Britain’s newspapers can’t quite believe the shock exit poll that predicts this election could go catastrophically wrong for Theresa May - including the titles that backed her to the hilt.
If the poll is correct, the prime minister’s decision to call the snap election, expecting a landslide victory, has lost her party 17 seats and its majority in the House of Commons.
NBC News journalist Keir Simmons noted that, if the exit poll is correct, then Tory-backing papers like The Sun, Mail and Telegraph had also “lost this election”.
Former Observer editor Will Hutton said the “big lesson” so far was that pro-Brexit papers “speak for the right not the country”.
Ex-Deputy Prime Minister said he had “heard from a very good source” that Rupert Murdoch had “stormed out” of The Times’ election party when he saw the exit poll.
Across the political spectrum, the papers’ first editions mocked the prime minister’s apparent peril.
The first edition of The Times, which backed the Tories but criticised May, said it all.
And was echoed by The Financial Times.
Tory-backing The Sun - which has backed the winning party in every election for more than 40 years - ran the headline MAYHEM.
It’s a big turnaround from its election day front page, which urged voters to chuck Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour “in the COR-BIN”.
The Daily Mail, probably May’s most unreserved backer on Fleet Street, went with: “BRITAIN ON A KNIFE EDGE.”
The Telegraph, which was one of the first papers to back May registered the shock.
While aggressively pro-Brexit The Daily Express also thought May would have to fight to stay prime minister.
Meanwhile, the Labour-backing press was elated. The Daily Mirror went with Corbyn holding his thumb aloft and saying May’s job was on the line.
And The Guardian played it pretty straight.
With only a few results declared, the accuracy of the exit poll remains unclear.