The Liberal Democrats have openly rejected the results of the exit poll, that earlier suggested the party may be left with just 10 seats.
Nick Clegg’s leadership would be severely deputised if this loss of dozens of seats proves true. However, party sources say the estimations of the exit poll do not coincide with the information they had gathered previously.
A party spokesman said: “This exit poll does not reflect any of our intelligence from today or in the run-up to polling day. We will wait for the final results.
“No opinion poll to date has shown the numbers in this exit poll.”
The Lib Dems won 57 seats in 2010, but have proposed that they “realistically” expect to return 30 or more MPs, regardless of their consistently low ratings in opinion polls.
In response to the tonight’s BBC/ITN/SKY exit poll, a Lib Dem spokesman recognised the elections as “unpredictable”, but rejected the poll’s suggestions.
Last night, Mr Clegg was determined that his party would be the “surprise story” of the polling day, defying any forecasts of an electoral failure. However, their low ratings in opinions polls so far, mostly suggest otherwise.
The opinion poll saw Conservatives secure 316 seats, leaving them only 10 short of the magic number of 326 required to achieve an absolute majority in the House of Commons.
Labour were predicted to secure 239 seats, with the Scottish National Party set to claim all but one of the 59 seats in Scotland.
Mr Clegg has stated that he is “confident but not complacent” in regards to the prospect of holding his own seat in Sheffield Hallam, despite a Labour campaign to unseat him. Although, Clegg’s seat may be saved due to a suspected act of tactical voting from Conservative voters, in order to rid of the possibility of a Labour government.