08/06/2017 22:33 BST | Updated 08/06/2017 23:32 BST

George Osborne Says General Election 2017 Could Be 'Completely Catastrophic' For Theresa May If Exit Poll True

Exit polls predict that the Conservatives will fall short of a majority.

Former Tory chancellor George Osborne has said that the outcome of the election could be “completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and Theresa May” if the shock exit polls are correct. 

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. 

Reacting to the poll on ITV News, Osborne said it was “difficult to see how the party would put together a coalition”, adding that the results would be “on a real knife edge”.  

ITV News
George Osborne gave his take on the shock exit poll 

The former Tory front-bencher - now the editor of the London Evening Standard - also said that the results could be worse for the Conservatives than the poll suggests, with a Tory politician in a university town telling him there had been a large youth turnout. 

A poll of 1,000 undergraduates last month found that 55% planned to vote for the Labour Party, with just 18% vowing to back the Tories. 

More than one million under 25s registered to vote in the election - more than any other age group. 

Also appearing on ITV’s election coverage, former Labour shadow home secretary Ed Balls said “there will be a second election soon” if the exit polls are correct. 

“If this is right, this is a very turbulent period for British politics,” Balls said. 

“This looks like 1974,” he added. “A Conservative prime minister who didn’t need to call an election... who has been given a real kicking by the British people.” 

The first result is due to be declared at 11pm in Houghton & Sunderland South, followed soon after by Sunderland Central.

HuffPost UK has live coverage of the night as the results roll in on our live blog here.