By Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Britons began voting on Thursday in a tight election that could yield a weak government, push the world's fifth-largest economy a step closer to leaving the European Union and stoke Scottish desires for secession. Final opinion polls showed Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's opposition Labour Party almost in a dead heat, indicating neither will win enough seats for an outright majority in the 650-seat parliament. "It is going to go down to the wire." Cameron said only his Conservatives could deliver strong, stable government: "All other options will end in chaos." The Conservatives portray themselves as the party of jobs and economic recovery, promising to reduce income tax for 30 million people while forcing through further spending cuts to eliminate a budget deficit still running at 5 percent of GDP. Labour says it would cut the deficit each year, raise income tax for the highest 1 percent of earners and defend the interests of hard-pressed working families and the treasured but financially stretched National Health Service.
Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government said that on Wednesday they had shot down a war plane belonging to a rival administration controlling Tripoli. Both governments have been fighting each other with aircraft and ground troops on several front, part of a wider conflict in the oil-producing nation four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. "Our forces shot down a plane trying to attack Zintan airport," said Mohamed El Hejazi, a spokesman for the army loyal to the official government, which has been based in the east since a rival faction seized Tripoli in August. Omar Matoog, a spokesman for the airport in Zintan, a western region allied to the eastern government, also said a MiG belonging to a rival administration in Tripoli had been shot down.
LONDON (AP) — Voters headed for the polls across Britain Thursday, in a contest that is expected to produce an ambiguous result, a period of frantic political horse-trading and a bout of national soul-searching.