UK Election Results 2017: Theresa May's Future In Peril As Election Gamble Backfires Before Brexit

Theresa May called the election expecting to win a landslide victory but the result - even if she scrapes a majority - is a blow to her personal authority.

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WATFORD, England:  Theresa May's future as Britain's prime minister was thrown into doubt after early projections showed that her gamble to call an early election backfired spectacularly just 10 days before Brexit negotiations were due to start. The pound fell to the lowest since April.

May's Conservative Party was on course to win 322 seats, the BBC forecast, down from the 330 she held before calling the snap election seven weeks ago. That's short of the 326 seats she needs for an overall majority but possibly enough for her to govern without the support of other parties. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party will win 261 seats, compared with 229 before the election. The BBC's projections are based on an exit poll and early results.

"If the poll is anything like accurate, this is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and for Theresa May," former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told ITV.

May called the election expecting to win a landslide victory but the result - even if she scrapes a majority - is a blow to her personal authority. The results have investors fretting about the prospect of more political turmoil less than a year after Britain voted to leave the European Union. May's party, already ill at ease after a gaffe-prone campaign, will now ask how she could throw away the commanding poll lead that she enjoyed at the start of the election campaign.

The pound dropped as much as 1.9 percent before recovering some of those losses to trade at $1.2784 at 2:55 a.m. in London.

Brexit Questions

The projections throw up big questions about Brexit. Talks with EU 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. The initial projections also raise the prospect of Labour's Corbyn becoming prime minister if he can form a government with support from an array of smaller parties.

The SNP were projected to win 32 seats, down from 56 in 2015, and the Liberal Democrats may get 13, up from 8, the exit poll showed.

For complete coverage of UK elections, click here

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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