+++ Theresa May′s Conservatives lose absolute majority in UK parliamentary elections - live updates +++ | News | DW | 08.06.2017
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+++ Theresa May's Conservatives lose absolute majority in UK parliamentary elections - live updates +++

The latest results indicate that the Conservative Party is set to win without an overall majority. Prime Minister Theresa May was facing calls to step down as worries grew about the potential for a hung parliament.

All updates in Central European Summer Time (CEST)

- British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party has won more seats than any other party in parliament, but has fallen short of a full majority.

- The Conservatives are forecast to win 319 seats - short of the 326 needed to form a majority. Labour would have 261 seats, the Scottish National Party 35 and the Liberal Democrats 12. Plaid Cymru in Wales would have 3 seats, the Green Party 1 seat and other parties (principally those in Northern Ireland) 18 seats between them.

- The results are a blow to PM May who had been looking for a mandate - and a large majority - for Brexit negotiations.

10:35 Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, said the talks over the terms of Britain's exit from the 28-nation bloc should start "when the UK is ready."

09.59 Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he is "ready to serve the country." He reiterated his demand that PM Theresa May must step down following a disappointing Conservative Party performance in Thursday's general election. 

Corbyn said there was no turning back on Brexit and negotiations with the European Union will have to proceed as planned.

"They're going to have to go ahead because Article 50 has been invoked. The government in office in 11 days time will have to conduct those Brexit negotiations."

09.34 After failing to win a majority in Thursday's general election, the Conservative Party has begun talks with Northern Island's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Sky News reported, citing sources. PM May's party has so far won 315 seats and is expected to secure 319 overall. The DUP has won 10 seats and with its support the Tories can reach the required number of 326 MPs.

09:14 John McDonnell, a spokesman for the Labour Party, called PM May "a lame duck," hinting that Jeremy Corbyn would try to form a minority government.

09:02 French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Friday morning the British Conservative Party still has a majority in parliament and the election result will not change the country's stance on Brexit.

08:42 The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says Theresa May has no intention of resigning, knowing that her party has won most seats in parliament.

08:37 "Time is ticking" – Michael Roth, a member of Germany's Social Democratic Party, told public broadcaster ZDF the EU needed to start Brexit negotiations as soon as possible. "Regardless of the question of who will form a government in Britain, time is ticking... We have less than two years to negotiate the exit ... so we should not waste any time now," Roth suggested.

08:31 The Scottish National Party (SNP), which won a landslide victory in Scotland two years ago, lost 21 of its 56 seats to parties that want to keep the UK united.

08:13 The UK Federation of Small Business (FSB) says it needs immediate reassurance from the government as to how it plans to protect British economy from a post-election turmoil. The FSB has also called for a delay in Brexit talks that are scheduled to start in less than two weeks.

07:51 Prime Minister May is expected to make a statement at 0900 GMT amid calls for resignation following her party's unsatisfactory election performance.

07:32 Of the 650 people voted into British Parliament, at least 200 will be women - an increase of four and a new record for Britain.

07:30 Prime Minister Theresa May will make a speech addressing her party's election losses.

07:20 European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger told a German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk he expects more uncertainty in Brexit negotiations. He added that weak partner in the UK would lead to a poor outcome. Many in Brussels will likely be scratching their heads on Friday morning trying to figure out how talks for Britain's divorce from the bloc will start.

07:10 No party can reach the winning line of 326 MPs as Britain's general election has ended in a hung parliament, according to British media.

06:55 British newspapers, including the ones that traditionally support the Conservative Party, have lashed out at May, with The Daily Mail and The Sun saying the PM appeared to have "spectacularly misfired" and caused a "disastrous loss of seats."

The Sun said in its commentary that May's "gamble in calling a snap election to bump up her majority and strengthen her hand in the Brexit talks looks to have spectacularly misfired."

06:49 Both Reuters news agency and the BBC have predicted Theresa May's Conservatives will remain the largest party in British Parliament but will not win the majority of seats.

06:43 Britain may have to postpone Brexit talks with the European Union following the Thursday vote with no clear winner, said JP Morgan.

