Pound dives on fears United Kingdom election may produce no clear victor

Speaking after being re-elected to his London seat, Corbyn said the election result means "politics has changed" and voters have rejected Conservative austerity.

"The mandate she's got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence", he said.

Corbyn said May should "go ... and make way for a government that is truly representative of all the people of this country". However, it said that it would be able to produce a more accurate forecast when 10 percent of results were in, which will be around 0100 GMT.

Movements in other major currencies such as the dollar, euro and yen were limited, also having taken in stride testimony by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, which was initially expected to be the other big event of the week.

Some EU officials had voiced hope that a stronger majority for May could allow her to make more concessions in the negotiations.

"There's no constitutional requirement to have an election on a Thursday and in theory a Prime Minister could ask for an election to be called on any day", he said.

It is the third time Britons have been called to vote since 2015, twice for a general election and once for the European Union referendum, and voter fatigue appeared to be an issue for some.

- Theresa May said the country needs "a period of stability" and that if the Tories are "the largest party with the largest number of votes, it would be incumbent on us to form a government".

If the Conservatives retain power, the Brexit agenda will likely be set by lawmakers who campaigned for the cleanest break with the EU. "Clearly if she's got a worse result than two years ago and is nearly unable to form a government, then she, I doubt, will survive in the long term as Conservative Party leader".

Such an outcome could result in a hung parliament, although votes were still being counted on Thursday night.

Brexit backers on Friday voiced concern about the possibility of a full reversal, even after May triggered Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty to begin the formal Brexit process in March.

Any delay in Brexit talks would reduce the time available for what are expected to be the most complex negotiations in post-World War Two European history.

Exit polls, compiled for the UK's main television broadcasters, suggested as the polls closed that the Conservatives would secure only 314 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons - a loss of 17 seats.

But Labour had potential allies too, not least the Scottish National Party (SNP) who suffered major setbacks but still won a majority of Scottish seats.

The pro-EU, centre-left Liberal Democrats were having a mixed night.

The one combination which would creep over the crucial 326 mark would be a repeat of the 2010 Tory-Lib Dem coalition, which has been explicitly ruled out by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

It also proposed raising taxes for the richest 5 percent of Britons, scrapping university tuition fees and investing 250 billion pounds ($315 billion) in infrastructure plans.

Labour's manifesto had given a "radical vision for a fairer Britain", he said after an exit poll suggested Labour had performed better than expected.

Under that kind of agreement, the smaller parties would not be part of the government but they would guarantee the prime minister their support on matters such as finances or confidence votes. Helene Thomas also said it was a "shock".

May has come under pressure during the campaign for cutting thousands of police jobs during her time as interior minister.

  • Larry Hoffman