UK general election 2017 as it happened: May clings on with DUP backing

Theresa May is still prime minister but she has lost her majority and potentially much more.

  • Theresa May announces new government with DUPReuters
  • Conservatives lose 12 seats and fall short of a majority.
  • Theresa May clings on, propped up by the Democratic Unionist Party.
  • Senior Tories demand more flexible approach to Brexit.
  • Paul Nuttall resigns as leader of UKIP and deletes his Twitter account.
  • Farage threatens a return to politics if Britain stays in single market.

This concludes our live blog for the 2017 general election. An awful lot has happened in the 32 hours since we began covering the plebiscite, much of it unexpected.

Theresa May is still prime minister but her hand has been weakened considerably by the outcome of a vote that she had called in the hope of securing a landslide majority.

It is likely there will be huge implications for Britain's approach to the imminent Brexit negotiations. All sorts of contingencies and possibilities now oscillate around her fragile minority government, propped up by the DUP.

IBTimes UK's final offerings on this dramatic and bewildering day are:

Thanks for joining us and stay in touch as we cover the inevitably fascinating consequences of the 2017 general election during the coming days and weeks.

Read DUP leader Arlene Foster's official statement here. She says her party will "enter discussions with the Conservatives to explore how it may be possible to bring stability to our nation at this time of great challenge."

Theresa May just damaged herself, her party, and her country – she won't last long.

Read Alistair Cambell's take on the election for IBTimesUK

Fellow veteran left-winger Bernie Sanders has tweeted his congratulations for Jeremy Corbyn and his "very effective campaign".

According to Sky News, it's early days for the Conservative/DUP romance...

May and Philip

Theresa May is still prime minister. She has lost her majority but clung on to power with by striking a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

But who are the DUP? And should we be afraid of them?

We're giving a lot of airtime to George Osborne's Evening Standard front pages today – but they are quite good.

Here's the fourth edition. (See below for the previous three.)

Theresa May will be forced into a re-shuffle because she lost eight ministers in last night's blood bath. The BBC's political editor thinks it could happen as early as this afternoon...

The Evening Standard's political cartoonist has produced some artwork that will no doubt please his boss, who has tweeted it, along with three remorseless front pages (see below).

In a pastiche of the 2015 Tory campaign ad that depicted Ed Miliband in Alex Salmond's pocket, Christian Adams has drawn the following...

May's full statement:

The Evening Standard has printed three editions so far today and George Osborne is having fun with every front page. Here they are, in chronological order:

Twitter / screengrab

Paul Nuttall has deleted his Twitter account. He resigned the UKIP leadership a few hours ago.

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

In her brief statement outside 10 Downing Street, May said it was essential to "get to work" in facing down the challenges of terrorism and Brexit. She paid tribute to the DUP, with whom she says the Tories have "enjoyed a strong relationship over many years".

She added: "What the country needs now more than ever is certainty. Having secured the largest number of votes and greatest number of seats in the general election, it is clear the Conservatives and Unionist party has the legitimacy to provide that."

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A bookmaker is offering even money for Nigel Farage to be the next leader of UKIP.

Betway's Alan Alger, said: "As soon as Paul Nuttall announced his resignation as UKIP leader, surprise, surprise, Nigel Farage has been well-backed at evens to take over.

"Deputy leader Peter Whittle is next in the betting at 4/1 to fill the void, ahead of party donor Aaron Banks at 6/1. A long list of names are available at bigger prices, but the one that everyone wants to be on is Farage at even-money."

Theresa May outside No 10:

"I will now form a government to provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time."

This government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks and deliver the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union."

She says she will carry on the Brexit negotiations as planned on the timetable. The show goes on.

"Let's get to work," she adds.

Spare a thought for poor Brenda...

BBC report unconfirmed claims from sources that Kensington – the only seat yet to be called – has gone to Labour. Huge if true.

Ireland's new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has described the hung parliament as an "opportunity for Ireland".

Leo Varadkarhttp://leovaradkar.ie

He said: "We must ensure that the Brexit talks are handled in a smooth and coherent manner to secure the best possible outcome for Ireland, for Europe and the UK.

"The results of the UK election indicate to me that there is no strong mandate to proceed with a hard Brexit, which represents an opportunity for Ireland."

Tim Farron, whose Lib Dems had a decent night, moving from eight to 12 seats in the Commons, on an anti-Brexit ticket, says his party will make it difficult for Theresa May if she wishes to pursue a hard Brexit agenda.

"Theresa May or any other Conservative approaches the Lib Dems and asks for our support to deliver their agenda, let me make our position clear - no deal is better than a bad deal," he said.

"There will be no deals, no coalitions, no confidence-and-supply arrangements. If the government puts a Queen's Speech or Budget before us we will judge it on whether we think it is good for the country, and if it isn't we will not support it. "

Queen Elizabeth II leaves the re-opening the The National Army Museum, LondonLeon Neal/Getty Images

Theresa May is now with the Queen.

She is the 13th person to hold the office of prime minister during Elizabeth II's reign.

This is surely one of the more interesting conversations the Queen will have had on the morning after an election.

Prime Minister Theresa May is on her way to meet the Queen.

She will ask Her Majesty to form a government for the second time in 11 months. This time she does not command a majority.

She is travelling to Buckingham Palace with her husband Philip but he will not attend the audience with the Queen.

SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon acknowledges the "bitterly disappointing" loss of 21 seats in the House of Commons.

She gives a special mention to Angus Robertson, who had led her party at Westminster and Alex Salmond, the former leader and her mentor.

She then takes the attack to the Tories, saying they have damaged the UK's reputation, adding that Theresa May "lost all authority and credibility".

She says any mandate for a "hard Brexit" has now evaporated.

Commenting on the election result, the Unison union describe Corbyn as someone who has "inspired millions".

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said:

Jeremy Corbyn gives a thumbs-up as he arrives at Labour Party headquartersDaniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Former Doctor Sarah Wollaston is reportedly saying May must go.

It's easy to forget about Scotland in amongst all the Westminster drama. But the headline is that the SNP have lost 21 seats and seen their mandate for a second independence referendum heavily weakened.

The Tories made the biggest gains north of the border, picking up 12 seats from Nicola Sturgeon's party.

Meanwhile, Labour now have seven Scottish seats. Leader Kezia Dugdale said:

"Just two years after we were nearly wiped out in Scotland, we have staged a remarkable recovery and overturned some gigantic SNP majorities, and pushed the Nationalists incredibly close in many seats.

"I am incredibly proud of the campaign we ran in Scotland, which focused on our belief that together we're stronger with Scotland as part of the UK, coupled with Jeremy Corbyn's positive vision of a country for the many, not the few.

"We now have seven MPs from diverse backgrounds who will do a fantastic job standing up for their constituents in Westminster.

"Theresa May has gambled and lost spectacularly and she should now resign as Prime Minister - and Ruth Davidson should tell her that.

"As for the SNP, this was a catastrophic result and is the final nail in the coffin for Nicola Sturgeon's plans for a divisive second independence referendum. She must now immediately abandon that plan and get back to the day job of running our schools and hospitals."

Getty Images

The Sun's Deputy Political Editor says there will be a cabinet reshuffle this afternoon.

Now senior Conservative Dominic Grieve is openly questioning the government's Brexit stance.

Mr Farage and co will be pulling their hair out – the so-called "hard Brexit" is no longer an inevitability.

BBC Newsnight

They're keeping very quiet on the continent...

Bojo back in the game

Reuters

Theresa May will reportedly remain Prime Minister after the DUP confirmed they will back the Conservative Party to form a minority government.

However, the Prime Minister's position has been substantially weakened after her decision to call a snap general election in a bid to boost her mandate spectacularly backfired.

According to the bookmakers, Boris Johnson is the favourite to replace May. The current Foreign Secretary is 7/1 with Betfair to become the next occupant of Number 10, while William Hill, Bet Fred and Paddy Power have odds of 4/1, 6/1 and 9/2 respectively.

Further down the list are Brexit Minister David Davis at 18/1 with Betfair and 12/1 with William Hill and Paddy Power, while Amber Rudd and Philip Hammond are at 33/1 and 39/1 respectively.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn remains an outside bet to lead the next government, with Betfair, Paddy Power and William Hill all offering 9/1 odds on the Labour leader.

London Tory MP Mark Field says he wants Theresa May's to ensure that "we get as many voices as possible playing their part from other political parties as well in terms of trying to sort out what is going to be the best deal"

It's early days, but there is a real sense that opposition to the so-called "hard Brexit" from within the Conservative Party no longer feels scared to speak its name.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International United Kingdom Section, has said:

"As the new government is being formed, human rights must remain top of their agenda, and they must carefully protect our values and our freedoms."

