Many to remember battle of shameless tacticsTop News | 13 Dec 2019
As United Kingdom voters were deciding who they wanted to resolve the stalemate over Brexit, many would be remembering the shamlessness of politicians leading to the elections.
The contest pitted Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said he will take Britain out of the European Union by January 31, against opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who promised another referendum on Brexit.
Johnson voted at Methodist Central Hall in London. Corbyn was greeted by supporters as arrived to cast his vote in his north London constituency.
With so much at stake, political parties had pushed the boundaries of truth, transparency and reality during five weeks of campaigning.
Johnson's Conservative Party was criticized for using misleading tactics on social media, while Corbyn's Labour Party sought to win votes by promising to tax the rich, boost government spending and nationalize industries such as railroads and water companies.
One of the focal points of the ugly campaign was the National Health Service, a deeply respected institution that has struggled to meet rising demand after nine years of austerity under Conservative governments.
Jill Rutter, a senior research fellow at UK in a Changing Europe, said one of the things that stood out during the campaign was the shamelessness of the politicians.
She cited Johnson's claim that the Conservatives would build 40 hospitals. In fact that number includes many existing facilities that will be renovated.
"Normally, if you point out to people that something doesn't stand up, it's actually sort of fiction, you slightly expect them to start replacing that with a different new fact,'' Rutter said.
"But here, actually, you've seen this from No 10 under Johnson that they're prepared to run a deeply manipulative operation.''
All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs.
Johnson called early elections in hopes of breaking a logjam in parliament that stalled approval of his Brexit agreement in October.
Johnson did not have a majority in the last parliament and was stymied once he lost the support of the Democratic Unionist Party because of concerns about how Northern Ireland would be treated under his deal with the EU.
Opinion polls had consistently showed Johnson's Conservative Party in the lead, but recent surveys suggested the margin might have narrowed in the final days of campaigning.