UK polling station
The Conservatives and Labour both have 35% of the vote in the most recent YouGov poll Reuters

UK business lobby groups demanded clarity and reassurance from politicians on Friday (9 June) after the snap General Election called by Prime Minister Theresa May resulted in a hung parliament.

At the time of writing, with 649 or the 650 parliamentary constituencies declared, May's Conservatives were the single largest party with 318 seats, just shy of the 326 required for a majority, with the opposition Labour party at 261 seats.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) noted the result is a "serious moment" for the British Economy adding that it was imperative the politicians came together to form a "functioning government".

Its director general Carolyn Fairbairn said: "Politicians must act responsibly, putting the interests of the country first and showing the world that the UK remains a safe destination for business. It's time to put the economy back to the top of the agenda."

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said that after two long years of "elections, referenda and wider uncertainty, many businesses were doing their best to ignore the noise of politics - up until today.

"The electorate's split decision generates further uncertainty for business communities, who are already grappling with currency fluctuations, rising costs, and the potential impacts of Brexit. The formation of a workable administration that can give voters and businesses confidence around economic management must be the immediate priority."

"Businesses are adept at forming alliances and coalitions when important interests are at stake. We should expect the same of our politicians."

Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD), said businesses have shown resilience to surprise results, but they have now been thrown into political limbo.

"With crucial Brexit negotiations coming up fast, in addition to the significant domestic challenges we face, the lack of a government with a majority undeniably creates uncertainty. The majority of British businesses will be waiting to see whether a stable government can be formed in short order.

"If the Conservatives govern as a minority, they must recognise that they have not earned a mandate to implement their manifesto in full. Now is the time to move on from the rhetoric of the election campaign and focus on preparing for Brexit talks. The issues of access to EU markets and the need for skilled workers are still paramount, and Brussels will be keen to get negotiations underway soon."

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) also joined the ranks of other lobby groups calling for political stability and a delay to the beginning of Brexit talks in the wake of the election result.

Its national chairman Mike Cherry said: "It is important to go into the Brexit talks from a position of strength, focused on getting the best deal possible for trade and access to workers and skills.

"Negotiations should be led by a government and a Prime Minister that will be in place for the duration, and so we call for a delay to the scheduled start of negotiations rather than a rush to begin in 11 days' time. The need for a transition period now becomes even stronger, providing the time to get Brexit right."