June 8 (UPI) — British officials are counting votes cast Thursday to determine which party will hold the most seats in parliament — even though it appears possible that no party will reach a majority.
In all, 650 members of Britain’s House of Commons will be elected in the vote. A party must hold 326 parliamentary seats for a majority. Polls closed at 10 p.m. Thursday and full results are expected by Friday afternoon.
Early exit polls indicated late Thursday that the Conservative Party will occupy the most seats (314) — but won’t meet the 326-seat majority mark. That would mean other elected parties — Labour, Scottish National, UK Independence and Lib Dems — would have the same number of votes.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, leader of the Conservatives, or Tories, called in April for the snap elections to seek a stronger mandate in negotiations over Brexit — a portmanteau of “British exit” — from the European Union. May and Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn cast their votes earlier in the day.
“If you believe in Britain and that our best days lie ahead, give me your backing to lead Britain,” May said in a statement.
“I will lead a government you can rely on. Labour will build a Britain that works for the many, not the few,” Corbyn said in a statement.
In calling the snap election, May said Britain required more stability and stronger leadership, adding that the election is meant to strengthen her Brexit bargaining position.
If a majority does not happen for any party, a “hung Parliament” would be declared and a coalition government established. Exit polls indicated early Thursday that’s what will happen.
Britions voted to withdraw from the European economic bloc in a referendum last summer. British citizens decided with a 52 percent vote to leave the EU.
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