General Election 2017: May under pressure as hung parliament confirmed

Other factors behind the failed predictions include the significant regional variations in voting, with the Tories performing well in Scotland and seats such as Mansfield in the east Midlands, but Labour surging dramatically in London and performing better than originally expected in Wales. Others were less generous towards May, and showed a dramatic narrowing between the two parties as their campaigns progressed.

He then reiterated "it's pretty clear" Labour won the election. "And an astonishing result for Jeremy Corbyn who everybody thought was a awful leader for the Labour Party and he has run an awesome campaign". With the smaller parties more closely aligned with Labour than with the Conservatives, the prospect of Corbyn becoming prime minister no longer seems fanciful.

The Labour leader has also demanded Theresa May resign after failing to win an outright majority in the election, which she called to build a mandate.

The projection, if it is borne out, would confound the expectations of polling companies which, while varying, had all predicted a Conservative majority.

The pound lost more than 2 cents against the dollar within seconds of the exit poll result, plunging from $1.2955 to $1.2752 late Thursday.

So what is going on?

But in case the exit polls do turn out to be correct this time, here are some of the coalitions or arrangements that could now become a possibility. If any proposed new government fails to gain a majority of support in the House of Commons for a Queen's speech, its proposed legislative programme, the United Kingdom would be forced to have another general election.

If this poll bears out, then this will be reduced to 314 seats, 12 short of of an overall majority.

Beauchamp says it is also interesting is the low total for the SNP, which will make life hard for Labour in forming a coalition with them and the Lib Dems. The SNP are predicted to suffer losses too.

"The Pound took a tumble on what amounts to a shock exit poll for the financial markets". How did it fare in the last election?

The exit poll is encouraging for the Lib Dems who under this projection gain five seats.

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist, Pantheon Macroeconomics, added: "This exit poll is a thunderbolt that leaves only two outcomes realistically in play: a slender Tory majority or a hung parliament".

Mr Nuttall's predecessor Nigel Farage said the Brexit project would be "in some trouble" if a Corbyn-led administration took office, and suggested he might return to frontline politics if doubts were raised about the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

What happens next now there is a hung parliament?

George Osborne, the former finance minister who stepped down at the election, told ITV that the results were "catastrophic" for his party.

To win outright, a party must in theory secure 326 of 650 seats in the House of Commons, gaining a majority and earning the right to form the next government.

May was widely derided for endlessly repeating her slogan of "strong and stable leadership" despite her u-turn on the care policy.

The pound plummeted more than 1.5% against the United States dollar and 1% against the euro as the shock figures set the scene for political turmoil at Westminster, disruption to upcoming Brexit negotiations and the possibility of a second election later in the year.

Should she be forced to step down as prime minister after this election, that would make her tenure the shortest of any British premier since the 1920s. While security was on many voters' minds, it was far from the only issue. The former minister told the BBC that the Prime Minister has to "consider her decision" following "a pretty awful campaign".

Whilst this was campaign rhetoric created to drive support for her party, it also suggested she saw little prospect of forming a coalition with other parties, nearly all of whom are opposed to her Brexit strategy built around leaving the EU's single market, controlling immigration and escaping the jurisdiction of European Union courts.

The closest result of the night came as SNP Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins held off a Liberal Democrat challenge for his North East Fife seat with a winning margin of just two.

But in her speech on Friday morning she signalled that the Conservatives hoped to hang on in government.

Which is to say, everything is still to play for. They previously held a majority of 17.

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