Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

British Election Results Expected Friday

British Prime Minister Theresa May is on course to lose her overall majority in the British general election, according to an exit poll released as soon as voting finished Thursday night. She decided shortly afterwards that she could afford the luxury of a few weeks campaigning in a general election, which would then afford her a gargantuan mandate to finish the job at her leisure and on her terms.

Exit polls gave Theresa May's an underwhelming result, with a projected 314 seats (a 17 seat loss), against Labour's expected 266 (a 34 seat win).

Such polls have generally been reliable, although political leaders on both sides immediately said it's too early to read too much into it.

The Prime Minister called what she thought would be a Brexit-focused election, but the issue was quickly overshadowed by security as two deadly terror attacks, in Manchester and London, struck during the campaign period. A spokesman for her office said she would go to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system. Another election is also a possibility.

Former Conservative Treasury chief George Osborne said the result was "catastrophic".

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Some Tory MPs have argued the "hard Brexit" strategy will have to be re-examined and the uncertain election result prompted some calls on Friday night for exit talks to be put on hold. Talks with European Union leaders are due to start in less than two weeks and those meetings may now need to be delayed, further eroding the time that Britain has to clinch a deal before it leaves the bloc in March 2019. Many leave voters, formerly Labour supporters, in the north of England appear to have acted as was predicted months ago and taken their Euroscepticism to the Tories - but not by big enough margins for scores of seats to change hands.

Labour took Rutherglen & Hamilton West from the Scottish National Party - bolstering the projection from the exit poll that the SNP was set to lose ground in Scotland to Labour.

"We certainly, certainly can not rule out the possibility that the Conservatives will still have an overall majority", Mr Curtice told BBC TV.

"I'm afraid we ran a pretty terrible campaign", Soubry said.

But her campaign unraveled after a policy u-turn on care for the elderly, while Corbyn's old-school socialist platform and more impassioned campaigning style won wider support than anyone had foreseen. "Let's see some results before we come to some conclusions", he said.

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The President of the European Commission said: "I do strongly hope that Britain will stay ready to open negotiations". He said the United States is "no longer interested in guaranteeing Europe's security in our place".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, often tipped as a potential successor to Mrs May as Tory leader, said: "We've got to listen to our constituents and listen to their concerns".

But with complex talks on Britain's divorce from the European Union due to start in 10 days, it was unclear what their direction would now be and if the so-called "Hard Brexit" taking Britain out of a single market could still be pursued. She also declared herself willing to walk away without an agreement if pushed.

The party is led by Tim Farron, 47, who began his campaign by telling Britons they should have the option of rejecting Brexit in a second referendum and remaining within the EU. That would limit room for Mrs May or her successor to make concessions, increasing the risk Britain crashes out of the bloc. The Conservatives held 330 seats in the last Parliament, compared with 229 for Labour, 54 for the Scottish National Party and nine for the Lib Dems. The Liberal Democrats want a second referendum on the final deal that Britain negotiates with the EU.

With only 31 of 650 results left to declare, the Conservatives are set to be the largest party with 320 seats - six short of an overall majority.

Labour has said it will not seek a coalition, instead seeking to govern as a minority government if possible.

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