Millions in Britain are taking to the polls today in what is being hailed as one of the most important elections in decades.
The race has been tight throughout the campaign and the most recent polls show the Conservative party edging slightly ahead of Labour, leaving the Liberal Democrats in third place.
Not since 1992 has an election outcome in Britain been so uncertain, and, unusually, it seems the third party could play a crucial role. "So what will we wake up to tomorrow?" asks The Independent newspaper as it lists as many as eight possible post election scenarios.
"For the first time it is a real three horse race and we don't know the outcome," Simon Hoggart, political commentator, told ABC News.
If the polls are to be believed the most likely outcome will be a Conservative minority government, known here as a hung parliament. This could force David Cameron, the Conservative party leader to form a coalition with the smaller parties or even the Liberal Democrats depending on the amount of seats he needs to gain a majority in parliament.
Another possible scenario is that Labour comes a strong enough second to form a coalition with the Lib Dems. In this case Gordon Brown, the incumbent, will remain prime minister and oversee the formation of a new government.
In both these scenarios Nick Clegg, the 43-year-old Liberal Democrat leader is being heralded as kingmaker. His performance in this campaign has surprised many and his popularity sky-rocketed after outshining the other two leaders in the U.K.'s first ever television debate.
The effect of these television debates "seems to have been enormous," according to Hoggart. The debates are largely credited with reinvigorating the British public's interest in politics, and after last summer's political expenses scandal people are keen to have their voice heard.
They also introduced Clegg to the populace on a grand scale. He used them to galvanize support for his party by offering a new political prospect to a public that felt disillusioned with "old party" politicians. He is also campaigning for political reform, calling for a more European style electoral system.
Campaigning Until The End
Tapping into this sentiment, Clegg told voters this morning, "Use your vote. Make your voice heard."
Brown continued to appeal to voters' concerns over the economy. "At this moment of risk to our economy, at this moment of decision for our country, I ask you to come home to Labour," he said today.
Cameron followed his campaign mantra, "Vote for change." He said. "Vote Conservative. Vote to give this country the hope, the optimism and the change we need. Together, we can build a better, stronger country."
The conservative campaign was given a strong boost when publisher Rupert Murdoch pledged the powerful support of his News Corporation last year. Today's Sun newspaper, the most read in the U.K., has an Obamaesque photo of Cameron on the front page, proclaiming him to be "our only hope."
The Sun has backed the winning party in every election since 1978.
"The underlying suspicion of many is that the Conservatives will do better than the polls are showing," Hoggart says. "People have been unwilling to admit, even to complete strangers, that they are Conservatives."
Since Labour's victory in 1997 a certain stigma had been associated with voting Conservative. The party was considered out of touch with the electorate and dubbed the "nasty party" by a prominent opposition politician. Cameron has worked hard to modernize the party's image.
"For many years they were a pretty disliked lot, very far right and had little popular touch," Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun's Political Editor said.
"Cameron has done a lot to change that," he adds.
"It seemed as if after such a remarkable, exciting democratic spectacle, politics-as-usual just couldn't return," James Crabtree, of Prospect Magazine, told ABC News, but despite this he too feels a Conservative government is the most likely outcome.
"But, oddly, that is probably exactly what will happen: an extraordinary campaign looks likely to produce a thoroughly ordinary result."
"We may well have a clear winner as opposed to a mess," Hoggart concurs.
Tough Times Ahead
By "mess" Hoggart means a hung parliament, a situation that has not occurred in Britain since 1974. Many fear that a hung parliament would lead to a weak government that could not tackle the most pressing issue for Britain: how to cut its deficit.
It would mean "chaos" according to Tom Newton Dunn. "Indecision, dithering, not just on the economy but on defence and security."
"Some extremely hard decisions need to be taken to sort out the diabolical state of the economy." Newton Dunn says.
Whoever takes on that task is unlikely to be very popular, as recent comments by Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England to the American economist David Hale show: "I saw the governor of the Bank of England last week when I was in London, and he told me whoever wins this election will be out of power for a whole generation because of how tough the fiscal austerity will have to be." ABC News' Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.