May 5th, 2010
08:55 PM ET

Britain faces potentially historic vote

British voters go to the polls Thursday to determine the fate of Gordon Brown's Labour government, which has run the United Kingdom for the past 13 years.

The casting of ballots across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland caps a hectic month-long election campaign marked by first-ever televised debates between the leaders of the three main parties: Brown, David Cameron of the Conservative Party, and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.

Brown has stood at the center of British government since Labour ended 18 years of Conservative rule in 1997 - as the powerful chancellor, or finance minister, under Tony Blair for a decade, and then as prime minister since 2007.

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