General Election 2017: Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry says Labour could seek to form a minority government if exit polls are accurate

Mark Sands
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Last night's exit poll put the UK on course for a hung parliament (Source: Getty)

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has ruled out a formal coalition with smaller political parties if tonight's shock exit polls prove accurate, instead challenging them to back a Labour agenda.

A bombshell poll revealed at 22.00 on Thursday night predicted that Theresa May's Conservatives were on track to lose their majority, with the UK facing a hung parliament.

Reacting to the figures, Thornberry said Labour would reject any formal coalitions, saying that Jeremy Corbyn could instead seek to put forward a Queen's Speech and would expect groups like the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party to lend their support.

If not, Thornberry told the BBC: "It would then be up to them to explain to their constituents how it was that when given the choice they let the Tories back in again."

Read More: Live: General Election 2017 results

"We’ve got an exit poll. We’ve had very few results. But the exit polls seems to indicate that no party will have an overall majority. So it’s possible that we will form the next government, and if we do, there’s no deals. We’ve been clear about that," she added.

Early results have hinted that last night's exit poll could be understating a swing to the Conservatives, and Tory Rushcliffe candidate Ken Clarke said he remained upbeat.

"The Conservatives look as though... we’re going to have a small overall majority," Clarke said.

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