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Election 2017: Theresa May looks to stay on as prime minister despite snap election disaster

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster, Mrs May said Conservatives will act to ensure

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster, Mrs May said Conservatives will act to ensure "stability" if the Tories are the largest party with the biggest number of votes, as expected. Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire

Theresa May will seek to stay on as prime minister and Tory leader despite failing to win a majority after her decision to hold a snap election backfired spectacularly.

As the June 8 poll ended in a hung parliament, with no party holding an absolute majority in the House of Commons, Mrs May pledged the Tories would offer “stability” as the largest party with the most votes.

But Conservative former minister Anna Soubry said she should “consider her position” and take personal responsibility for a “dreadful” campaign and a “deeply flawed” manifesto after choosing to go to the country three years early in the hope of extending her majority.

MORE: Election 2017: Theresa May’s Conservatives lose seats as Jeremy Corbyn and Labour celebrate historic night

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Prime Minister to resign, saying she should “go and make way for a government that is truly representative of this country”.

But Tory sources indicated she would continue in Number 10.

“Certainly that’s what’s expected,” a source said.

But former chancellor George Osborne, sacked from the Cabinet by Mrs May and now editor of the Evening Standard, told ITV: “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.”

MORE: Norfolk General Election Results 2017

With 646 out of 650 constituencies declared, the Tories had 315 seats, Labour 261, the SNP 35 and the Liberal Democrats 12.

The Democratic Unionist Party, which increased its representation at Westminster from eight to 10, signalled it was ready to discuss working with the Tories on issues such as Brexit and keeping the UK together.

With the party in a position to hold the balance of power at Westminster, senior MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the DUP would be “serious players” in the hung parliament, telling the BBC: “This is perfect territory for the DUP because obviously if the Conservatives are just short of an overall majority it puts us in a very strong negotiating position and certainly that is one we would take up with relish.”

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