British PM loses majority, faces pressure to resign

British voters dealt Prime Minister Theresa May a devastating blow in a snap election she had called to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks, wiping out her parliamentary majority and throwing the country into political turmoil.

The exit poll predicted the Conservatives would win 314 seats in the 650-member parliament and the opposition Labour Party 266, meaning no clear victor and a "hung parliament".

Conservative Member of Parliament Anna Soubry was the first in the party to disavow May in public, calling on the prime minister to "consider her position".

This number gives them more than half of Parliament so they can pass laws without the assistance of any other party - the Tories had 331 MPs before the 2017 General Election was called.

"If, as the indications have shown and if this is correct, the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do". Labour are set to gain about 30, the Lib Dems five and the SNP are predicted to lose 22 seats.

May had unexpectedly called the snap election seven weeks ago, even though no vote was due until 2020.

This could see separate statements by May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to the media in the early hours of Friday each declaring they have a moral mandate to lead the country.

May spent more than half of the election campaign in Labour-held seats, demonstrating how confident she was of making gains from a Labour Party led by the most left wing leader in its history, a man the press sees as a throwback to the militant 1970s.

"The arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost, and we need to change".

After being re-elected with an increased majority in the London commuter seat of Maidenhead, May said Britain "needs a period of stability" as it prepares for the complicated process of withdrawing from the European Union.

Conceding the exit poll predictions of a hung parliament and her dashed hopes of a landslide win, she added: "My resolve is the same that as it has been".

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.

"I can only build that better country and get the right deal in Brussels with the support of the British people", she said. "Her position I think is very, very hard".

The Liberal Democrat former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour, while former SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond lost his seat in Gordon to the Conservatives.

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

It is the third time Britain has gone to the polls in two years, twice for a general election and once for the European Union referendum, and voter fatigue appeared to be an issue among the early voters.

At that point, the leader of the largest opposition party may be invited to form a government either as a minority or in coalition with another party or parties. This means May has a real chance of being forced to resign if other parties can cobble together an anti-Conservative coalition. They can traditionally rely on the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which holds 10 seats.

The broadcaster said Sturgeon was "disappointed at the SNP losses". Even cabinet ministers were excluded from discussion over parts of the Tory manifesto.

In any scenario, any new government is unlikely to be very stable, increasing the prospect of another general election within months.

The shock of a projection that raised questions about how Britain will advance with its plan to leave the European Union, and whether any party could form a stable government, sank the pound initially by nearly 2 percent against both the dollar and euro.

Following a disastrous campaign, May has already come under huge pressure to quit after the Tories lost their parliamentary majority.

  • Zachary Reyes