Theresa May had promised to "rip up" human rights law if it got in the way of countering terror.

"The people have spoken loud and clear and they have said we do not want an extreme Brexit, we do not want one that leaves the single market"

Gina Miller, a Remain figurehead, speaks out.

Leon Neal/Getty Images

Kuenssberg outside 10 Downing Street again, she reports:

Tories are privately saying Theresa May has shored up her position for the time being and will get through the day.

The alternative: the horror of the prospect of another election is too much.

She is being talked about as as a "caretaker rather than a prime minister who is going to be in this for the long haul," says Kuenssberg.

It is not yet clear what the arrangement with the DUP is. Interestingly, a lot of major issues such as social care and housing are devolved to Stormont. So, how legitimate would their votes be on, say, a care bill that only affected England?

Anything controversial will struggle to make its way through.

Clacton's newly elected Labour MP isn't cheerleading for Corbyn...

No love lost between Evening Standard Editor and his former colleague the prime minister.

BREAKING: UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall has resigned after his party failed to win any seats and hemorrhaged 12% of their nationwide vote.

ITV

IBTimes UK predicted that the Liverpudlian would have trouble in the constituency of Boston and Skegness.

LESLEY MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Business groups have called for clarity and reassurance from politicians in the aftermath of the shock election result.

"It's time to put the economy back to the top of the agenda," said the Confederation of British Industry.

Our Business Editor Guarav Sharma has a full report.

The BBC's Andrew Marr thinks that this election could provide a watershed moment for soundbite campaigning of the "strong and stable variety".

He says Jeremy Corbyn adopted a more natural style and people have responded to it.

"A positive thing," he concludes.

There's probably never been a better time to read this from IBTimes UK's Shane Croucher:

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Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown accuses May of "arrogance".

"I think she's losing touch with reality. I mean look she went to the country asking for a clear mandate of a hard Brexit and the country gave her a resounding raspberry so now what is she going to do – is she going to blunder on?

"Is she going to ignore what the country said last night? That would be an egregious act of arrogance."

Darren Staples/Reuters

That's now official... May to go to Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm to form a government.

It is understood that this will be with assurances from the DUP that they will support the Tories, rather than taken positions in the government.

BBC

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg says that May will go to the palace to see the Queen later today on the understanding that she can form government depending on the 10 votes of the DUP.

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, who had the cheek to criticise Mrs May's leather trousers, is publicly asking questions about her leadership.

""I think Theresa May is absolutely a competent, a more than capable Prime Minister and leader of the party.

But clearly there has been a misjudgement in the way that we started off thinking there was going to be a significant win for the Conservative party. That hasn't happened – we need to understand why," she said.

Donald Tusk joins Michel Barnier in saying Brexit talks can wait.

Both Labour and the Tories have said they must go ahead as planned.

Grayson Perry has thrown his hat into the ring.

What will the DUP want?

They supported Brexit but they want a soft border with northern Ireland.

When the UK faced a hung parliament in 2010,

they said they would offer their support to the Conservatives on a case-by-case basis, rather than seeking positions in the government.

But that was then.

The Democratic Unionist Party website has crashed. But if you want to know more about the party that Theresa May, you could read this piece.

Head of EU parliament piles the pressure on Theresa May.

Will we get a statement from the PM this morning?

McDonnell tells the BBC their wIll be no Labour deal with the SNP.

EU chief negotiator says we can delay the start of Brexit talks...

These election night tweets will make you smile amid the chaos

Newsweek

Telegraph Chief Political Correspondent has this:

IDS backs May

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has told Radio 4 that Theresa May's "duty is to continue" and a leadership election would be a "catastrophe".

Well, if the Conservatives are going to cut a deal with the DUP, it might come at a price.

DUP leader Arlene Foster just told the BBC: "I think it will be difficult" for the PM to survive,"

Clodagh Kilcoyne/ Reuters
Getty

Three results yet to declare in England, but the Tories still have a large majority in England and Wales, so they can still comfortably pass any legislation only applying to England or England and Wales.

Shane Croucher explains English Votes for English Laws.

If Theresa May goes, she could end up as the shortest serving PM for a century!

Toby Melville/Reuters

650 seats. 10 parties. One map. We burned the midnight oil to make this cool time-lapse video of how the election unfolded.

UK election time-lapse: How it unfoldedNewsweek

Andrew Marr reckons Labour have great momentum and authority but the numbers just don't add up.

BBC pundits predict, albeit cautiously, a shaky Conservative/DUP coalition.

John McDonnell says Labour aren't interested in going into coalition with anyone:

"We are not looking for a coalition or deals. we will set out are programme based on an alternative Queen's Speech and try and get people to vote for it."

He argues that the Conservatives cannot form a stable government.

Corbyn says he wants a "jobs first Brexit" and adds that it would be "a good gesture from parliament would be to vote now to agree that all EU nationals can remain in Britain."

The ITV economics editor says it was the youth what won it...

Jermy Corbyn: "We are ready to serve this country. That is what we fought the election for."

Darren Staples/Reuters
DUP leader Arlene Foster could prove "kingmaker"Liam McBurney/ PA

Kuenssberg says May's team are trying to strike a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, a natural ally in Westminster.

The DUP will be desperate to avoid a hard border with the Irish Republic and this could soften Brexit negotiations.

May is back at Downing Street. A "senior cabinet member" has told Laura Kuenssberg that they expect May to stay on.

People on Twitter are calling for Greg Knight, the Tory MP behind this legendary video, to become the next PM.

Larry the Downing Street Cat may have a third new owner in 12 months.

Who's the real boss at No 10?

Ed Miliband, who a little over two years ago was resigning his party's leadership after a disappointing general election, thinks Theresa May should do the same.

John McDonnell has told the Today programme that the Conservative Party is "not stable".

"I don't want to be derogatory but I think she's a lame duck prime minister, I can't see her surviving. And a number of Conservative MPs are already privately saying that her position is untenable," he said.

Speaking outside Westminster, Nigel Farage criticised Theresa May.

"She failed the test, she didn't look like a leader and Jeremy Corbyn was having a ball," he said.

On a lighter note, Jeremy Corbyn high-fived Emily Thornberry's boob.

Jeremy Corbyn accidentally slaps Emily Thornberry's breast during high-five mix-upSky News
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Tory veteran Ken Clarke has held his seat in Rushcliffe

Front page of the Archant publication, The New European.

Ouch.

Martin Schulz, the social democrat hoping to replace Angela Merkel as the German Chancellor says he has spoken to Jeremy Corbyn...

Some big beasts have fallen tonight as the unforgiving scythe of democracy swept over the country once again.

Nick Clegg and Alex Salmond are chief among the high profile victims, but who else is out of a job?

Ian Silvera charts the high profile MPs who lost their seats.

Nigel Farage, who has already threatened to return to UK politics this morning, goes in for the kill...

Kensington and Chelsea result postponed.

It's too close to call between Labour and the Conservatives – the counters have been sent home because they're too exhausted.

We may get a result this afternoon.

Tory Victoria Borwick currently holds the seat.

Diane Abbott, who had a torrid time during the election campaign and stood down as Shadow Home Secretary on Wednesday, has thanked her constituents for returning her with an increased majority.

So, what is a hung parliament?

IBTimes UK has produced this guide to explain what the heck happens now no one has won a majority.

May has no intention of resigning, says the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.

Reuters

"Our own campaign was hijacked by ourselves," says Conservative MP Nigel Evans.

He told the 5 Live where he thinks it went wrong: "In the distance their was something called social care where we basically did a full frontal assault on our core vote, the elderly.

"We didn't shoot ourselves in the foot, we shot ourselves in the head."

Reuters

Outspoken Tory Remainer Anna Soubry has launched a second attack on Theresa May while speaking on the Today programme.

The ex-minister has moved closer to the jugular than she did in the early hours of the morning, saying:

"She has to consider whether she will remain as our prime minister and leader of the party because this has been a disaster. The results are dreadful.

Veteran journalist Jon Snow doesn't pull any punches with his analysis of the night...

Darren Staples/Reuters

As Britain wakes up to the news that Theresa May has failed to secure a majority in the House of Commons, it's worth remembering just how high she appeared to be flying seven weeks ago when she called the election.

This collection of images from our Picture Editor David Sim tells the story of her disastrous campaign and Jeremy Corbyn's unlikely surge.