"Perhaps the most obvious conclusion is that the likelihood of the UK needing to request a delay in the Brexit process has risen substantially, given the chance that political developments in the UK disturb what is already a time-compressed process," said Malcolm Barr, economist at JPMorgan, in a research note.

06:25 Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) says it could help Conservatives reach majority in parliament. DUP leader Arlene Foster told media she had always found it very difficult to work with Jeremy Corbyn. The DUP is projected to win 10 seats in parliament.

06:13 British PM Theresa May insisted early Friday she would seek to remain in office despite her Conservative Party losing its majority in parliament.

"At this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability," she said after being re-elected in her Maidenhead constituency.

"And if, as the indications have shown and if this is correct that the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure we have that period of stability - and that is exactly what we will do."

05:44 Sources have told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that Theresa May is "50/50 to go" on Friday.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Anna Soubry has said the prime minister should "consider her position."

"It's bad," said Soubry. "I think she is in a very difficult place."

05:15 Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said the results in Scotland were disappointing for her party but, overall in the UK, were disastrous for Prime Minister Theresa May.

"She called an election clearly very arrogantly thinking that she was going to crush the opposition, sweep everybody aside and cruise to a landslide majority, her position is very, very difficult."

04:40 Initial projections have called Canterbury for the Labour Party. This would be highly significant if confirmed, as Canterbury has voted Conservative for the past 100 years.

04:31 The leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP), Paul Nutall, has failed to win his seat in Boston. It remains unclear if the euroskeptics will win a single seat this election.

04:23 Prime Minister May looked serious as she spoke to the crowd in her home district of Maidenhead, saying Britain was in need of "stability" during turbulent times.

"We have yet to see the full picture emerging," she said, urging her supports to wait until the final results were confirmed.

She hailed the lead of her Conservative Party, reiterating her campaign chorus that "at this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability."

At the same time, the British pound fell about 1.7% as news of the uncertain election hit the markets.

Watch video 11:03
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11:03 mins.

British pound tumbles amid uncertain election

04:14 Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke to "euphoric" constituents in Islington as he praised the election's strong youth vote, adding that the people have had enough of austerity and cuts to human services. He further called on May to resign, saying that she had lost her mandate.

She has "has lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that's enough to go."

He said that his strong showing of support proved that "politics isn't going back into the box where it was before."

03:46 Former Liberal Democrat leader and ex-deputy Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to the Labour Party. 

03:27 Angus Robertson, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Westminster, has lost his seat to Conservative rival Douglas Ross. Exit polls showed that the SNP would likely tumble from its surprise success in the previous general election, projecting a loss of 22 seats.

03:14 Labour's Deputy Leader Tom Watson made a statement after it was clear he would hold his seat West Bromich East.  "We still don't know the final result of this election, it is too early to say, but it looks likely to be a very, very bad result for Theresa May."

03:02 Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage tells the BBC Theresa May has made a misjudgment in calling the election. He says he would return to politics if he felt Brexit were in danger. "I would have absolutely no choice but to do exactly that.

"It's not what I want, I thought it was all done. Mrs. May went for the big majority. She was found out, I think, in this campaign."

02:50 In the London seat of Putney, the constituency of Education Secretary Justine Greening, the Tories have held on, but by less than 1,554 votes. Previously Greening had a majority of more than 10,000 -  a swing of more than 10 percent toward Labour.

02:41 Jeremy Corbyn became the first major politician in the UK to make a statement on the night's projected outcome.

"Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better," Corbyn wrote on Twitter, thanking his voters for choosing a "fairer Britain."

02:37 Shami Chakrabarti, Labour's Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales, said the result was a victory for hope over fear. Chakrabati highlighted the two terror attacks ahead of the vote, and the fact that it had gone ahead. "People turned up in their droves and they queued up at polling booths at an election that people tried to disrupt."

02:19 British tabloids have begun broadcasting their fears of a hung parliament in first glimpses of their early editions for Friday:

02:13 Wrexham was one of a number of seats in Wales that the Tories had hoped to win, Theresa May having visited the principality several times during the campaign. As it turns out, the seat was held by Labour, who also saw a swing in their favor in the Welsh seat of Llanelli. 

02:04 London-based Japanese firm Nomura has given a more optimistic view of projected results for the Tories, predicting 331 constituencies to vote in their favor - enough for a clear majority. However, it's own alternative model provided a result of 317 seats for the Conservative Party.

