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U.K. Elections Explained: What to Know as Britain Votes

Thursday, 12 December, 2019, 13:00
U.K. Elections Explained: What to Know as Britain Votes

British voters will choose their next government on Thursday. But the country’s parliamentary system has a way of throwing up surprises. Here’s what to watch for.

For the second time since Britain voted to withdraw from the European Union, and with the country still deeply divided over the outcome, voters will head to the polls on Thursday for a general election.

With the future of Britain’s status in Europe still undecided after years of haggling, Brexit has inevitably been high on the agenda, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vow to “get Brexit done” at the core of his Conservative Party’s campaign.

But the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has put health care at the center of its pitch to voters, framing itself as the defender of Britain’s revered National Health Service. Labour pledges to increase spending. It’s also arguing that Mr. Johnson could further privatize the service, or accept a trade deal with the United States that might lead to a steep increase in drug prices, claims that Mr. Johnson disputes.