Election 2017 live updates: Theresa May claims Conservative government supported by DUP will provide 'certainty'

Live Blog

The Independent will be bringing you all the live updates as the UK's next government is formed

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Theresa May has said she will form a Conservative government backed by the DUP, claiming it can bring "certainty" to the UK.

After visiting the Queen, the Prime Minister claimed there was a "strong relationship" between the two parties, amid concern over the DUP's controversial anti-abortion and anti-LGBT policies.

The PM has also apologised to Conservatives who lost last night. She said: "I'm sorry for all those colleagues who lost their seats." She will "reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward" after the result, she added.

The UK voted for a hung parliament after shock losses for the Conservatives in the 2017 general election. With 649 of 650 seats declared, the Tories had 318 seats - eight short of the figure needed to win outright - with Labour on 261, the SNP on 35 and Liberal Democrats on 12.

Jeremy Corbyn's party increase its share of the vote by 9.6 per cent, while the Tories were up 5.5 per cent, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and SNP saw small loses and Ukip's vote collapsed.

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Who are the DUP?

 

Live Updates

Good morning and welcome to The Independent's liveblog as voters head to polling stations across the UK. Expect images of politicians (and dogs) heading to cast their ballots throughout the day. 
 
The exit poll will be published at 10pm when the polls close. 
Here is an extract from Jeremy Corbyn's final plea to voters on Wednesday evening in Islington. 
 
“Tomorrow you have the power to say our country can be better than this. It can be run in the interests of the majority; not the political and corporate elites.
 
“People fought and died for our right to vote. In the course of this campaign people have lost their lives in Manchester and here in London - citizens of a free and democratic country.
 
“We can honour the victims of these atrocities tomorrow by voting. By showing democracy that will never be cowed by terror and that hope can triumph over fear.
 
“Labour’s campaign has already changed the face of British politics. As we prepare for government, we have already changed the debate and given people hope. Hope that it doesn’t have to be like this; that inequality can be tackled; that austerity can be ended; that you can stand up to the elites and the cynics.
“This is the new centre ground. The place where most people actually are. The policies the majority actually want, not what the establishment and its media mouthpieces insist they should want. This is the new mainstream, and we have staked it out and made it our own - together.”
This is from Theresa May's final plea to voters:
 
“Today is a day for everybody across the country to fix their sights on the future and vote for a better future of fairness, security and opportunity for all.
 
“That is the future I want for Britain as we fulfil the promise of Brexit together.
 
“If we get Brexit right, we can build a Britain that is more prosperous and more secure. A Britain in which prosperity and opportunity is shared by all. A Britain where it’s not where you come from or who your parents are that matter, but the talent you have and how hard you are prepared to work. The greatest meritocracy in the world.
 
“That’s my ambition for Britain. Not just to get the right deal for Britain abroad, but to get a better deal for ordinary working people at home. To put the power of government firmly at their service, to stand up for the weak and stand up to the strong, and put the voices and interests of ordinary working people at the heart of everything we do.
 
“It’s why I will build a Britain that is stronger, so that everyone has the security they need to live a full and happy life. Why I will build a Britain that is fairer, so that no one is left behind and every person has the chance to be all they want to be. Why I will build a Britain where prosperity and opportunity are shared across the country so that all can succeed. A stronger, more united country that stands tall in the world.
 
“This is the prize ahead if we get Brexit right. So if, like me, you believe in Britain. If, like me, you want our country to succeed. If, like me, you believe in putting division behind us, in looking to the future and getting on with the job of building the stronger, more secure country that we need, then fix your sights on the future. And in this unique and crucial election for our country, give me your backing to lead Britain, speak for Britain, fight for Britain, and deliver for Britain. 
 
“I can only build that better country and get the right deal in Brussels with the support of the British people. So whoever you have voted for in the past, if that is the future you want then vote Conservative today and we can all go forward together.”

