Britain goes to polls Thursday in the closest general election for a generation- but voters may have to wait days for a new government as politicians battle to take power. Prime Minister David Cameron’s center right Conservatives, who have led a coalition government since 2010, are fighting to stay in office but are locked in a dead heat with Ed Miliband’s center left Labour, according to the final opinion polls before election day. While the leaders of both main parties insist in public they can win a clear majority in the 650 seat House of Commons, they will almost certainly have to work with smaller parties to form a government. Millions of Briton will vote at polling stations located everywhere from shipping containers to churches and pubs between 0600 GMT and 2100 GMT. Exit polls will be released at 2100 GMT and most results will emerge overnight, although the final tally of seats will not become clear until Friday afternoon. If, as expected, neither the Conservatives or Labour win a clear majority, they will start days and possibly weeks of negotiations with smaller parties to try and build a bloc of around 326 seats. The election is being watched closely around the world due to consequences it could have for the standing of Britain, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and nuclear armed NATO state. Another potential issue for Britain’s global status is that Cameron has promised a referendum on wether Britain, the world’s fifth biggest economy, should leave the EU by 2017 if the Conservatives win.