Zac's back!

Zac Goldsmith, who left the Conservative party to stand as an independent only to be humiliated in a by election by the Lib Dems, has been returned to his old Richmond Park seat for the Tories.

Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Well, this would be interesting...

We have another Conservative win, Melton and Rutland.

A British member of the German parliament has given his thoughts on the election result.

Our colleague Dan Cancian has looked at how the markets are likely to respond to the news that Theresa May's gamble has backfired and that Britain will have a hung parliament.

While fears a hung parliament could dent Brexit negotiations sank the pound to its lowest level in six weeks, the stock market's reaction is expected to be more subdued.

Britain's main benchmark suffered its biggest drop since the Brexit vote when Theresa May surprisingly called a snap-election back in April, but analysts expected the Prime Minister to secure a majority.

However, while May has fallen short of securing a majority, the FTSE is set to open about 30 points lower as equity markets look to be adopting a risk-off approach, although the prospect of a market collapse at the open remains unlikely.

"FTSE 100 futures have been remarkably resilient, falling just over 1% overnight," said Mike Van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

"And only as far as late May lows, from which they have already rebounded as the international contingent once again embraces the weaker pound and translational benefits that offers. Similar to what we saw in the wake of last June's referendum."

Insanely close in North East Fife, but the SNP have taken it by just two votes.

If Theresa May resigns, it would make her the shortest serving PM in a century.

Veteran Labour MP David Lammy with some kind words for Jeremy Corbyn.

Over the next 24 hours, it will be interesting to see how Labour voices who opposed the Corbyn project respond to what was a remarkable victory. Regardless of whether Corbyn failed to get a majority, the Labour surge has defied polls and confounded the Labour leader's critics.

Ian Silvera has a wrap up of the previous 12 hours extraordinary political events here:

Caroline Lucas will remain the Green Party's only MP having won back her seat in Brighton Pavilion.

Sherwood, Tiverton & Honiton are both Conservative holds.

Lib Dem Layla Moran has taken Oxford West and Abingdon, with an almost 15% swing away from the Conservatives.

Another look at the front pages today. Theresa May's "gamble backfires" from the Daily Mail:

Labour's Ruth Smeeth holds Stoke-on-Trent North with a majority of 21,272

The Conservatives can no longer reach an outright majority - the UK is going to have a hung parliament, it's official. There are 20 seats left to declare.

Zac Goldsmith has taken back Richmond Park. He held the seat until he was defeated by Lib Dem Sarah Olney in the byelection last year.

Theresa May's decision to call a snap general election in a bid to boost her mandate has spectacularly backfired, plunging the UK into unnecessary uncertainty with just over a week before Brexit talks begin.

The ruling Conservatives are set to lose 17 seats, with Labour making a surprise gain of 34 MPs in the House of Commons, according to predictions.

The result comes after a lacklustre campaign from May, who refused to take part in any head-to-head TV debates with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and faced a backlash over a so called "dementia tax".

Mass tactical voting has resulted in the least anticipated electoral outcome as Britain ends up with Theresa May losing her Parliamentary majority.

Frances Foley, campaign manager for Progressive Alliance, said:

"Many people hoped for this outcome but very few really believed it. People across the country voted tactically to stop the Tories.

"Britain has voted for change and they've voted to stop Theresa May and the Tories.

"But we should never have to rely on tactical voting again to beat the Tories. Only through proportional representation will we stop the Tories from governing again."

This win earlier for the Liberal Democrats in Oxford may take the sting out of the tale of losing its former leader and one-time deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

There will also be great relief that Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has kept his seat of Westmorland and Lonsdale, where he ran against Labour and a giant fish finger.

Things have been going pretty well for Jeremy Corbyn tonight. But his high-five game needs some work...

Jeremy Corbyn accidentally slaps Emily Thornberry's breast during high-five mix-upSky News

A razor close count in Sir Menzies Campbell's former seat in North East Fife.

The UKIP candidate in Islington North was filmed mouthing "terrorist sympathiser" as he gave his acceptance speech.

David Dimbleby has, as always, been on form tonight. This, from earlier...

My colleague Dan Cancian has looked into the market reaction to the results so far. You can read his full report here.

The pound plunged to its lowest level in six weeks against the dollar amid fears a hung parliament could dent Brexit negotiations.

Sterling fell as much as 2% against the greenback in response to a shock exit poll released at 10pm on Thursday night (8 June), which forecast the Conservative Party would fall short of winning an overall majority.

The pound recouped some of the losses, after results began trickling in and the first constituency results just before midnight showed the swing towards Labour was not as sharp as the exit poll predicted.

However, by 4am on Friday morning sterling remained 1.71% and 1.28% lower against the dollar and the euro respectively, trading at $1.2735 and €1.1399.

"After that first initial sell-off on the exit poll we've actually seen precious little movement in cable [the pound/dollar exchange rate]," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

"Trading is pretty thin overnight and the volumes will increase markedly later this morning when traders in London arrive at their desks, which might produce some more decisive price action."

We're back with our by now old school, hand-coloured election map: give us some love.

Conservative Ken Clarke has held onto his seat in Rushcliffe with over half of the 58,477 votes

Jeremy Corbyn wins the award for the most awkward high five.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has narrowly held onto her Hastings seat.

Conservatives win Banff and Buchan with a huge 20% swing from the SNP

Conservative Philip Davies, a men's rights campaigner, hasn't lost his Shipley seat.

He made a name for himself by attempting to block domestic violence legislation using a tactic called the "filibuster" - talking for so long that a debate runs out of time.

Davies was challenged by Sophie Walker of the Women's Equality Party, which formed in 2015.

Anna Soubry became the first Conservative MP to call into question Theresa May's position as prime minister, saying the Tory leadership had run a 'dreadful campaign'.

Soubry, a leading Remainer who narrowly won her seat of Broxtowe, said aspects of the Conservative campaign had been "deeply flawed".

Asked if May should step down, Soubry said: "That is a matter for her. She has to consider her position. This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party."

Another round-up: Labour have held Tottenham and Leicester West.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has been re-elected in Holborn and St Pancras with 30,509 votes.

Meanwhile, Conservative Craig Mackinlay - who has been charged over election expenses - has held South Thanet.

Here is Jeremy Corbyn calling for Theresa May to stand down at his speech in Islington North:

Jeremy Corbyn calls for Theresa May to step downIBTimes UK

Quick round-up of more results:

Sinn Fein hold Mid Ulster

Labour hold Lewisham East

As the results roll in, we're braving marker pen fumes to colour in a map of the UK...

Alex Salmond is out of Gordon - the former SNP leader lost his seat to Conservative candidate Colin Clark

Theresa May says the Conservatives will deliver stability at her speech in Maidenhead, where she retained her seat.

Her party looks set to lose its majority, with the elections results producing a hung parliament.

Theresa May says UK needs stability as country heads for hung parliamentITN

Labour's Naz Shah receives 29,444 votes in Bradford West, saying people have "hope over hate" and "unity over division".

Gavin Barwell, the Conservative housing minister, has lost his seat to Labour's Sarah Jones in Croydon Central.

Chuka Umunna says the British people have fundamentally rejected Theresa May's vision.

Speaking at his count in Streatham, he said: "I am truly honoured and humbled to be re-elected for a third time to represent our constituency in the House of Commons.

"This is a culturally rich and diverse community; brimming with energy, talent and enthusiasm; full of hope and optimism for the future.

"But we have deep-rooted challenges too which have been exacerbated by seven years of Conservative failure and austerity. This has caused appalling pain and suffering among the most vulnerable people here in Streatham and around the country.

"Theresa May broke her promise and called this opportunistic general election to gain a personal mandate for her plans for an extreme Brexit.

"There are still more results to come, but the indications this evening are that the British people have fundamentally rejected her vision for Brexit and her negative campaign."

George Osborne, reflecting on Theresa May with glee: "The worst thing she's done in her life is no longer running through a wheat field."

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg became the first 'big beast' to lose his seat on election night.

Labour's Jared O'Mara won the seat with a majority of 2,125.

In his concession speech, Clegg said: "In my time in parliament, I have never shirked from political battles. I have never retreated from the political battlefield. I have always sought to stand by the liberal values I believe in.

"But I have, of course, encountered this evening something that many people have encountered before me tonight.. you live by the sword, you die by the sword."

Watch moment Nick Clegg is ousted in Sheffield HallamITN

Senior Conservatives said this morning that Theresa May had made "fundamental strategic errors" and said that her closest aides should be "banished" from Downing Street.

