Election results: Jeremy Corbyn to secure bigger increase in seats for Labour than under Tony Blair

It will be the first time the party has increased its seats since 1997

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Indy Politics

Labour will increase its seats for the first time since 1997, according to the exit poll.

The party has gradually been losing seats since Tony Blair's landslide result in 1997. That included two elections when Labour was led by Mr Blair himself – in 2001 and 2005, the party lost seats.

As such, if Jeremy Corbyn manages to increase his seats – the exit poll shows him scoring 34 more seats than were achieved under Ed Miliband in 2015 – he will be the first Labour leader since Mr Blair to perform better than his predecessor.

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. 

A party needs to win 326 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons to form a majority government. 

Based on interviews with around 20,000 voters leaving polling stations across the country, the poll is conducted for a consortium of UK broadcasters and regarded as a reliable, though not exact, indicator of the likely result. 

During the last election, in 2015, the Conservatives did better than the exit poll predicted, and senior Conservatives said Thursday that they would take a wait-and-see approach.