Theresa May at the polling station yesterday. | FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

As of 5am UK time, the Conservative Party appears set to fall short of a majority following an election campaign described by one Conservative MP, Anna Soubry, as "dreadful".

Needing 326 seats for a majority, the Tories are forecast to end with 318, thirteen fewer than in 2015. They currently have 279, a loss of eleven, while Labour have gained 29 seats to be on 241.

After securing her Maidenhead seat, Theresa May said: "As we look ahead and wait to see what the final results will be, I know - as I say - the country needs a period of stability, and whatever the results are the Conservative Party will ensure we fulfil our duty in ensuring that stability so that we can all, as one country, go forward together."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has meanwhile called on May to resign. "If there is a message from tonight's results, it's this: the prime minister called this election because she wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she's got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence."

Notable casualties include two former party leaders - Alex Salmond of the SNP and the Lib Dem Nick Clegg have both lost their seats. The SNP are on track to lose 22 seats.

Brexit negotiations, due to start in under two weeks, are now being thrown into confusion. Among observations on this, Adrian Wooldridge, political editor of The Economist, has tweeted: "I can't see how the Conservatives can govern when they are so profoundly divided over Brexit. They are, in themselves, a coalition of chaos."

Theresa May, with mounting pressure for her to step down, has gone to Buckingham Palace to seek leave to form a government with the DUP.