They complained that the campaign had been centred around a "cult of personality" and "central control," adding: "It has completely blown up in our face".

One senior Tory told The Telegraph: "This is bad, it's worse than bad. Her advisers should walk out of the door now never to return, regardless of the final result."

Labour has won Canterbury, soaring up more than 20 points on its 2015 result to score 45% of the vote to the Conservatives' 44.7%.

On a big turnout of 72.7%, Rosie Duffield has eased out Julian Brazier, who had been MP for Canterbury since 1987.

Theresa May sounded broken as she delivered the "victory" speech at her count. It was very short, but it provided the first clue we've had as to how she intends to react to tonight's result.

Here is the key passage.

At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability. And if, as the indications have shown, and this is correct, that the Conservative party has won the most seats, and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do ...

As we ran this campaign, we set out to consider the issues that are the key priority for the British people: getting the Brexit deal right, ensuring that we both identify and show how we can address the big challenges facing our country, doing what is in the national interest. That is always what I have tried to do in my time as a member of parliament and my resolve to do that is the same this morning as it always has been.

As we look ahead and wait to see what the final results will be, I know that the country needs a period of stability. And whatever the results are the Conservative party will ensure that we fulfil our duty in ensuring that stability so that we can all, as one country, go forward together.

It remains to be seen if Theresa May will be leader of either the country or the Conservatives this time tomorrow. My colleague Brendan Cole has outlined the possible candidates to replace her.

Paul Nuttall has failed to win seat for UKIP

The BBC might have its Swingometer, Jeremy Vine and CGI clocks, but here at IBTimesUK we are colouring in a massive map of the country, constituency by constituency, by hand.

It is definitely something to behold. Do so here.

Boris Johnson has kept his seat but Labour has picked up huge support in Uxbridge.

A huge majority, as always, for Diane Abbott in her constituency of Hackney North. Abbott may have had a difficult week after some disastrous media appearances but she remains an incredibly popular MP in London.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May waits for the result of the vote in her constituency at the count centre for the general election in Maidenhead, June 9, 2017.REUTERS/Toby Melville

There were some odd-looking characters on the podium next to Theresa May, most notably a candidate dressed in an Elmo, the character from TV show the Muppets, costume and another dressed as a Monty Python character and named Lord Buckethead.

This is typical in seats, such as that of the prime minister, which get a lot of publicity - indeed, Elmo ran against David Cameron in Witney in 2015.

Theresa May not giving much away in her speech.

As we look ahead and wait and see what results will be, I say the country needs a period of stability [...] and the Conservative party will be a part of ensuring that stability.

Small victories - Theresa May has been re-elected in Maidenhead with 37,718.

Lord Buckethead received 249 votes.

And here is Nigel Farage, saying Theresa May is now "toast".

The former Ukip leader has said that regardless of the result, May will not be able to continue her tenure as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservatives.

Jeremy Corbyn, speaking after winning Islington North with a thumping majority, said: "It's an enormous honour to be asked to represent Islington North for the ninth time in parliament. I am humbled by the size of the vote and I pledge to represent the people of this constituency in the best way possible.

"This election was called in order for the prime minister to gain a large majority in order to assert her authority. I have travelled the whole country. Politics has changed and it isn't going back into the box [it was] before. They've had enough of austerity politics... I am very proud of the campaign the Labour party has run... They are voting for hope and turning their backs on austerity.

"The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. The mandate she has got is lost seats.. that's a mandate to go to make way for a new party to represent the people."

And a gain for the Lib Dems, with Wera Hobhouse taking the seat from the Conservatives.

Liberal Democrats take Dunbartonshire East from SNP

Walthamstow is a Labour hold for Stella Creasy

Our political reporter Ian Silvera is live at the Islington count - where Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected:

Islington North: Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected. It's no surprise.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, 40,086

Toby Clarke, Conservative, 6,871

Tomorrow's Telegraph says May's gamble has "backfired"...

Labour gains at the expense of SNP in Glasgow North East

Boris Johnson has been re-elected in Uxbridge and Ruislip South

Clegg is out, but Vince Cable is back - he has retaken his Twickenham seat with 34,969.

Labour gain Sheffield Hallam from Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg is out...

He lost by by 19,756 to Labour's 21,881.

Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson, who lost her seat in 2015, takes back Dunbartonshire East from the SNP

Conservatives take East Renfrewshire from the SNP

Updates:

Labour hold Wirral South

Conservative hold Sutton Coldfield

Conservative gain from SNP in Ochil & South Perthshire

Labour hold Bridgend

Conservatives hold Amber Valley

Political reporter Ian Silvera says Seamus Milne, Jeremy Corbyn's director of communications, is grinning from ear-to-ear and pacing gleefully up and down on the phone at his boss' count in Islington. This is one hell of a story for the former Guardian journalist.

Chancellor Philip Hammond holds Runnymede & Weybridge.

SNP Ronnie Cowan holds Inverclyde with 15,050.

Hertfordshire North East is a Conservative hold.

Meanwhile, the BBC has updated its exit poll - forecasting:

Conservatives: 322 (up 8)

Labour: 261 (down 5)

SNP has lost Midlothian to Labour. Owen Thompson lost to Danielle Rowley on a swing of 11%.

... and there could be more misery to come for the SNP.

That will be a huge shock to the third biggest party in the British parliament, with a huge swing (14%) towards the Conservatives from the SNP.

It is an incredible change of fortunes for the Scottish nationalists, who decimated Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland in 2015.

Scottish Nationalist Party leader Angus Robertson has lost his seat to the Conservatives.

Jeremy Corbyn has arrived at the count in Islington. IBTimesUK's political reporter Ian Silvera is there.

Boris Johnson just arrived at the count in Uxbridge, a seat he should take comfortably, but understandably most of the questions put by the media to the foreign secretary related his leadership aspirations.

Johnson was tight-lipped, but the bookies have him 2/1 to be the next leader of the Conservative party.

Meanwhile, George Osborne told ITV: "I know Boris Johnson quite well and I suspect there's a small smile on his face."

Nigel Farage has told the BBC that he would return to front line politics if Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM.

"Brexit is on the way back if we get Corbyn," he told the BBC.

"What a huge error. To pick a Remainer to lead a Brexit party in a Brexit election."

Huge win for Labour in Battersea - 10% swing away from the Conservatives.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron leaves a polling station after voting in Kendal, northwest England on June 8, 2017.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron tells reporters outside his home "it's too early to say" how his party has done and he's "looking forward to the rest of the night."

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg points out he's at risk of losing his Westmorland seat.

Sadiq Khan has congratulated Rosena Allin-Khan, who was elected in Tooting after Khan stood down to take up his seat as London mayor.

Labour's Neil Coyle looks likely to retain his seat in Bermondsey, which he took from Liberal Democrats veteran Simon Hughes during the great Lib Dem wipe-out of 2015.

Ian Silvera spoke to him.

A Labour gain from Conservatives in Vale of Clwyd.

Jeremy Corbyn is now the bookies favourite to be the next prime minister.

Just a reminder of the result in Tooting, where Labour have held on to the seat vacated by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Ian Silvera has been chatting to Owen Jones, the journalist and author, in Tooting. His report is here.

What we are seeing so far, from editor-in-chief John Crowley:

Conservative seats in the south, particularly London, are under pressure. A 'no' to hard Brexit?

A young vs old split. Younger people, who by a clear majority had voted to Remain, are making their presence felt at the expense of the Tories.

The SNP's high-water mark of the 2015 election is that - a high-water mark and Labour are on the way back in Scotland.

Is the UKIP vote flowing back to Labour, certainly in the north of England? Did the Tories wrongly assume the UKIP vote would pass directly to them.

The BBC is reporting Labour has taken its first Scottish seat from SNP's Margaret Ferrier...

Wrexham was significant, political reporter Ian Silvera tweets:

Overwhelming win for Labour in Llanelli with 21,568 for Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Nia Griffith.

Wrexham was one the Tories wanted - but it has gone to Labour's Ian Lucas with 17,153 votes. The Conservatives Andrew Atkinson came in second with 15,321.

Swindon South goes to the Conservatives, with Robert Buckland taking 24,809 votes. It was close, though - Labour came in second with 22,347.

The Conservatives have held South Basildon and East Thurrock - with gains coming from Ukip.

A quick catch-up on seats won so far - Labour has 10, Conservatives have 5.

George Osborne piles into May on ITV - says the manifesto was "a total disaster, one of the worst manifestos in history ... I say one of the worst, I can't think of a worse one".

