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The Latest: UK pound surges as exit poll projects Tory win

LONDON — The Latest on Britain’s Brexit general election (all times local):

10:10 p.m.

The pound has surged after an exit poll in Britain’s Brexit election projected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament.

The pound jumped over two cents late Thursday against the dollar, to $1.3445, the highest in more than a year and a half.

Many investors hope a Conservative win would cement the the country’s impending departure from the European Union and ease, at least in the short term, some of the uncertainty that has corroded business confidence since Britons voted in 2016 to leave the bloc.

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10 p.m.

An exit poll in Britain’s election projects that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party likely will win a majority of seats in Parliament.

That outcome would allow Johnson to fulfil his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month.

The survey predicts the Conservatives will get 368 of the 650 House of Commons seats and the Labour Party 191 seats. It projects 55 seats for the Scottish National Party and 13 seats for the Liberal Democrats, both parties that want to stop Brexit.

The poll, based on interviews with voters leaving 144 polling stations across the country, is conducted for a consortium of U.K. broadcasters.

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9:15 p.m.

Polls close in less than an hour in Britain’s general election, where voters are deciding which party will form a government and try to break the country’s political deadlock over Brexit.

Some 46 million people are eligible to vote in the country’s first December election since 1923. Thursday’s vote came amid rounds of blustery weather.

Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hoping to win a majority of the 650 seats in the House of Commons so he can lead the U.K. out of the European Union on Jan. 31 as promised.

The main opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, is promising a new referendum on Brexit.

An exit poll will be released when polls close at 10 p.m. (2200 GMT). Ballots will be counted throughout the night, with most results declared by Friday morning.

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3 p.m.

Britain’s general election is going to the dogs.

Voters on Thursday took their pooches to polling stations up and down the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party set the tone early when he took his Jack Russell cross Dilyn with him as he voted in London.

The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party, followed Johnson’s lead, posting a video of himself and his dog Luna at a polling station and urging people to vote.

By early afternoon, the hashtag #dogsatpollingstations was trending on Twitter.

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11 a.m.

People in Oxford could have brought their dirty laundry with them as they cast their vote in Britain’s general election.

That’s because the Ace Launderette in the English university city was pressed into service as a polling station. Thursday’s early election was called by Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to break the country’s Brexit stalemate.

There were plenty of odd polling locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the town of Hampshire, voters could also check out the automobiles for sale at the Petersfield Used Car Centre. And in the West Midlands town of Dudley, a converted shipping container was turned into a voting booth.

In addition to traditional polling stations at churches and schools, many picturesque pubs also served as voting centres.

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7 a.m.

Britons who have endured more than three years of wrangling over their country’s messy divorce from the European Union are cast ballots in an election billed as a way out of the Brexit stalemate in this deeply divided nation.

Braving blustery rain, voters went to polling stations Thursday in schools, community centres, pubs and town halls after a five-week campaign rife with mudslinging and misinformation.

The contest pits Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will take Britain out of the European Union by Jan. 31, against the opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, who has promised another referendum on Brexit.

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election. Opinion polls suggest the Conservatives have a lead over Labour. But all the parties are nervous about a volatile electorate fed up after years of Brexit wrangling.

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Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

The Associated Press