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General Election 2017: What is a hung parliament?

Our Daily Post colleague Marc Waddington takes a closer look at the exit poll prediction  

Theresa May's gamble on a snap election looks set to cost her overall control of the House of Commons, according to an exit poll released after the June 8 general election.

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll suggested the UK was heading for a hung parliament, with Conservatives 12 seats short of the 326 they need for an absolute majority in the Commons.

The poll put Tories on 314 seats, with Labour on 266, the Scottish National Party on 34, Liberal Democrats on 14, Plaid Cymru on three and Greens on one.

(Image: PA)

While the opinion polls might have been volatile recently, the broadcasters' exit poll - released when voting closes at 10pm - has a very good record in predicting the overall result since the BBC and ITV started pooling data in 2005.

In 2015, the poll predicted the Tories would win 316 seats (they actually won 330) and Labour 239 (they managed 232).

In 2010, the poll predicted the Tories would win 307 seats, which was almost spot on.

They ended with 306 (although arguably 307, if you include the Speaker John Bercow). Labour got 258, or just three more than the 255 the poll predicted.

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