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.
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.
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