Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party will fail to win a parliamentary majority in Britain's election, according to an exit poll on Thursday, a shock result that would plunge domestic politics into turmoil and could delay Brexit talks.
The exit poll predicted May's party would not win a majority of the 650 seats in parliament to take office alone, meaning she would have to form a coalition or attempt to govern with the backing of other smaller parties.
The exit poll predicted the Conservatives would win 314 seats and the Labour Party 266, meaning no clear winner and a "hung parliament".
The exit poll sent shockwaves through financial markets. Sterling fell more than two cents against the U.S. dollar.
It was an extraordinary failure for May, who was enjoying opinion poll leads of 20 points and more when she called the snap election just seven weeks ago.
But her lead had gradually shrunk over the course of the campaign, during which she backtracked on a major social care proposal, opted not to take part in a high-profile TV debate with her opponents, and faced questions over her record on security after Britain was hit by two Islamist militant attacks that killed 30 people.