Emma Lewell-Buck has held South Shields for Labour, with 25,078

From political reporter Ian Silvera: "Theresa May's pro-Brexit message has even failed to convince Leave voters, if Kettering, East Midlands, is anything to go by.

"Conservative MP Philip Hollobone defended the seat, but Labour cut his majority from 12,000 to 10,000 votes, a 2.6% swing from the last election in 2015.

"Hollobone, who often sports a Union Jack outfit, appeared alongside Labour's Kate Hoey and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage last year in the constituency at a 2,000-strong rally organised by the Grassroots Out. campaign More than 60% of Kettering voters backed a Brexit at the EU referendum and yet Labour, the party which campaign for Remain, has made gains."

Labour's Jenny Chapman has held onto Darlington with 22,681

Could Justine Greening's seat be under threat?

The Conservatives have held Basildon and Billericay

Nick Robinson tweets:

Broxbourne - Conservative hold, with Charles Walker on 29,515 votes to Labour's 13,723.

2.2% swing from Conservative to Labour.

Conservatives hold Nuneaton with 23k, Labour second.

It's all kicking off - Rupert Murdoch allegedly stormed out of The Times Election Party after seeing the Exit Poll...

Here's a video of Nick Clegg, ruling out a coalition with Labour or the Conservatives.

He said his party would not work with either party due to their 'self-harming' attitude to Brexit.

Kettering: Conservative hold

Twitter users are reacting with shock at the exit poll results, with some questioning Theresa May's decision to call the snap election...

Labour's Catherine McKinnell holds Newcastle North, but there is a small swing of 0.6% from Labour to Conservative.

From the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg:

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, tweets the future could be "messy" for the UK...

Labour has held Newcastle-upon-Tyne East, with Labour chief whip Nick Brown re-elected.

Labour holds Washington and Sunderland West - Sharon Hodgson wins with 24,639. There is a swing to the Conservatives, they're up 10 points and Labour six.

The election nobody wanted?

Reporter Josh Robbins visited High Wycombe to speak to a jaded electorate: "It's politics everywhere and I'm sick of it"

Swindon North has been held by the Conservatives, but Labour increased their margin by a massive 10%.

So many questions tonight: Jeremy Corbyn as PM? Theresa May resigns? What could happen if there's a hung parliament?

Our colleague Paul Wright has answered them for you.

Another Labour win in Newcastle East

Labour: 28,127

Conservative: 8,866

One of the first indicators of a Leave victory in the Brexit referendum was that while Remain was winning in northern cities, the Leave vote was far higher than expected.

We are now seeing this in Sunderland and Newcastle. Labour is winning, but the Tory vote has increased by as much as 12%. It won't be until the marginal seats come in that we see whether the exit polls are right or wrong this time.

Sunderland Central:

Labour: 25,056

Conservative: 15,059

And here is the Mail:

The Mail, of course, stumped for May from the off and courted controversy one day before the election by branding John McDonnell, Dianne Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn "apologists for terror."

Here is the Mirror's offering...

The front pages of tomorrow's papers have started coming in, this from the Sun. The Daily Mail, which threw its weight behind May, will be one to watch for.

Former Home and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the BBC: "One thing about the Labour party is that it has been very disciplined. It's great personal credit to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell if [these figures are played out in the exit poll]. This is a disaster for Theresa May and the Conservative Party."

A reminder that the feud between Sunderland and Newcastle over who announces first is a long and bitter one.

The moment we found out we could be heading for a hung parliament

Shock election exit poll predicts hung parliamentBBC News

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg says a senior Conservative party source had said of May towards the end of the election campaign: "Even if she gets up to a small working majority, she is still very tarnished by this whole thing."

Clearly, May has some work to get to that based on the exit poll.

The Liberal Democrats are once again ruling out a deal with Labour - or indeed anyone else.

"We are getting a lot of calls so just to be clear: No Coalition. No deals," the party tweeted.

For those with short memories, the Lib Dems have a chequered history as kingmakers.

The Lib Dem coalition with the Conservatives was - and still is - defended by many in the party but it proved to be a disaster in 2015, when they were effectively wiped out as a political force.

Here's those numbers from Sunderland:

A significant gain for the Conservatives, even if Labour comfortably held the seat.

We will be updating our UK election map throughout the night... You can check it out here.

An interesting point, which suggests that the exit polls could have overstated the Labour swing.

Hot on the heels of Newcastle, and Labour have won another safe seat in Sunderland.

From our correspondent Ian Silvera:

Newcastle is announcing that Labour has won its first seat. Not a huge surprise...

Lib Dems: 1,812
Conservative: 9134
UKIP: 1,482
Labour: 24,071

Labour's Harriet Harman is throwing caution to the wind...

As Sunderland races to be the first to announce this evening, suggestions that turnout is higher than it was in 2015.

My colleague Lydia Smith has helpfully outlined what exactly a hung parliament means...

It has been pointed out that the drop in the pound is not as significant as the charts would suggest. Jeremy Corbyn made similar comments to the Guardian recently, pointing out that currency markets "are volatile at the best of times."

If the exit poll is right, Theresa May could be the shortest serving Prime Minister since Andrew Bonar Law, who lasted between 23 October, 1922 and 22 May, 1923.

Can George Osborne, the former Chancellor sacked by Theresa May, contain his glee? Here he is speaking in a capacity as a newspaper editor of The Evening Standard on ITV.

"If the poll is anything like accurate, this is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives - and for Theresa May. It's difficult to see if these numbers were right how they would put together a coalition to remain in office.

"But equally, it's quite difficult - looking at these numbers - to see how Labour would put put together a coalition. It's on a real knife edge, and over the next few hours, it's going to make a huge difference, just a few number of seats.

"By my reckoning, both parties have got coalitions which just fall short of an overall majority. I think there is also going to be questions that we will start asking about: 'Is Jeremy Corbyn the most hard-left prime minister this country has ever seen'. He'll have to govern with Scottish nationalists and the whole question of what Brexit looks like this in scenario gets thrown up.'"

Eddie Keogh/Reuters

IBTimes UK's politics reporter Ian Silvera has been speaking to the Lib Dems.

They are predicted to win 14 seats, which would be a small boost on the disastrous 2015 result which saw them win just eight.

Perhaps more significantly, Ian is told "there will be no deals if there's a hung parliament".

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon emphasised the exit poll is a prediction, saying "in 2015 they under-estimated our vote".

That's true - in the 2015 election, the exit polls predicted the Tories would win 316 seats. They won 331 in the end.

Should this exit poll be accurate, will Theresa May have to resign?

This from IBTimes UK's political reporter Ian Silvera.

Ian reported here on how the Green Party would react to the idea of backing a minority Labour minority government:

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

Traders had been expected a lead for Theresa May's party with an overall majority in the House of Commons.

The pound fell by around a cent and half to $1.2792 against the dollar.

IBTimes UK's Editor-in-Chief John Crowley gives his thoughts on what is an astonishing election exit poll.

"So exit polls have been wrong before – but if they play out, can Theresa May stay? And God forbid, does this mean another autumn election? In the 2015 election, the exit polls predicted the Tories to win 316 seats, but they won 331 in the end."

A reminder, the Conservatives are predicted to be the largest party but may not win enough seats for a majority. This would mean a hung Parliament.

Tune in to our Facebook Live where IBTimes UK's politics reporter Ian Silvera is chatting to people at an election night party at the Institute of Directors in London.

The Conservatives may not win an overall majority, according to a joint exit poll by the BBC, Sky and ITV.

The Conservatives, with a message of "strong and stable government", are projected to win 314 seats, while Labour are predicted to win 266 seats.

Read our piece on what would be an astonishing upset here:

Five minutes until the exit poll is released.

The Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire and the tabloid's former editor Piers Morgan give their predictions.

An interesting tweet from pollster Ben Page, who says he and his team are "fascinated" by the result of their exit poll.

What that means is anyone's guess...

Still haven't voted? Run and you may be able to make it.

Those in the polling station queue by 10pm will still be able to vote past the deadline.

Two tweets show the contrast in confidence between the Tories at the centre of the party and those spending today canvassing on the ground.

With just half an hour to go before the polls close, here's a reminder of what will happen.

The 144 polling stations will close at 10pm, after which there will be an exit poll predicting the outcome of the election.

Commissioned by the BBC, ITV and Sky, it has been fairly accurate in forecasting the final result.

Shortly after 10pm we will be kicking off the Facebook Live of our general election map, which will be shown on our Facebook page and will run until every seat has been declared.

