Michael Gove has said that Theresa May has an “absolute right” to remain as leader of the Conservative Party after a shock exit poll predicted that the Tories will fail to win a majority in the election.
According to the BBC/Sky News/ITV poll released at 10pm, the Conservative Party will lose the slim majority it won in 2015, falling 12 seats short of the 326 needed for a majority. The election results on Friday morning confirmed this eventuality with the pound to euro exchange rate plummeting as a result.
But speaking on ITV News, Gove predicted that the Tories will win the 326 needed for a Tory majority.
“In 1992 and 2015, the exit polls predicted a hung Parliament and there was a Conservative government,” he said.
Adding that there were “very similar figures” in 2015, Gove said that then-Tory-leader David Cameron managed to win a “healthy Conservative majority”.
Two years ago, the exit poll predicted that the Tories would win 316 seats, with the Conservative Party then going on to win a majority of 331.
Asked whether Theresa May should step down if the exit poll is correct, Gove continued: “The Prime Minister has an absolute right to stay in place.
“I think at the end of the night we will have a Conservative majority.”
At the start of the election, polls predicted that Theresa May’s party would take 46% of the vote - 21 points ahead of Labour.
“I don’t think those initial polls were believed by many people,” Gove added.