United Kingdom election: Theresa May could lose parliamentary majority, exit poll shows

Cheryl Sanders
June 9, 2017

The shock result throws British politics into chaos and could send Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union - due to start June 19 - into disarray. The pound fell by around a cent and half to $1.2792 against the dollar.

On Sky News, legendary film-maker Ken Loach responded to the general election 2017 exit poll showing a 34-seat gain for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

Based on interviews with voters leaving polling stations across the country, the poll is conducted for a consortium of United Kingdom broadcasters and regarded as a reliable, though not exact, indicator of the likely result.

If the exit poll is correct, Corbyn could attempt to form a government with smaller parties which, like Labour, strongly oppose most of May's policies on domestic issues such as public spending cuts.

In a situation of no overall control the Government in power before the General Election gets the first chance at creating a government.

If accurate, the result will confound those who said Labour's left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was electorally toxic.

Corbyn told supporters at his final rally that Labours campaign had “changed the debate and given people hope.

May unexpectedly called the snap election seven weeks ago to increase the slim majority she had inherited from predecessor David Cameron and strengthen her hand before launching into arduous divorce talks with the European Union, set to start in just over a week. Prime Minister Rudd? Well she might lose her seat in Hastings.

There is the prospect that Labour could be the largest party of what is called a minority government.

May's former Tory colleague and former chancellor George Osborne, appearing as a guest on television coverage of the election, has already suggested that May would be compelled to step down if the exit polls prove accurate.

Prime minister resigns: The Cabinet manual, Britain's rule book in these circumstances, states that the prime minister should resign if and when it becomes clear that he or she can not command a majority of the House of Commons and it is clear that a government led by someone else might be able to do so. May said this week that she would consider rewriting human rights legislation if it gets in the way of tackling extremism.

A clear trend is expected to be known by Friday afternoon - by when most of the results will be known. Among the casualties was Alex Salmond, a former first minister of Scotland and one of the party's highest-profile lawmakers.

The last general election in 2015 was followed by two divisive referendums; one on Scottish independence in 2014, and another on leaving the European Union a year ago.

The Conservatives' top target nationally is the City of Chester, where Labour went to the polls with a majority of just 93.

But since then, May lost popularity over her campaigning style and some of her social care policies, including a so-called "dementia tax" that would force elderly to pay more for their care.

In February 1974, the incumbent Conservative administration lost its majority.

Britain has been hit with three terror attacks since March, and campaigning was twice suspended.

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a pop concert in Manchester on May 22, killing 22 people. One woman who voted near the site of Saturday's attack in London said the Brexit vote is not what's in "the hearts and minds of Londoners".

“I dont think thats in the hearts and minds of Londoners at the minute, (not) almost as much as security is, ” said Sheard, 22.

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