeing these advertisements - then you start to ask very very real questions. And you're right - there is an important report that was produced that was looking into Russian involvement in British elections. It was meant to be published before these elections, and the government is sitting on it. And we don't know why," he added.
Ker-Lindsay also explained the background of the fact that some former senior Tory leaders, including figures such as Michael Heseltine and John Major, are distancing themselves from Boris Johnson's leadership, under whom the party has largely become nationalist.
"You've got these huge names from the Conservative party saying that the party that see now is not the party they remember, not the party they were very senior in. The Conservative party had a reputation... about being good for business, about being engaged in trade. That's all disappeared. It's now become a very nationalist party.That's why we are seeing people like Michael Heseltine, people like John Major, saying they can't vote for the Conservative party under Boris Johnson."
Polls opened on Thursday morning and will close at 22 local time, with first result expected around 2 am.
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