01:18 Former Conservative Finance Minister Ken Clarke says a narrow majority this time around might mean there needs to be more cross-party consensus on Brexit. "Time for our politics to change for a little," says Clarke, a staunch pro-European and former Remain campaigner. Latest results show that things might not be quite as bad for the Conservatives as predicted.

1:03 Swindon became the first constituency to officially declare itself for the Conservative Party. Despite the victory, however, Labour experienced a surge of votes in the area - which is significant in that part of southern England and could point to a swing to the left in what would normally be Theresa May's heartland.

00:32 If the Conservatives do fall short, they might be able to achieve a working majority with help from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

"This is perfect territory for the DUP obviously because if the Conservatives are just short of an overall majority, it puts
us in a very, very strong negotiating position and it is one we would take up with relish," the party's Jeffrey Donaldson told the BBC.

00:21 The UK's nationalist, pro-Brexit UKIP party has blamed Theresa May's "hubris" for the Tories' bad results. Leader Paul Nutall took to Twitter to express his views on the exit polls:

Voters in Britain will be looking to see how UKIP fares in this election, especially given that its supporters voted heavily in favor of Brexit. backing for the euroskeptics has collapsed since Brexit, with many believing the party has already achieved all that it can.

Pollsters have predicted that UKIP will win exactly one seat, in Clacton on Britain's southeast coast.

00:20 DW's Max Hofmann in Brussels says there is some surprise there. He says that EU officials might have wanted May to get a clear mandate. "What they want is to have a strong leader in the UK without the internal chaos, so they have the peace to negotiate. You don't have that if you have to rule with a minority coalition, the way it's looking at the moment."
"To sum it up from a Brussels perspective, it has gotten a lot more complicated tonight."

The result for Houghton and Sunderland South was another Labour hold. The results from the initial two seats indicate that the exit poll might be excessively pessimistic as far as Theresa May and her Conservatives are concerned.

00:00 Newcastle Central has become the first constituency to officially declare its election results, with Labour MP Chi Onwurah holding her seat.

23:50 Despite fears of a hung parliament and previous experience in a coalition government, a member of the centrist Liberal Democrats told Sky News that there would be "no pacts, no deals, no coalition" with other parties.

23:39 According to a reporter for Britain's The Independent, a Labour spokesman said that the exit poll would be an "extraordinary result" if confirmed. Although the Labour Party did not get the most votes, the polls predicted a gain of 34 seats compared to the 17 forecast to be lost by the Conservative Party.

"Labour has run a positive and honest campaign, we haven't engaged in smears or personal attacks."

23:27 Former Finance Minister George Osborne has said the projected loss of a majority for the Conservatives would be "catastrophic" if true.

"It is early days. It's a poll. If the poll is anything like accurate this is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and for Theresa May," he told broadcaster ITV.

23:19  French news agency AFP has reported that the pound is tumbling ahead of fears of a hung parliament.

On top of the loss of seats for the Tories, the polls suggested Plaid Cymru in Wales would have 3 seats, the Green Party 1 seat and other parties (principally those in Northern Ireland) 18 seats between them.

23:07 According to the MORI poll for Britain's BBC, Sky News and ITV, despite garnering the most votes - the Conservative Party would likely lose 17 seats in the House of Commons, leaving it with only 314 - 12 less than necessary for an outright majority. Labour, however, gained 34 seats to climb to 266.

If the results play out as predicted, it would be a massive blow to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the snap election in April to obtain a stronger a parliamentary majority which would strengthen her hand in negotiating with the European Union for Britain's exit from the bloc.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) would be unable to repeat its unprecedented success in the 2015 election, losing 22 seats overall.

23:00 Exit polls compiled by the main television channels in the UK indicated that the Conservative Party was set to take most seats in the general election held on Thursday, but would lack an outright majority. The first confirmed results are expected from midnight onwards (1:00 CEST).

While May and her Conservative Party started out with a 20-percent lead in the opinion polls in the days before the vote, it had dwindled down to single figures on the eve of the election.

The election was held under tight security following three terror attacks in London and Manchester in the weeks leading up to the vote.

shs, es/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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