Ruthless Tories will see off 'loser' May

Conservatives lead, but Labour gains big in British election, exit polls show

UK election: Theresa May could lose parliamentary majority, exit poll shows

British politicians differ widely on what they want from the Brexit negotiating process, seeing it as a way to shift Britain either to the right or left. Result: It lost a third of its seats-most of which, adding insult to injury, went to May's Conservatives.

Instead of heading to the Conservative party, many Brexit supporters turned instead to Labour, attracted by the pledge to renationalise the railways, mail and some energy providers, the Labour source said.

Speculation has been mounting over a leadership challenge following poor general election results which saw her party lose its majority.

The critical damage Theresa May wreaked on her chances of winning the election during a disastrous campaign has been laid bare in a poll published by a senior Conservative donor.

The British pound tumbled against the US dollar and the euro after the election result.

An election that May called to strengthen her hand as Britain leaves the European Union ended with her political authority obliterated, her days in office likely numbered and the path to Brexit more muddied than ever.

European Union budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger said May was now likely to be a "weak" partner.

May said Brexit talks would begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day as the formal reopening of parliament.

Party insiders are placing bets on how long May will last, less than a year after Britain's surprise referendum decision propelled her into Downing Street.

She told BBC Radio Wales: "We're still saying quite clearly that we would be ready to take over if Theresa May cannot cobble something together, and we're very doubtful that she can".

With the backing of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, May, though, will remain as Prime Minister.

The Conservatives built their election campaign around May's ostensible strengths as a "strong and stable" leader, and the outcome is a personal slap in the face.

"May stares into the abyss", said The Times' Saturday edition while the Daily Mail led with "Tories Turn On Theresa".

"I felt passionate about voting to make sure Theresa May knew that young people like me would never support her or a Conservative government", said student Janet Walsh, 23, who voted Labor. He urged May to "go and make way for a government that is truly representative of this country".

After confirming on Friday that her top five ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, would keep their jobs, May was expected to appoint a team that will take on one of the most demanding negotiations in British history. Her main opponent - Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, known for his left-wing views - was stumbling from mishap to mishap, unable even to muster solid support from his party's own lawmakers.

The two parties are broadly politically aligned, but it remains to be seen what price the DUP will seek to extract for its support.

The DUP, whose 10 seats would allow the government to get measures through Parliament, is a socially conservative pro-British Protestant group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and includes both environmentalists and climate-change deniers among its senior ranks.

But despite losing 12 seats and their overall majority, the Conservatives polled 13.7 million votes yesterday compared to 11.3 million votes two years ago when they secured 330 seats and 10.7 million in 2010 when they ended 13 years of Labour rule by becoming the largest party with 306 seats and formed a coalition government with Nick Clegg's Lib Dems.

One DUP lawmaker suggested support for May could come vote by vote, making the job of governing fraught with risk.

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