Britain’s Conservatives look set for election victory after early results pointed to a significant swing in their favour.
But the signs were that they might fall just short of an overall majority.
Among the first results to be announced, the Conservatives took the relatively safe Labour seat of Kingswood. But they failed to take other target seats.
Hundreds of British voters stuck in queues outside polling stations were unable to cast their ballot.
About 200 people were turned away from a polling station in the northern city of Sheffield when polls closed because election officials were unable to handle the paperwork in time.
Police were also called to several polling stations across London and there were reports of people turned away from polling stations in a part of the northern English city of Manchester.
The chaos raises the spectre of legal challenges to the results. Britain’s Electoral Commission has announced an enquiry.
If the Conservatives do not win an overall majority, political analysts are predicting a Conservative minority government.
Mark Wickham-Jones, Professor of Political Science at Bristol University said : “It will almost certainly lead to a minority government led by Cameron. Cameron is going to try and get policy programmes into place, demonstrate his competence and then call a second election this autumn or next spring. This looks very much like 1974.”
Wickham-Jones said a Conservative coalition with the Lib Dems was unlikely: “I don’t think Cameron would get one. The Lib Dems are going to demand a reform of the voting system. He is not going to concede that. I think he will go for a
Sunder Katwala, General Secretary of the Fabian Society said: “The most striking thing is the Lib Dem share of seats not rising. There isn’t a viable Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition option in this exit poll.”
In the first result offical result, Labour won the safe seat of Houghton and Sunderland South. However their score was down by 12 per cent.
Polls suggest the Conservatives will take 305 seats, Labour 255 seats and just 61 seats for Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.
The combined Liberal Democrat and Labour total would be insufficient for an overall majority.
It would be a deep disappointment for the Lib Dems, which had been hoping to make a breakthrough with as many as 80 seats.
UK Election: Conservatives look set for election victory as results confirm poll predictions