For all you need to know, read our story here:

The IBTimes UK General Election map will be live-streamed on Facebook just after the polls close at 10pmIBTimes UK

Sunderland takes pride in being the first to declare at every general election – something it's achieved the last five times.

Its staff have been getting ready for the count to begin when the poll closes at 10pm.

This was the scene a short time ago:

Preparations are made by election staff in Sunderland ahead of the ballot count at Silksworth Community Centre on 8 June, 2017Getty

Less than one hour to go!

This dog got a bit too excited and ate its owner's polling card.

That's the last dog photo, we promise. Feel free to see the *many* posted on Twitter under #DogsAtPollingStations.

As students report being unable to vote in the tight marginal of Newcastle-under-Lyme (see earlier in the blog), similar issues are being reported in Plymouth.

In 2015, both Plymouth seats were won by Conservatives with a majority of less than 5%.

Several people have been turned away at polling stations despite having polling cards, The Plymouth Herald reported.

Anthony Prynn, who says he has lived in the same house for 32 years, and voted at every general election, today found out his name is not on the electoral register.

"I am flaming," he told the local newspaper, "and think it is a joke."

A source at the Labour Party in Plymouth said today has been a "shambles".

"Regardless of whether or not it is a close result tonight there has to be a full investigation into what has been going on within Plymouth City Council in relation to this election," they said.

Twitter users have delighted in posting pictures of their dogs outside polling stations under #DogsAtPollingStations.

But what about #HorsesAtPollingStations?

Sir Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, posted a picture of his wife arriving on horseback, complete with Conservative ribbons.

Sir Nick will be hoping to keep the Mid Sussex seat he has held since 1997.

This is strictly for the over-18s and those who can hold their liquor...

But The Spectator has provided a handy Election night "boozy bingo" drinking game for those planning to stay up until the wee small hours.

Here's just a few they've listed.

  • If anyone says they were 'honoured to be part of Theresa May's team', finish your drink.
  • If a victorious Labour politician says they won 'for the many, not the few', drink many drinks, not a few.
  • If Paul Nuttall loses in Boston, drink a pint to his political career.
  • If Ed Balls mentions Strictly, drink to his dignity (RIP).
  • If Jacob Rees-Mogg says something in Latin, drink a glass of vino (vidi, vici).
Boris Johnson eyes up his pintScott Heppell/ AFP

Good news for any girls or women out there hoping to become an MP – the proportion of female candidates standing in this year's general election is the highest it's ever been.

A record 191 women were elected in 2015, making up around 30% of MPs.

The electorate will be presented with 965 female candidates on 8 June, according to figures compiled by Democracy Club.

Labour is fielding the largest proportion of female election candidates of the biggest parties – at 41%, the BBC reported.

More news from the tight marginal seat of Newcastle-under-Lyme where students at Keele University say they have been turned away from polling stations due to outdated registers.

Labour's Paul Farrelly beat the Tories in 2015 by just 650 votes, so he is understandably angry at young voters being turned away as he battles to keep his seat.

He pointed the blame at a "licensing fiasco" last summer which led experienced local electoral staff departing. He says he will be making a complaint to the Electoral Commission tomorrow.

He told the Guardian: "The electoral services department here in Newcastle is a shambles and there is chaos, which is denying people votes on a scale unprecedented in my 30 years fighting and organising elections.

"We have spent the past week firefighting over scores of postal votes, which have not arrived and we not only have lots of registration applications that have not been processed but people – including students – being turned away when they are indeed registered.

"Each passing hour is not only spoiling election day, but just adding to the issues for complaint, which I will be referring tomorrow to the Electoral Commission and other bodies for an independent, outside investigation.

"The reality is that electoral services in Newcastle have been all over the place since a licensing fiasco led to the departure of good, experienced staff last summer."

People angry with the election coverage provided by the right-wing press have been buying and burning their newspapers.

Videos and photos posted to social media show the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Daily Express being targeted, with people hiding the newspapers from shoppers behind cartons of milk or buying and setting fire to them.

Yesterday, IBTimes UK saw copies of the Daily Express in an east London Sainsbury's supermarket covered with a A4 piece of paper which read: "You are better than the lies this paper pedals. Get the Tories out tomorrow!!! Vote Labour #JC4PM"

A row over children's drawings featuring hammers and sickles has broken out at a polling station in Stoke Newington, north London.

Guido Fawkes reporter Ross Kempsell said the drawings were put up in a school's windows. He says they featured slogans like, "The kids aren't happy," and "They want change! Vote with your heart, not by what the papers tell you."

A row broke out between the school's site manager and the polling staff, who wanted them taken down over fears they may influence voters. The police were also called. You can read Ross Kempsell's report on Twitter here.

Political parties are banned from displaying election material near polling stations on election day to prevent them influencing voters.

It comes as police are reportedly investigating Copeland's Conservatives after posters for Tory candidate Trudy Harrison were put up near polling stations there.

In another contender for #unusualpollingstations, people have been boarding a bus in Kingston-Upon-Hull to cast their votes.

Other voters have been herded into a train carriage on the Wensleydale Railway at Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire.

People arrive at a polling station on a bus in Kingston-Upon-Hull, northern England, on 8 June 2017Getty

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall didn't even vote for himself in today's election, the Mirror reports.

A spokesman for the party told the tabloid that Nuttall wasn't registered in the Boston and Skegness constituency where he is hoping to become an MP.

He instead had to cast his vote 120 miles away at his home in Congleton, Cheshire.

Paul Nuttall Reuters/Neil Hall

Queues start to form outside polling stations as people finish work and head to cast their ballot papers.

A good sight for a healthy democracy...

Reports from students at Keele University in Newcastle-under-Lyme that they've been turned away from polling stations because of outdated registers.

Some are so frustrated by not being allowed to vote they've been calling the police on their 101 non-emergency number.

The council says it is investigating and working to find alternatives to help people vote. Anyone affected can ring the council on 01782 717717.

The 2015 general election in Newcastle-under-Lyme saw Labour's Paul Farrelly beat the Tories by just 650 votes.

It's summer in Northern Ireland, so that apparently means flooding.

The BBC reports that North Belfast polling station Holy Trinity and St Silias is in danger of being flooded.

Voters, get you wellies on...

If Alan Partridge ran as an MP, his campaign video might look something like this:

This Conservative campaign video could be the best thing you've seen in the electionGreg Knight

Tory Sir Greg Knight's video went viral after starring in the low-quality, 80s style campaign video.

The Conservative candidate in East Yorkshire even included a jingle, which he says he co-wrote and played the drums.

Sir Greg told the Telegraph: "I'm not sure how I should take it being compared to Alan Partridge. I guess if I ever leave politics, I could get a job down the local radio station."

We wrote about it earlier this week. It's essential you watch the video until the very end...

Watch this Tory candidate's cringeworthy election video complete with terrible jingle

All parties have been urging people to come out and cast their ballot papers.

When Theresa May first announced she was calling an election, you'd have been forgiven for thinking the result was a foregone conclusion.

And this would have likely been bad for voter turnout.

But the Tories have since seen their lead slashed in the opinion polls, making the result much closer than expected and much more interesting to the electorate.

But what will the actual turnout be? And can it continue the rising trend?

We're busy setting up our general election map.

From just after the polls close at 10pm, you'll be able to tune in to our Facebook Live video for the whole night.

Our team will be colouring in each constituency as the results come in. Will it be a sea of red or blue? Keep an eye on our Facebook page here to find out.

The IBTimes UK General Election map will be live-streamed on Facebook just after the polls close at 10pmIBTimes UK

How do people decide who they are going to vote for in a general election?

It's a question campaign strategists think about non-stop as they try to get into the minds of the electorate.

But here's cartoonist Tom Gauld's take:

Police are investigating Copeland's Conservatives after posters for Tory candidate Trudy Harrison were put up near polling stations, the News and Star reports.

Political parties are banned from displaying election material near polling stations on election day to prevent them influencing voters.

A Cumbria Constabulary spokesman said: "We are aware of the matter and we are looking into it."

Harrison told the News and Star the poster, which was on private property, had not been erected by her or anyone on her campaign team.

When the polls close at 10pm this evening, the first constituency to be declared will likely be Houghton and Sunderland South – a safe Labour seat.

Their speedy counters have beaten everyone else to it for the last five elections, announcing the results of the 2015 vote within the hour.

More results will then start to drip through.

But those planning to stay up all night to watch the madness unfold may want to have a look at this graph provided by Buzzfeed.

It shows how the vote share came in during election night in 2015.

The Tories, who eventually won with 331 seats, only took the lead at about 6am.

