The most unpredictable UK election in decades finally gets under way as voters - and the main party leaders - go to the ballot box. Hayley Platt reports.
It's been called the most unpredictable election in decades - one that could change the UK political landscape. As Britain's polling booths opened for business, leaders of the UK's main political parties were among the first to vote. Markets appeared calm at first - but the FTSE then eased to a one month low. With the two main parties neck to neck in the run-up to the polls, traders were said to be bracing for days rather than hours of uncertainty. While still hoping the outcome will give a clear message on the key issue of Europe. Alix Stewart is a Fund Manager at Schroders. SOUNDBITE: Alix Stewart, Fund Manager, Schroders, saying (English): "Making plans for your business you want to be able to know if the UK's going to be in the euro zone or not." In the early hours of voting, sterling was down 0.2 percent and trading near a three-month low against the euro. Gilt yields also nudged up. With traders also seeing the risk of an unclear election result adding to worries over how the UK will finance its debts. SOUNDBITE: Alix Stewart, Fund Manager, Schroders, saying (English): "Given that the government is running a big current account deficit and relies on overseas investors to fund itself, these are very important points because its really that kind of confidence of international investors to invest in the UK that's going to determine where sterling or government bond yields in the UK go." The polls close at 9 GMT tonight. Most results are expected in the early hours of Friday morning.