LONDON — An exit poll has projected that Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party will win the biggest share of seats in Britain's Thursday election but could fall short of a majority in Parliament.
The survey predicted the Conservatives will get 314 seats and the Labour Party 266. It projected 34 for the Scottish National Party and 14 for the Liberal Democrats.
Based on interviews with voters leaving polling stations across the country, the poll is conducted for a consortium of U.K. broadcasters and regarded as a reliable, though not exact, indicator of the likely result.
If confirmed the result will be a disaster for May, who called a snap election in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain's hand in exit talks with the European Union.
The poll was released after polls closed at 10 p.m. (2100GMT), ending an unsettled national election held in the shadow of three deadly attacks in as many months.
Results will come in over the next few hours for all 650 seats in the House of Commons.
The Conservatives held 330 seats in the last Parliament, compared with 229 for Labour, 54 for the Scottish National Party and nine for the Liberal Democrats.
May called an election three years ahead of schedule, at a time when her party was well ahead in the polls. But attacks that killed 30 people in Manchester and London twice brought the campaign to a halt, sent a wave of anxiety through Britain and forced May to defend the government's record on fighting terrorism.