With just under five hours to go until polls close, polling stations are set to see their busiest period as people return from work to vote.

And you may notice standing outside some nosey people with clipboards asking for your polling number.

Do not be alarmed – these are not Russian spies, but tellers. Here's a useful explainer of why they do what they do:

IBTimes UK has collected the latest odds from the major UK bookmakers ahead of tonight's exit polls, for anyone fancying a flutter.

Paddy Power, Betfair, Bet Victor and Bet 365 offer odds of 1/16 for the Tories to win the election. That changes to 7/1 for Labour.

You can read business reporter Dan Cancian's piece here:

UK General Election 2017: Polling day betting odds

As Twitter users keep posting their pictures of #unusualpollingstations, here's a contender for the UK's smallest.

June Thomas, 73, and husband Graham, 76, have hosted general and local election voting under the stairs of their Victorian home in the hamlet of Winwick, near Crick, since 1990, the Daventry Express reports.

Residents cast their votes in a 4ft by 6ft booth. It is one of the few remaining private residences used as a polling station.

You can read more here:

Who knew Britain's windmills were such beacons of democracy?

This is the second we've found to turn itself into a polling station, this time in Sussex.

The BFI has released this video from 1974 showing the Clangers being taught about elections.

They say they don't have a leader. "Well there you are then," the narrator tells them. "That's the cause of all your troubles."

Undoubtedly one of the most influential politicians in the past decade, you may be wondering where Nigel Farage is on election day.

He's not even in the country, it turns out.

Always one to shun the elites of the world, he's currently attending the Global Investment Forum in Geneva, sponsored by a Swiss banking group.

With the Conservatives seeing their lead slashed over the course of the election campaign, talk has switched from a massive Tory majority to the prospect of a coalition.

The Greens told IBTimes UK they would back a Labour-led minority government should no party get enough seats.

"Surprise Labour gains could see Jeremy Corbyn attempt to form a government on a coalition, or so called supply and demand basis, where minority parties back the government on key pieces of legislation," IBTimes UK's politics reporter writes.

You can read his full piece here:

Greens consider backing Labour minority government on a 'case-by-case' basis

New candidate for most interesting polling station.

But where is it?

It will be good night for Theresa May if Lord Ashcroft's prediction is accurate.

Toby Melville/ Reuters

What must David Cameron be thinking today?

He seemed to have the world at his feet two years ago when he saw Ed Miliband off at the 2015 general election.

The political landscape has been turned upside down.

Shane Croucher's 'A brief history of how British politics became a house fire' is must read feature from IBTimes UK.

Now the guinea pigs are getting in on the action...

OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

A shed cum polling station in Grasmere, Cumbria.

Grasmere falls within the parliamentary constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale – Lib Dem leader Tim Farron's seat.

There are some wonderful photos coming in from polling booths across the country today.

Picture lovers will also cherish this offering, curated by IBTimesUK's David Sim, following Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn along the campaign trail.

Reuters

In case you haven't seen it. This is probably the highlight of the day as far as we're concerned...

Who knew Tim Farron was such a draw?

Tom Ridgley doesn't know anyone voting for Corbyn.Josh Robbins

IBTimes UK spent a morning in High Wycombe (in somewhat brighter conditions), talking to people who, to be honest, had had enough of politics.

Tom Ridgley (pictured) will be voting Conservative, as he always does, but he's not grateful for a third trip to the ballot box in two years.

Good to see the people of Crowborough turning up en masse to exercise their democratic rights.

Polls are open until 10pm tonight. If you get into the queue before 10 you should be fine.

LESLEY MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images

A voter wears a kilt as he passes signs for local candidates in Edinburgh, Scotland.

No one needs reminding that the future of the United Kingdom remains in the balance with Nicola Sturgeon's SNP arguing that Brexit gives Scotland a mandate for a fresh independence referendum.

The Tories are expected to make gains in Scotland by positioning themselves as the party of unionism.

An important reminder for doodlers...

12 May 2017: Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller speaks to the audience during a debate at Westminster Central Hall in LondonDan Kitwood/Getty Images

Another plug for our interview with Gina Miller: the woman who led the legal challenge against Brexit and has steered a tactical voting campaign aimed at weakening Theresa May's hand in the next parliament.

GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Rupert Guiel swims at Arundel Lido, set up as a polling station, in Arundel, southern England.

The final poll for the 2017 general election is compiled by Ipsos MORI for George Osborne's Evening Standard.

It gives the Conservatives an eight point lead over Labour.

Check out IBTimes UK's latest poll of polls and a great explainer by Professors Patrick Sturgis and Will Jennings about why the UK election polls differ so much.

This sign from a polling station at St James Church in Edinburgh, Scotland, sums up the feelings of many today...

LESLEY MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Special mention needs to be made to Alliance candidate for West Belfast Sorcha Eastwood, who not only voted today on her wedding day while still wearing her white dress, but also appeared to be recovering from a hand injury she sustained while out campaigning.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Dog of the Day.

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Tilly, a Cocker Spaniel dog, sits on a seat outside the Anglesea Arms pub, set up as a Polling Station, whilst her owner casts their ballot paper.

We've had dogs at polling stations, cats at polling stations, horses, and even rats, at polling stations.

But it just got real.

Drumroll please...

GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images

A wet morning outside a polling station at Roath Park Lake in Cardiff, Wales.

Is there any science behind the common belief that wet weather can affect the outcome of the election?

We asked an expert from YouGov...

GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images

As seen in Cardiff: Pub, polling station, portaloo – what more could a person want?

LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images

People vote at the East Hull Boxing Club set up as a polling station in Kingston-Upon-Hull, northern England, on June 8, 2017 as Britain votes in the general election.

More interesting polling stations to follow..!

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell with his family at a delightful looking polling station in Hayes.

Who said the Lib Dems aren't still hot property?

Here are some press photographers having a punch up to get the best spot for Tim Farron.

Theresa May greets British security forces near the Eurotunnel entrance in Calais Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Before the Conservative manifesto launch and the atrocities in Manchester and London, this election was all about Brexit.

And, although the campaign developed more dimensions than many had anticipated, Britain's imminent divorce from the EU remains the front and centre issue.

The Brexit result was chiefly driven by a resentment in large parts of the country towards uncontrolled migration.

Whoever takes the reigns tomorrow morning will face the unenviable task of trying to get immigration down, in line with the wishes of the electorate, while not stifling economic growth.

With that in mind, IBTimes UK took a look at where the Conservatives and Labour stand on immigration.

It's not just dogs and rats, there is a horse at the polls too...

More #ratsatpollingstations...

It is interesting, though probably not worth dwelling on too much, that Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May both arrived at the polling booths with their husbands whereas Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron, both married, arrived alone.

Paul Nuttall also arrived alone – he is not married but reported to be in a relationship.

Difficult to infer any kind of thesis from a sample of five. But interesting.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 08: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon exits after casting her vote in the general election with her husband Peter Murrel at Broomhouse Community Hall on June 8, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.Millions of people across the UK will cast their votes in the 2017 general election.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
MAIDENHEAD, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Conservative Party leader Theresa May and husband Philip arrive at a polling station to vote on June 8, 2017 in Maidenhead, England. Polling stations have opened as the nation votes to decide the next UK government in a general electionMatt Cardy/Getty Images
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron leaves a polling station after voting in Kendal, northwest England on June 8, 2017, as Britain holds a general election. As polling stations across Britain open on Thursday, opinion polls show the outcome of the general election could be a lot tighter than had been predicted when Prime Minister Theresa May announced the vote six weeks ago.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn casts his vote at a polling station at Pakeman Primary School on June 8, 2017 in London, England. Polling stations have opened as the nation votes to decide the next UK government in a general election.Leon Neal/Getty Images
Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson (L), poses with her partner Jen Wilson and their dog Mister Wilson, at a cafe set up as a Polling Station, in Edinburgh, ScotlandLESLEY MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson may just have stolen the show in terms of polling station photo ops.

Like May and Sturgeon, she has arrived with a smartly dressed partner. But then she's gone one better and brought the family dog along as well.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has cast his vote. All of the major party leaders have now voted.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron leaves a polling station after voting in Kendal, northwest England on June 8, 2017OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Election posters for Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Fein candidate and Tom Elliott, Unionist candidates in Fermanagh South Tyrone seatPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Forthcoming Brexit negotiations have the potential to impact most starkly on Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK.

There are fears the country could be separated from the Irish Republic by a hard border.

Voters in the Wirral have no excuse not to vote. A local cinema are offering free popcorn...

