Devastating night for the Tories as UK heads towards a hung parliament

May's gamble in holding a general election has gone spectacularly wrong
May's gamble in holding a general election has gone spectacularly wrong
Natalie Bloomer By

Theresa May's leadership looked to be all-but over this morning after her gamble in holding a snap general election went spectacularly wrong.

The Conservatives lost their overall majority and will have to try to form some sort of working arrangement with the DUP if they are to have any hope of governing.

Forecasts estimate that the Conservatives will finish with between 315 to 320 seats and Labour with between 260 to 266.

Jeremy Corbyn's party far exceeded expectations by picking up seats like Peterborough, Canterbury and Nick Clegg's seat of Sheffield Hallam.

The home secretary Amber Rudd just managed to cling on to her seat by 346 votes after a nail biting recount in Hastings and Rye. Meanwhile, the foreign secretary Boris Johnson saw his majority cut in half in Uxbridge. The bookies have now slashed the odds on him becoming the next prime minister.

The housing minister Gavin Barwell lost his seat of Croydon Central after a spirited campaign by his Labour rival Sarah Jones which saw scores of party activists knocking on doors in the area.

May was saved from total humiliation by her party winning 12 seats in Scotland. In what was also a bad night for Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP looks set to lose 22 seats, including that of the former leader of the party Alex Salmond and Westminster leader Angus Robertson.

The Lib Dems are expected to increase their number of MPs from eight to 12, although the former deputy prime minister lost his seat. At one point in the night there were concerns that the party leader Tim Farron could also be vulnerable but he managed to just hold on, albeit with a much smaller majority of 777 - down from 8,949. 

Conservative MP Anna Soubry suggested last night that the prime minister should now "consider her position".

Jeremy Corbyn also called on May to resign. Speaking after winning his seat in Islington North he said: "The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she's got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes and lost confidence."

The result comes just ten days before Brexit negotiations were due to start, although it is unclear if any British team will be able to attend or if the talks will be delayed.

Talks will now begin between parties to see if they can form a viable government. 

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