UK general election exit polls show May's Conservatives could be largest party

By Chris Peterson in London | | 2017-06-09 05:37

UK general election exit polls show May's Conservatives could be largest party

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave a polling station in Sonning, Britain June 8, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

Exit polls taken shortly after voting closed at 10 pm local time in the UK's general election showed Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party could be the largest party with 314 seats, short of a majority.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party was forecast to have 266 seats.

There are 46.9 million registered voters in the UK and they will vote to choose 650 members of Parliament to represent them. In theory, if one party gets at least 326 MPs, it will be able to form a government. If the largest party gets less than 326, it may have to form a coalition. As Sinn Fein MPs from Northern Ireland and MPs appointed to the Speaker's office don't vote, the actual minimum number of seats for a practical majority is 322.

The polls are not always reliable – in 2015 the same pollsters predicted David Cameron's Conservatives would be the biggest party, but 10 seats short of an overall majority.

In the event Cameron won with an an overall majority of 17, which May inherited when she became prime minister in June last year.

First results in today's election are expected around 23:00 local time, and an overall result could come in any time between 4:30 or 7:00.

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