May’s future as British PM uncertain as Conservatives lose majority

Jun 9, 2017 12:22 IST

The snap general elections called by Prime Minister Theresa May have proven to be catastrophic for her Conservative party with it managing to gain only 310 seats, as per the latest results released on 9 June 2017.

As things stood at 8.00am London time, Prime Minister Theresa May's ruling Conservative party had won 315 seats while the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, had won 261 seats.

There are 650 seats in total and 326 are required for a party to secure a parliamentary majority and with 647 of the 650 seats now declared, no single party will be able to secure a clear majority, making Hung Parliament an inevitable outcome.

Key Highlights

• The Scottish National Party (SNP) has won 35 seats, the Liberal Democrats have gained 12 and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has secured 10.

• The total voter turnout is estimated to be around 68.7 percent.

• May’s decision to call an early election has cost her party a handful of ministers.

• While the conservatives have lost around 12 seats, the Labour party has made a gain of 29.

• The 68-year-old opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn has called for May to step down saying that she should make way for a government that is truly representative of the country.

• May is however, refusing to quit as Prime Minister, insisting that UK needs a period of stability at this time.

• The conservatives are planning to work on forming a government – most likely by making a pact with the DUP.

What is a hung Parliament?

• A situation, in which, none of the parties managed to secure clear cut majority in the Parliament.

• This essentially means that none of the parties has an outright mandate to form a new government.

• In such a case, multiple parties are expected to come together to form a coalition government.

• In Britain’s case, the needed number to win majority was 326, which none succeeded to achieve.

• It is expected that the Conservative party will stay in office until a decision is taken on who will try to form a new government or unless May takes the decision to resign.

• There is another option of attempting to govern with a minority, but that would mean the party will have to rely on smaller parties in supporting legislations.

Comment

A coalition government in UK at a time when the controversial Brexit negotiations are slated to begin would prove to be disastrous.

The result could also have a huge impact on May’s political future. She had called for an early election to strengthen her mandate to see the country through a hard Brexit but the results reveal lost support and lost conservative seats.

Opposition leader Corbyn on the other hand has said that he will honour UK’s decision to leave the European Union but is expected to push for a soft Brexit and retain the benefits of the single market, a tariff-free trading bloc for EU members.

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