British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting to shore up her general election campaign on Wednesday after a shock projection forecast a hung parliament and left the pound wobbling.
The landslide Conservative victory May hoped to seal by calling a snap election for June 8 seemed much less likely with eight days to go, with the polls narrowing and the premier putting in a lacklustre performance in a major television interview.
The opposition Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has gradually nibbled away at the Conservative lead in the polls, with the campaign back in full swing after the Manchester attack.
May called the election three years early in a bid to strengthen her slender majority in parliament going into the Brexit talks.
Recent opinion polls have showed the gap between the Conservatives and Labour closing.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper’s rolling average of the last eight polls now puts the Conservatives on 44%, Labour on 36%, the centrist Liberal Democrats on eight percent and the anti-EU UK Independence Party on 5%.
A shock new projection on the front page of The Times newspaper forecast a hung parliament in which the Conservatives would fall short of the 326 seats needed for a majority.
Using new constituency-by-constituency modelling, the projection by pollsters YouGov said the Conservatives would lose 20 seats to 310, with Labour up 28 to 257.
The model was based on 50,000 interviews over one week.