British voters head to the polls today for a parliamentary election that opinion polls show is too close to predict.
Results of a national survey Wednesday showed Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party with support from 33 percent of British voters. Ed Miliband’s main opposition Labor party was just one point behind.
The polling suggests that the election results could force either of Britain’s two main political parties to form a new coalition government with any of several parties collecting a smaller share of seats in the 650-member House of Commons.
Analysts are calling the election Britain’s most unpredictable and consequential in a generation.
Cameron has promised if re-elected to hold a referendum on whether Britain should stay in the 28-nation European Union. The question of Scottish independence from Britain remains as a key issue. Scottish nationalists lost a plebiscite last year, but could emerge with the third biggest bloc of seats in Thursday’s voting and form a coalition with the Labor party.
Cameron, Britain’s leader since 2010, and Miliband have both cast the election as a referendum on the country’s economy, the world’s fifth largest.
”People really want to think carefully before casting their vote,” Cameron said at a campaign stop at a farm, “but I believe when the crunch comes, when they ask themselves the question: Do I trust Ed Miliband with the economy or do I want to stick with a plan and a team that’s turning the country round? I think we can do very well on Thursday and cross that line.”
Miliband has attempted to characterize Cameron’s Tories as the party of the wealthy.
“This is the clearest choice that has been put before the British people for a generation,” Miliband said, “between a Tory government that works only for the privileged few or a Labor government that will put working families first.”
More than 45 million people are eligible to vote at 50,000 polling stations set up throughout Britain.