What a hung Parliament means for Britain

May, who became prime minister after the June 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union, had called the election three years early in a bid to strengthen her hand in the looming Brexit negotiations.

"I obviously wanted a different result last night", a grim-faced May acknowledged, promising she would "reflect on what happened".

With 649 of 650 seats declared, the Conservatives had won 318 seats and Labour 261 followed by pro-independence Scottish National Party on 34.

The final result was announced nearly 24 hours after polls closed.

"Markets will likely remain on the back foot while the hard job of putting together a workable government is undertaken".

Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said the election outcome could mean a less radical split between Britain and the EU.

"I think if we'd had a large Conservative majority like all the polling was pointing to, then Theresa May could've pushed through her version of Brexit which is outside the single market, outside the customs union with tight control over migration, and not giving much money into the EU pot in terms of paying for access", explains French.

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Britain's best-selling Sun newspaper said senior members of the party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait at least six months because they were anxious that a leadership contest could propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into power.

The Tory housing minister is the author of a book entitled How To Win A Marginal Seat, although it proved not to guide him through to victory on this occasion.

"She's staying, for now", one Conservative Party source told Reuters.

May's snap election call was the second time that a Conservative gamble on the issue of Britain's relations with Europe backfired.

Voters-such fickle creatures. Just ask Theresa May.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said it is not even clear whether May will now lead those negotiations. "That's going to make it hard for the European Union 27 because they're going to want to know who they're talking to and what their policy is".

Conservative Party insiders are also wondering how long Mrs May will last.

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Before the election, she had been widely expected to sack finance minister Philip Hammond following a reported clash over her Brexit strategy.

"I sought, and to be fair to the prime minister, received a categoric assurance that in talking to the DUP that there would be no suggestion of any rollback on LGBTI rights in the rest of the United Kingdom", she told reporters.

"Honestly, it feels nearly like she is nearly not aware of what has happened in the last 24 hours", Conservative lawmaker Heidi Allen told LBC radio. "Jeremy Corbyn made the connection".

In a resignation message on the ConservativeHome website, Mr Timothy said: "I take responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme".

"The young have a bad deal", said Ben Page, chief executive of the pollster Ipsos MORI. They want to get it started. "It appears clear they were determined this time to make a difference and vote". While he was demonized by conservative newspapers, on Facebook Corbyn was trending. Across the country, people voted Labour despite not liking Corbyn.

And Mrs. May is very likely to face leadership challenges within her own party. "This was the first time I voted". With the fractured mandate that she has got now, the task of the negotiators would be far from easy. People told pollsters that they were anxious about the future of the National Health Service, that they didn't like May's flip-flops on elderly care, that they were unnerved by instability unleashed by the Tories. There have been precedents of minority governments but they are inherently unstable arrangements. But the continuing divisions across the country were laid bare in the election result. As many Britons who voted "Leave" have come to realize, Brexit was a political Pandora's box. But as journalist Ian Hislop quipped Friday on a television comedy show, "no one knows what they said".

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