People walk past a police officer outside a polling station on Brick Lane, east LondonODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Historians looking back on the 2017 election will have no choice but to reflect on the terrorism that struck Manchester and London in the few weeks proceeding it.

Both Labour and the Tories suspended campaigning over the weekend in the aftermath of the London Bridge attack which has so far claimed eight lives.

Their is a heightened police presence at polling booths today.

We've had dogs and even rats at the polling stations today. So, in the interest of balance, here's the Foreign Office cat, Palmerston.

UKIP's Paul Nuttall has voted, meaning all the majory party leaders save Lib Dem Tim Farron have now cast their votes.

IBTimes UK reporter Ian Silvera spent the day in Boston, getting to know the voters that will decide Nuttall's fate.

The Sun and The Daily Mail have ramped-up their attacks on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the past few days.

John Niven's response? Start a bonfire.

It looks as if he may have started something...

Green party sources say Caroline Lucas's party may be willing to do a deal with LabourITV

What would happen if no one wins a majority?

All sorts of deals could be struck between a minority Labour government or a minority Conservative government and the other parties.

IBTimes UK have an exclusive story from a senior Green Party source discussing the deals they may be prepared to make with Jeremy Corbyn if parliament is hung.

Well said Heather Perry, well said...

If you're thinking of staying up late then this is a fantastic guide to the key moments throughout the night. You can plan some tactical naps around the big results...

Dogs will prevail.

Well, as if #dogsatpollingstations wasn't enough fun, #ratsatpollingstations is now a thing.

Lovers of rats and democracy are making a good fist of it. Is it a stayer, though?

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn casts his vote at a polling station at Pakeman Primary School Leon Neal/Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn has cast his vote in a North London primary school.

Gina Miller, co-founder of investment fund SCM Private poses after arriving at the Supreme Court, opposite the Houses of Parliament, LondonDaniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

There's been a lot of chatter about tactical voting; a so-called "progressive alliance" of anti-Brexit parties making way for one another in a bid to thwart Theresa May.

If the campaign has a figurehead then it is definitely Gina Miller, the business woman who first came to nationwide attention when she took the UK government to court because it had not sought parliamentary approval for Brexit.

She spoke to IBTimes UK about her work for Best for Britain and her bid to block a "hard Brexit".

lt's just our opinion, but we think Peter Murrell outdid Philip May in the battle for the snazziest election day shirt.

What do you reckon?

MAIDENHEAD, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Conservative Party leader Theresa May and husband Philip arrive at a polling stationMatt Cardy/Getty Images
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 08: SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell exit after casting their votesJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Take a trip to the "kingmaker" seat of Nuneaton with IBTimes UK to gauge middle England's response to May and Corbyn.

Nuneaton town centreIBTimes UK

Prime Minister Theresa May has voted.

Lily Allen has been vocal in the run up to the electionREUTERS/Toby Melville

But how are your favourite celebrities going to vote in the election? Alicia Adejobi has the answer to that question.

The new pound coin, issued in election year 2017

Our first bit of business news for the day...

Roger Baird reports that the markets and the pound have held steady as Britain heads to the polls.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has voted. Now we're cooking!

What would a Labour or Conservative government mean for you?

Compare their election manifestos here.

Theresa May and Jeremy CorbynGetty Images, Reuters

Election arithmetic #2 (see below for #1)

There's also the matter of the Unionist parties in Northern Ireland who would be expected to support the Conservative's approach to Brexit.

The DUP (8 seats) and the UUP (2 seats) actually push May's effective working majority out to 27 at present.

Election arithmetic:

The Tories currently have a majority of 12 and a working majority of 17. But how does this work?

Well, they hold 331 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons – 12 more than the other parties combined.

Now for the clever bit: the four Sinn Fein MPs do not take their seats at Westminster – the Tories are up by 16.

This was the state of affairs after the 2015 general election.

However, following the death of Labour MP Gerald Kaufman and his seat being left vacant in the run-up to today, the working majority has gone to 17.

Lads.

Wheelchair users heading to the polls on 8 June will be given two free rides on Uber worth up to £10Uber

Uber announced yesterday that they would provide wheelchair users in London, Manchester and Birmingham with free rides to voting centres.

The firm said it would pay for journeys up to £10 to and from polling stations between 7am and 10pm.

Read Paul Wright's full report.

UK election: How did we get here?IBTimes UK

How did we get here?

Just over two years ago David Cameron was being returned to Downing Street after defying the pollsters and winning an overall majority.

A frenetic morning saw Messrs Clegg and Miliband resign, and as for Dave: he looked on course for a premiership of Blair-esque proportions.

What. The. Heck. Happened? This delightfully told story explaining how UK politics became a house fire was published yesterday by our own Shane Croucher

Leicester City Council remind us of an important point: you can still vote if you make it into the queue before 10pm.

If this is you're first time at the ballot box, or you just happen to be a little disorganised then this piece explains everything you need to know about how to vote.

While this one asks the very reasonable question, why can't we vote online?

6 June 2017: A rainbow appears above the stage as Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a campaign rally in BirminghamDarren Staples/Reuters

Our picture editor David Sim has put together a beautiful sequence of images that tell the story of the 2017 general election campaign.

And, why not?

Boston, where UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is standingAlice Wheatley

An interesting subplot to today's main event is the fate of Ukip.

Having put the issue of Britain's EU membership firmly on the agenda and being the vanguard of the campaign that won last summer's historic EU referendum, they now find themselves without a single MP.

Leader Paul Nuttall is still optimistic, however. He's standing in the Brexit heartlands constituency of Boston and Skegness.

IBTimes UK reporter Ian Silvera spent the day in Lincolnshire, getting to know the voters that will decide Nuttall's fate.

Google has bestowed the highest possible honour on British democracy and granted it its own Google Doodle for the day!

Google marks the election day in the UK with its latest Doodle.Google

India Ashok reports that "Who should I vote for?" was the most searched question in Britain last week, followed by "What is a hung parliament?"

Melanie Brown: "I'm sick of it."Josh Robbins

For us nerds at IBTimes UK, it can be easy to forget that some people aren't actually eating up politics with a spoon every second of their lives.

You can't blame them really: three big votes in two years (four in three if you're Scottish).

That's why Josh Robbins spent a morning in High Wycombe earlier this month, talking to people who are fed up with politics.

What on Earth is going on in the polls?

A notable feature of the election campaign has been the large differences in the predictions made by different polling companies.

For an up-to-date poll of polls, check out our visualisation created by data journalist Daniele Palumbo.

Meanwhile, if you're still scratching your head wondering how they can vary so much, this excellent piece by Professors Patrick Sturgis and Will Jennings should clear things up, and enable you to show-off in the pub tonight.

The front page of The Herald on 8 June 2017@tomorrowspaperstoday

The Herald front page reminds us of the very different complexion of this election, and politics in general, for voters in Scotland.

The Times' front page on 8 June 2017@tomorrowspaperstoday

The front pages are, obviously, dominated by politics. The Times has produced an elegant wrap around cover.

There is a chance of rain in parts of the UK todayGetty

Will the weather affect the election outcome? We asked YouGov's Director of Political Research Anthony Wells.

Taking selfies are banned in election polling boothsReuters

Don't panic if you've lost your polling card and haven't worked out where your local polling station is. IBTimes UK is here to help.

Check out Lydia Smith's helpful explainer, which tells you everything you need to know about what you have to do to vote in the 2017 general election.

Jeremy Corbyn at the Union Chapel, IslingtonIan Silvera/IBTimes UK

Campaigning came to a close last night. Our lead politics writer Ian Silvera was at the Union Chapel in Islington to see Jeremy Corbyn in front of a home crowd.

Silvera described it as a "rock 'n' roll" finale to a campaign that has surpassed the expectations of many. You can read Ian's full report here.

From left: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, British Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party Theresa MayGetty Images, Reuters

Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of the 2017 UK General Election as Britons heads to the polls to determine the government that will take the country out of the European Union.

If the Conservatives secure a solid majority, it will be full steam ahead towards a so-called "hard Brexit", meaning Britain will withdraw from the single market as a consequence of ending uncontrolled migration from the continent.

But a hung parliament, or even a slim Conservative majority, will see Theresa May's hand partially tied by her fellow MPs and the outcome of the Brexit negotiations made much more uncertain.

When the prime minister called this election on 18 April few could have predicted there would be talk of anything but a Conservative landslide.

But a disastrous manifesto launch combined with an unexpectedly competent Labour campaign has rendered the balance in the House of Commons anything but a foregone conclusion.

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