LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to call an early election in a bid to strengthen her grip on power appeared early Friday to have spectacularly backfired, with her Conservative Party at risk of losing its parliamentary majority, according to exit polls and partial official results.
The outcome — an astonishing turn following a campaign that began with predictions that May would win in a historic landslide — immediately raised questions about whether she could maintain her hold on Downing Street. It also threw into doubt the country’s plans for leaving the European Union, threatening to render Britain rudderless just days before talks were to begin with European leaders over the terms of the country’s exit.
[Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party may be No. 2 but still won big in British elections]
As of 4 a.m., a projection based on a combination of exit polls and official results put …