Election 2017: The six scenarios for tomorrow night

The IndependentHere are six possible scenarios that could emerge overnight between Thursday and Friday: Conservative seats Majority Result  

Jeremy Corbyn ran the campaign of his life, while Theresa May led one of the worst in history

The IndependentPsephologists had puzzled for long hours over quite what last minute polling analysis had led Jeremy Corbyn to begin his final marathon day campaigning in Glasgow, and then pass through Runcorn, Colwyn Bay, Watford, Harrow and Wealdstone before the big Islington homecoming. Such people are not experts on West Coast Main Line stations.  
64 minutes after voting started and social media is already awash with dogs posing outside polling stations. Here's Louise Haigh, a Labour candidate in Sheffield, who served on the party's frontbench in the last parliament: 

Stars line up to urge young people to get out and vote on election day

The IndependentSome of the UK music industries' biggest names have united to urge their fans to head to the polling booths on 8 June. As the final ComRes poll for The Independent predicts Theresa May will win the biggest landslide singe Margaret Thatcher, stars such as Two Door Cinema Club and Yungen urge young people to get out and vote to make sure the Conservatives take their views seriously.
Former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband is on the road today: 
Nicola Sturgeon has just arrived at her polling station in Glasgow with her husband.

Theresa May has said her commitment to the Union "will not waver" as she urged people to back the Conservatives.

Ms May said that the Tories are the only party determined enough to reject SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's "obsessive drive to break up the United Kingdom".

Writing in the Scottish Daily Mail, the Prime Minister said that people feel "angry and betrayed" by talk of a referendum.

She said that breaking up the UK would put future prosperity at risk and that she announced "now is not the time" when Ms Sturgeon demanded a second independence referendum.

 
 
Theresa May has arrived at her polling station in Maidenhead with her husband, Philip.
 
The Prime Minister greeted reporters and photographers with a cheery "hello" as she arrived with husband Philip to vote at Sonning guide and scout hut on the outskirts of Maidenhead.

Fathers' rights protester Bobby Smith, from Stevenage, demonstrated outside the polling station accompanied by his mother Sheila Doyle-Smith, 59, who was dressed as Elmo.

Mr Smith stood against David Cameron in 2015.

Jeremy Corbyn has just arrived at his polling station in Holloway, North London. He's looking particularly chirpy.

Mr Corbyn told the press gathered outside: "Thank you very much, all of you, for coming here today. It's a day of our democracy. I've just voted. I'm very proud of our campaign. Thank you very much."

Stars line up to urge young people to get out and vote on election day

The IndependentSome of the UK music industries' biggest names have united to urge their fans to head to the polling booths on 8 June. As the final ComRes poll for The Independent predicts Theresa May will win the biggest landslide singe Margaret Thatcher, stars such as Two Door Cinema Club and Yungen urge young people to get out and vote to make sure the Conservatives take their views seriously.
 
 

Politicians, voters, and even their pets have been heading to polling stations and are posing for the cameras at every opportunity. 

The Prime Minister has made clear that she would rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party in order to get her programme through Parliament, despite concern over its stance on issues including equal marriage, abortion and climate change.

Making no allusion to losses suffered by the Conservatives, Ms May said she intended to press ahead with her plans for Brexit.

She faced calls from within her own party to consider her own position after the election, which she brought forward by three years in the hope it would deliver an increased majority in the Commons.

Jeremy Corbyn urged her to resign and allow him to form a minority administration, declaring: “We are ready to serve this country.”

But, after intensive talks with the DUP, the Prime Minister instead drove the short distance to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen for permission to form a new government.

The final election results came in late on Friday, after Kensington finally declared a Labour win — with a tiny 20-vote majority. They were:

Out of 650 seats
Conservatives 318 (-13)
Labour 262 (+30)
SNP 35 (-21)
Lib Dems 12 (+4)
DUP 10 (+2)
Sinn Fein 7 (+3)
Plaid Cymru 4 (+1)
Green 1 (--)
Ukip 0 (-1)

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