David Cameron’s Conservatives have fared better than expected in UK’s general election, with an exit poll indicating that the party will win 316 seats, just shy of an outright majority.
The poll, conducted for Britain’s national broadcasters, suggested that the main opposition Labour Party will win 239 of the 650 seats in the lower house of parliament.
If the poll turns out accurate, Cameron could have another term as Britain’s prime minister.
The result will be a crushing defeat for Labour and its leader Ed Miliband, who may now come under pressure to step down.
UK election exit polls have a good track record but the large number of parties competing this time has raised the potential for error, Reuters reported.
It will be well into Friday before final results are announced.
The Scottish National Party will win 58 of Scotland’s 59 seats, all but wiping Labour out in its former stronghold, according to the exit poll.
The centrist Liberal Democrats, who have governed in coalition with the Conservatives for the past five years, are expected to end up with just 10 seats.
If the poll proves correct, Cameron will have multiple options to form a government.
He could form a coalition with Liberal Democrats or another small party, or he could push ahead with a minority government with informal support from others.
During campaign speeches, Cameron has pledged to eliminate Britain’s budget deficit — which is running at 5 percent of GDP — by 2018/19 through cuts to welfare spending and other measures.
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