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UK election results: Exit polls indicate Conservative win, but hung parliament

Early exit polls show that the opposition Conservative Party got the most seats in parliament. The initial UK election results show it's not an outright majority, but a hung parliament. Next: Days of negotiations over forming a coalition government.

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However, the knife edge nature of polls leading up to election day has led some observers to cast doubt on today's exit poll, particularly on its prediction that the Liberal Democrats are set to lose rather than gain seats.

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Counting will continue through the night around the country.

A flood of results are expected to come in between one and three o’clock in the morning. If the overall result is tight however, it may not be clear who has won until later on Friday, when day-time counting has concluded in a number of areas.

Time for change?

Conversations with voters close to a polling station Thursday evening in the north London district of Shoreditch, where Labour currently holds the parliamentary seat, gave little clue about who would emerge the victor in what has been one of the closest election in decades.

“I went for David Cameron [the leader of the Conservative Party]. We have had Labour for 13 years and so on that basis alone I think it’s time for a change,” said Pasha Amin Mohammed, the owner of a pizzeria around the corner from the station. “Business has been very slow for me, especially in the last six months or so, and I think that the Conservatives are the right people to get the economy back on track again. But we will all have to make sacrifices.”

On her way back from voting, life-long Labour supporter Faye Read said she had decided to stay true to the party. “I just don’t trust the Conservatives. I have grown up with Labour,” she said. “I was tempted to vote Liberal Democrat after watching Nick Clegg in the TV debates but I just don't think that they are strong enough at the moment as a party to lead the country”

“The reasons I stayed with Labour had to do with things that are important to me as a mother, like tax credits and support for families. I just don’t think that the Conservatives care enough about people like us.”

The Liberal Democrats had found one convert in Julie Weldon however, a young teacher who voted for Labour in 2005 but had been convinced this time to back the centrist party.

“I wouldn’t say it’s to do with this ‘Cleggmania’ [the term coined for a surge in support for the party’s leader] but I’ve definitely felt like there was a chance this time to shake up the old status quo a bit,” she said. "We need to try something a bit different, and I think a lot of people from my generation feel that way now, whether it’s the Lib Dems or the Greens.”

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