Written by 01:49 World

This English Naval City Is a Bellwether Seat. How Do Voters Feel?

Voters streamed into a polling station in Portsmouth, a city nestled along England’s southern coast that is known for its naval base and historic dockyard, on Thursday morning as ballot workers greeted them warmly.

Older couples walked hand in hand into the local church, which had been temporarily fitted out with ballot boxes, alongside parents with children in strollers, and young adults rushing in on the way to work.

One by one, they weighed in on the future of the nation in a vote that polls suggested could end 14 years of Conservative-led government.

“I just want to see change,” said Sam Argha, 36, as he left his local polling station on Thursday morning having just cast a ballot for the Labour Party. “I just really want to see us do something differently.”

Many people in the city expressed a similar desire for a new start at a moment of intense national uncertainty, even if their politics differed. Polls have predicted that the election could be a major turning point, with the center-left Labour Party expected to unseat the right-wing Conservative Party.

Portsmouth North is considered a bellwether seat — the area has voted for the winning political party in every general election since 1974. And while the results of the area were not expected until the early hours of Friday morning, many voters were anticipating a shift in the political landscape.


Last modified: 5 July 2024