The exit poll was conducted by NOP/MORI for the BBC, ITV and Sky.
The first election results are due before midnight with the final result on Friday afternoon. The finishing line needed to form an absolute majority is 326, but because Sinn Fein MPs have not taken up seats and the Speaker does not normally vote, the finishing line has, in practice, been 323.
RT UK live broadcast ~ link
Tories ahead but short of a majority according to Exit Poll ~ link ~
While the Conservatives may not have the clear majority of 326 seats in the House of Commons, they look to have increased their support from 302 in the outgoing parliament.
On Thursday, millions of Britons turned out to cast their ballots at polling stations that included such original sites as a caravan, an inn, a church, a boxing academy and a launderette.
UK General Election: RT LIVE UPDATES ~ link
YouGov Exit Poll predicts a much closer race ~ link ~ Time will tell. Stirling
Two predictions after voting closed today have very different views of how Parliament may be made up by tomorrow - and YouGov suggests it will be a much closer fight.The first exit poll gave Conservatives a large potential lead over Labour, making David Cameron firm favourite to end up in number 10, with 316 MPs to Labour’s 239. But YouGov's final prediction has Labour and Conservatives tied on 34% - a radically different result from the Ipsos Mori result.
General Election: Constitutional Crisis Possible? ~ link ~
The closest election in decades could plunge Britain into a constitutional crisis if David Cameron and Ed Miliband lay rival claims to Number 10. The Tory leader and his Labour challenger will both insist they deserve to be Prime Minister if the result is as close as the polls suggest.
The row over who was the legitimate winner of the election may run and run - and the final outcome could still be several weeks away. Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, said: “This is simply too close to call. “Polls all have a 3 to 4% margin of error. And the gap separating Miliband and Cameron is smaller than that.”
'The Independent' Election LIVE UPDATES ~ link
Conservatives set to be largest party but shy of a majority ~ link ~
The incumbent center-right Conservatives are seen winning 316 seats, according to the poll by the BBC public broadcasting service.
This is just shy of a outright majority, indicating the party, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, may need to form a coalition government once again.
Cameron on course to continue as UK Prime Minister ~ link ~
'Bloomberg' UK Election Interactive Map ~ link
'Sky News' Election LIVE COVERAGE ~ link
'Financial Times': The Battle for Westminster LIVE COVERAGE ~ link ~
Weeks of tough campaigning failed to push the electorate towards either the Conservative or Labour parties ahead of the start of voting on Thursday, solidifying expectations for a hung parliament. Voting ended at 10pm UK time. The exit poll pointed to the Conservative party winning the most seats though not an absolute majority. This poll needs to be treated with a lot of caution and a YouGov poll suggested quite a different result, one that is similar to the opinion polls before voting. Results are starting to trickle out and will pick up after midnight.
Conservatives expected to be largest party in Parliament ~ link ~
If the outcome bears out the results of the exit poll, David Cameron would be likely to be given the chance to try to form a government ahead of Labour leader Ed Miliband as the Tories would be just 10 seats short of a Commons majority.
But a separate YouGov seat projection suggested the outcome would be closer, with the Conservatives projected to have 284 MPs, Labour on 263, and the Liberal Democrats on 31. The SNP was predicted to win 48 seats, with Ukip on two, Plaid Cymru on three and the Greens winning one seat.
Previous exit polls - with the notable exception of the 1992 election - have proved remarkably accurate. In 1992, two exit polls incorrectly called a hung parliament when John Major went on to win a Tory majority.
SNP heading towards greater influence in Westminster ~ link ~
Scottish Nationalists eye key roles on influential Commons select committees, including Treasury, defence and foreign affairs committees.
The rise of the UKIP ~ link ~
'Daily Record': LIVE COVERAGE ~ link ~
On Thursday, Britain went to the polls in what many are calling the most unpredictable election in living memory. Join us as we report on every Scottish seat, introduce every newly elected MP and keep you abreast of everything you need to know in a night of excitement, far too close to call.
Dr. Bill Deagle and Lord Stirling (Tim Alexander) on the Nutrimedical Report Show ~ link ~ Click on May 7 2015 Hour 3 and May 5 2015 Hour 3.