Tory Amber Rudd said she is ‘hopeful but not complacent’ after she arrived to the Hastings and Rye election count.
The Home Secretary could be in danger of losing her seat to Labour after exit polls predicted a hung Parliament.
As a member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet, Ms Rudd is Sussex’s highest profile politician.
She appeared on the BBC leaders’ election debate in place of Mrs May and is being touted as a future Chancellor if the Tories hold on to power.
Labour’s candidate Peter Chowney, who is also leader of Hastings Borough Council, is looking to overturn a majority of 4,796 votes from 2015.
If the exit poll is true the Conservatives would be 12 seats short of an overall majority, on 314, with 266 for Labour, 34 for the SNP, and 14 for the Lib Dems.
Arriving at the count she told a BBC reporter she was ‘hopeful but not complacent’.