Voters are set to punish Conservatives after 14 years of chaos, amid mounting anger over the economic crisis and crumbling services.

Polls have opened in the UK for the general election, with the opposition Labour Party expected to win a landslide victory after nearly 15 years in power by the Conservative Party.

Voting began at 7:00 a.m. (06:00 GMT) on Thursday at more than 40,000 polling stations across the country. An exit poll will take place after the polls close at 10:00 p.m. (21:00 GMT). The counting of votes will also begin that evening.

The centre-left Labour Party is expected to win its first general election since 2005, with several polls predicting the biggest victory ever ahead of the election.

But Labour leader Keir Starmer, 61, took nothing for granted when he urged voters not to stay home. “The future of Britain is on the ballot paper,” he said. “But change will only happen if you vote for it.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the election six months earlier than expected, against a bleak backdrop of a cost of living crisis, a declining NHS and growing distrust in institutions.

Sunak, 44, who is widely seen as having run a dismal campaign and sparked outrage last month when he cancelled D-Day commemorations early to give an election interview, has said the result is “not yet decided”.

But on Wednesday, as polls pointed to a heavy defeat for the Conservative Party, he appeared to concede that Labour was on course for a supermajority, urging voters to back his party to curb the rival party’s “unchecked power.”

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Punishment

Polls suggest voters are planning to punish the Conservatives after 14 years of often chaotic rule. The most recent scandal saw party officials and candidates use insider information to place bets on the election date before it was announced.

Public anger lingers over former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown-breaking parties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson’s successor, Liz Truss, shook up the economy with a package of drastic tax cuts and lasted just 49 days.

A string of government ministers are likely to be ousted at the election, with rumours that even Sunak may not be safe. If that happens, he would be the first sitting prime minister to fail to retain his seat at a general election.

For many voters, the lack of trust extends not just to Conservatives but to politicians in general. Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-immigration Reform UK party, has stepped into the breach, drawing attention with his anti-immigration rhetoric.

The centrist Liberal Democrats and the environmentalist Green Party also want to win over disaffected voters.

Follow live updates on the elections here.