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British Prime Minister David Cameron wins seat

A poll by Gfk-NOP and Ipsos Mori, released right after polls closed at 10 p.m. British time, predicted that the Conservatives would do better than expected, winning 316 seats to the opposition Labour Party’s 239 seats.JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images

A poll by Gfk-NOP and Ipsos Mori, released right after polls closed at 10 p.m. British time, predicted that the Conservatives would do better than expected, winning 316 seats to the opposition Labour Party’s 239 seats.

British Prime Minister David Cameron easily won a seat and his Conservative Party earned a surprising victory in Thursday’s parliamentary election.

Cameron told voters “this is clearly a very strong night for the Conservative Party.”

The overall results seem to support exit polls that predicted the Conservatives would hold onto power after a fiercely fought British general election.

With all but 36 seats decided Friday morning, Conservatives fared better than expected, winning 304 seats to the opposition Labour Party’s 222 seats.The Conservatives need 326 seats for a majority in Parliament.

Polling had foreseen a dead heat between the ruling Conservatives and the resurgent left-leaning Labour, headed by Ed Miliband.

But they could easily form a coalition, probably with the Liberal Democrats, predicted to drop from their current 56 seats to only 10.

The strongest showing in the vote, the poll predicted would be the Scottish National Party headed by Nicola Sturgeon.

The separatist party, which only held six seats in the last Parliament, won 56 seats — all but one of the Scottish seats.

The right-wing, anti-immigrant UKIP party would only win two seats, the exit poll found.

Before the vote, Cameron predicted he would emerge victorious.

“All other options,” other than the Conservative Party, “will end in chaos,” Cameron said. He voted early in his Oxfordshire constituency with his wife, Samantha.

Miliband predicted a tight race.

“This race is going to be the closest we have ever seen,” he told supporters. “It is going to go down to the wire.” Miliband cast his own ballot Thursday morning alongside his wife, Justine, in northern England.

If the exit poll is correct, the Conservatives, whose head David Cameron (left, with wife Samantha) is currently prime minister, would still lack the 326 seats needed for a majority in Parliament.TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS

If the exit poll is correct, the Conservatives, whose head David Cameron (left, with wife Samantha) is currently prime minister, would still lack the 326 seats needed for a majority in Parliament.

Voters across the island nation of more than 64 million headed on Thursday for schools, halls, pubs, gyms and churches to make their voices heard in the historic race, and turnout levels were thought to be high.

“Because it’s so tight, I think that if I didn’t come out and vote, and didn’t get the result that I wanted, then I’d only have myself to blame,” Alexis Thomas, a 34-year-old London doctor, told the AP.

The prominent issue in the election for most voters appeared to be the economy, which has experienced a post-recession rebound over the past year — a boom that Conservatives have been eager to take credit for.

But Labour has seized on a wave of lower-income voters who have continued to struggle economically, amidst a broader recovery.

“The first priority is the economy, the second one is creating more jobs, and the third is living expenses – they’re going higher and higher,” Shariq ul-Islam, 24, a student from London’s large Bangladeshi community who is voting Labour, told the AP.

With News Wire Services

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Nation / World – NY Daily News

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