Theresa May called a snap election in 2017 after being anointed Prime Minister after Brexit forced the resignation of David Cameron.
In the speech announcing the election, she said: “I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead, is to hold this election, and seek your support for the decisions I must take.”
The game plan was for May to win a bigger Tory majority, which would give her the mandate to negotiate Brexit, and at the same time keep her backbenchers in check.
The exit poll, however, suggests that May has failed in this aim. It predicts the Conservatives losing 17 seats, and ending up with 314 – less than the 326 seats needed for an overall majority.
So what will May resign?
A lot depends on whether the exit poll is borne out by the actual results in the constituencies. If the exit poll does prove to be inaccurate, the Tories could still go on to win a majority, albeit with a weakened Prime Minister.
If the exit poll is right, however, this could be a fatal blow for Theresa May.