Early Exit Polls Indicate May’s Conservatives Could Lose Majority

It's another sign of the tight race between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, arrives to vote in London. — REUTERS
Jun 08, 2017 at 6:10 PM ET

The first exit polls from the United Kingdom’s general election on Thursday signaled that the Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, is projected to fall short of hanging on to its majority.

The first indications of the Conservative Party potentially not securing a majority is the most telling sign of how tight the race has become between May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has enjoyed a surge in the polls in the lead-up to the contest.

Early results showed the Conservative Party projected to win 314 of the 650 seats in Britain’s Parliament. If this projection were to hold up, it would leave May’s party 12 seats shy of the 326 needed to secure a majority. Corbyn’s Labor Party is expected to pick up more than 30 seats, bringing its total to 266.

Various polls taken ahead of the election had Conservatives increasing their majority, albeit with different margins. Meanwhile, a results model by the Press Association predicted a “hung Parliament” if voters of all ages had 78 percent turnout. As the Guardian explained, the gap in turnout between younger and older voters has widened over the years, with the Labour Party relying more on 20- and 30-somethings to come to the polls.

Even though voting ended at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in the U.S., confirmation of May’s re-election or Corbyn’s upset victory may not be known until early Friday morning.