A hung parliament in Britain?: What happens next

Pauline Gross
June 9, 2017

Exit poll figures from the BBC released as polls closed suggested the Conservative Party will lose seats as a result of Thursday's election, indicating the United Kingdom could be on course for a hung parliament.

Britain's Conservatives have lost their majority in a snap general that has resulted in a hung parliament.

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As of 0125 GMT the BBC reported that May's party was not expecting an overall majority.

Despite that, the outcome of tonight's election is something of an upset, as polling in the weeks ahead of the vote showed Tories with a strong edge, and very likely to maintain or even increase their majority.

May called the snap election to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations with the other 27 European Union countries which are due to begin in less than a fortnight, and to cement her grip on the Conservative Party after she took over as prime minister in the wake of last year's European Union referendum.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who built his reputation as a left-wing activist, focused his campaign on ending the years of austerity that have followed the global financial crisis. Ms Haq was a strong remainer; she defied the party whip to vote against the triggering of Article 50, and she was campaigning in a largely pro-remain seat.

Labour also ousted the former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam and clawed back seats from the SNP.

They were mathematically unable to reach the 326 mark that would give them a majority, meaning they will have to form an informal or formal alliance to push forward their agenda.

The former Chancellor George Osborne, who is now the editor of the Evening Standard, said the Tory result appeared "completely catastrophic".

- If May did manage to do this, she would then go to the House of Commons to see if her government could survive a motion of confidence, probably after the state opening of parliament on June 19.

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German EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said: "With a weak negotiating partner, there's the danger than the negotiations will turn out badly for both sides".

After uncertainty, yet more uncertainty. But before the talks can start, there will be widespread anger across the Conservative Party that she has thrown away a majority for the sake of an unnecessary early election.

The Conservatives held 330 seats in the last Parliament, compared with 220 for Labour, 54 for the Scottish National Party and nine for the Liberal Democrats. That's 14 percent lower than its level on the day of the Brexit referendum almost a year ago.

While May remains prime minister until a new government is formed, she does not have a clear mandate for her interpretation of Brexit that includes limits on immigration and leaving the single market.

He told ITV: "If this is correct we'll have another general election soon".

"What this result suggests, if it holds, is that there will be some instability and it will be hard for the British government to negotiate on Brexit".

He lost his Sheffield Hallam seat in northern England to the Labour Party early on Friday.

The attacks have left Britain on high alert.

Eight people were killed Saturday near London Bridge when three men drove a van into pedestrians then randomly stabbed revelers in an area filled with bars and restaurants.

The attacks led to scrutiny over May's time as interior minister from 2010 to 2016, particularly since it emerged that some of the attackers had been known to police and security services.

Other reports by GizPress

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