Story highlights

Exit poll suggests Conservatives will be the largest party, but will lose 17 seats

Britain could be heading for "hung parliament"

London CNN  — 

Shock, mayhem, failure.

British newspapers did not hold back in reacting to early election results that suggested British Prime Minister Theresa May was poised to lose her parliamentary majority.

Splashed across The Times front page: “May’s big gamble fails.”

If the shock exit poll proves to be true, May’s gamble – calling a snap election – could indeed be a massive flop. May had called the vote in the hope of gaining an even greater majority of seats in Parliament ahead of Brexit negotiations.

So how did the rest British newspapers respond?

Reacting to preliminary results, The Times, The Financial Times and others ran with the resounding verdict: May’s gamble failed.

The exit poll conducted for the main UK broadcasters suggested that May’s Conservative Party won’t have an absolute majority. The prediction indicates that Britain could be heading for a hung parliament – where there is no overall winner. It could see the country plunge into political uncertainty amid talks of forming a coalition.

An unflattering picture of May, hair blowing in the wind and mouth agape, was featured on left-wing Daily Mirror’s front page along with the headline: “Hanging by a thread.” The paper suggested that the result had left “May’s job was on the line.”

Britain’s top selling newspaper The Sun took an even more aggressive stance with the one word headline: “Mayhem.”

Only one day before, the conservative tabloid ran the headline: “Don’t chuck Britain in the Cor-bin,” calling on its readers to vote for the Tories to keep opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “away from power.”

The Independent also used the word, “mayhem” in its Friday headline.

The Guardian, a liberal newspaper, provided a more measured response, but not by much: “Exit poll shock for May.”

The Scotsman declared “Mayday, Mayday” on its 4 a.m. special edition.

Meanwhile, Metro hailed the Labour leader as “Stormin’ Corbyn.”