UK Exit Polls Predict Victory for Cameron

Exit polls in UK predict 316 seats for Cameron's party. Anti-Israel MP George Galloway lost his seat, may have broken law.

Ari Yashar and Elad Benari , | updated: 08:07

David Cameron (r), Ed Miliband
David Cameron (r), Ed Miliband
Reuters

British Prime Minister David Cameron appears to be headed towards a victory in the UK general election.

As polls closed on Thursday night at 10 p.m. local time, an exit poll gave Cameron's Tories 316 seats. The Ipsos MORI/GfK NOP poll gave Labor 239 seats, the Liberal Democrats with 10, SNP with 58 and UKIP with 2.

Labor party head Ed Miliband, Cameron's primary rival, admitted on Friday morning, "this has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labor Party, we haven't made the gains we wanted in England and Wales and in Scotland, we have seen a surge of nationalism overwhelm our party."

Labor sources said shortly before 3 a.m. local time that the results in Scotland are “very difficult” and blamed the SNP for David Cameron’s likely re-election.

"If the exit poll is right, the seats the SNP are taking off Labor will turn out to be crucial if David Cameron ends up back in No 10. The next government will have huge task uniting country," the sources told the Guardian.

One of the losers in the election is the notorious anti-Israel MP George Galloway, who failed to win re-election in Bradford West, according to the Telegraph. Galloway lost out to Labor's Naz Shah.

That wasn't the end of Galloway's troubles however; he was reported to police for retweeting his own party's exit polls before voting ended, which is illegal according to section 66 of the Representation of the People's Act. Police are reviewing the matter.

Spots up for grabs in the vote

Around 50,000 polling stations throughout the UK were operating from 7 a.m. local time on Thursday when the voting started, with party leaders losing no time in casting their own ballots.

Party leaders who voted early included Conservative leader and incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron, Labor leader Ed Miliband, UKIP's Nigel Farage, Greens leader Natalie Bennett, SNP head Nicola Sturgeon, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, as well as Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru, reports BBC.

No less than 50 million people are registered to vote in the elections, in which 650 MPs are chosen as well as 9,000 council members in 279 local authorities.

Sturgeon was cautious about the exit poll on Thursday night, tweeting, "I'd treat the exit poll with HUGE caution. I'm hoping for a good night but I think 58 seats is unlikely!"

Mayoral elections were also held for Bedford, Copeland, Leicester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough and Torbay.

A total of 3,971 candidates competed for the House of Commons, with 326 seats needed by any party for a majority. Aside from the 533 parliamentary constituencies in England, there are another 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales, and 18 in Northern Ireland.

Some UK citizens already voted ahead of Thursday via mail, and the election also marks the first time voters cast their ballots online.

What does it mean for Israel?

It is estimated that the British elections will not only have a direct impact on the UK, but will also prove fateful for relations between the island country and Israel, as well as for the future of Jews in the UK dealing with skyrocketing anti-Semitism.

A recent poll indicated most British Jews view relations with Israel as a key factor, and consequently 69% said they would vote for Cameron given his staunch support for Israel.

His Labor rival Miliband, despite being of Jewish descent - albeit a self-declared atheist, only garnered 22% of the Jewish vote according to the poll. Miliband pushed through a symbolic but highly controversial bill to recognize the "State of Palestine" regardless of negotiations with Israel, indicating what could be expected from him as prime minister.

Aside from diplomatic relations vis-a-vis the Jewish state, trade relations are also at stake. Under Cameron, bilateral trade hit a record £2.5 billion (roughly $3.8 billion) in 2014. Conversely a Labor government is estimated as more likely to fold to far-left and Muslim pressure and significantly diminish those relations.

Labor also harshly criticized Israel as it defended itself from Hamas's third terror war against it last summer, even while Cameron repeatedly defended Israel's actions as part of its legitimate right to self-defense.

Likewise anti-Semitism was also a key voting issue for British Jews.

While Cameron has promised to fight the growing trend of hatred, Miliband has instead vowed to criminalize "Islamophobia," which critics say may be used to silence legitimate criticism of Islam and Muslim terrorism.




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