Theresa May is facing a mounting backlash over her “catastrophic” election campaign after an exit poll suggested that her snap election gamble had failed to pay off.
The Conservatives are set to be the largest party but without an overall majority according a joint BBC/Sky/ITV exit poll, which indicated the Tories will win 314 seats and Labour 266.
The poll suggest Britain is heading for a hung parliament, with Conservatives 12 seats short of the 326 they need for an absolute majority in the Commons.
Accepting victory in her constituency of Maidenhead, Theresa May said that if Conservatives had won the most seats and most votes, “it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability, and that is what we will do”.
Senior Conservatives said this morning that she 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.
They should be banished forever. “Can she hang on? She [Theresa] has zero credibility if this exit poll is correct.
“The very best we can get tonight is to end up where we were. The cult of personality and central control has completely blown up in our face.”
George Osborne, the former Chancellor who was sacked by Mrs May, said that if the exit poll is accurate she would not survive.
He said:”I worked very well with Theresa May and I think she has intelligence and integrity. “Clearly if she’s got a worse result than two years ago and is almost unable to form a government then she I doubt will survive in the long term as Conservative party leader.”
A number of senior Tories have lost their seats this morning including Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer on a 4.65 per cent swing in Ipswich.
SOURCE: The Telegraph