United Kingdom election deals May a crushing blow, blurring Brexit talks

May's gamble in calling an early election backfired spectacularly, as her Conservative Party lost its majority in Parliament.

If the Conservatives can count on the 10 seats won in Northern Ireland by the Democratic Unionist Party, they would have a fragile majority.

"Clearly if she's got a worse result than two years ago and is nearly unable to form a government, then she, I doubt, will survive in the long term as Conservative Party leader", former Conservative Treasury chief George Osborne said on ITV.

Instead, she risks an ignominious exit after just 11 months at Number 10 Downing Street, which would be the shortest tenure of any prime minister for nearly a century.

"MAYHEM" screamed the headline in the tabloid Sun newspaper.

But few seats had been declared by 0728 GMT, and the BBC reported that 76 seats appeared too close to call.

It remains to be seen whether the election will result in a minority or a coalition government, or whether the parties will be well and truly deadlocked.

Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge said "heads must roll" to save the party. It appears that they have had some success in doing so - given their electoral massacre just two years ago, the exit poll predicts that they have nearly doubled their seat numbers.

Sterling fell as low as $1.27, down about two and a half cents from its level late on Thursday.

The pound has fallen sharply after the election exit poll, which cast doubt over whether the Conservatives will win an overall majority.

Her goal was to gain a strong mandate during negotiations over Britain's exit from the European Union.

"It's clear if the prime minister wins a much smaller majority than she was hoping for, the talks could be impacted", the European Union official said, the Guardian reports.

The short election campaign was marred by two terrorist attacks and overshadowed by uncertainty in relation to Brexit. Some critics nicknamed her "the Maybot".

"The market will be praying that this exit poll has got it wrong", said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at MUFG. Both all but avoided Brexit during the campaign, wallowing in platitudes or pretending this was merely one isolated issue among many. This will give a slightly plumper cushion to a Tory majority.

Labour had 262, up from 229, and the Scottish National Party 35, a loss of about 20 seats that complicates the party's plans to push for independence.

"If the poll is anything like accurate, this is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and for Theresa May", said Osborne.

"I think the Conservative party as a whole is reluctant to get rid of Theresa May now because it would mean a leadership election, it would mean stalling on Brexit talks", Menon said. However, it said that it would be able to produce a more accurate forecast when 10 percent of results were in, which will be around 0100 GMT.

Above all, investors are anxious about the general uncertainty surrounding the country - whether a bruised May will be able to govern effectively or whether she may eventually resign. In polls leading up to the campaign's final day, May's lead over Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was seen shrinking to 6 percentage points.

A Jeremy Corbyn-led government would be likely to rattle financial markets further after the veteran socialist's manifesto pledged a corporation tax hike and income tax rises for the UK's richest 5%.

The center-left, pro-EU Liberal Democrats, who were in coalition with the Conservatives between 2010 and 2015, looked unlikely to go down that route again.

Britain's voters were moving back towards an old-style two-party system but that was no comfort for the Conservatives. The benchmark index often moves higher when the pound weakens because numerous 100 biggest companies listed in London make their money overseas, and those profits will be worth more when brought back to the United Kingdom. "With a weak negotiating partner, there's a danger that the negotiations will turn out badly for both sides".

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