British PM loses majority, faces pressure to resign

Pauline Gross
June 9, 2017

As the June 8 poll ended in a hung parliament, with no party holding an absolute majority in the House of Commons, Mrs May pledged to offer "stability" if the Tories end up as the largest party with the most votes.

The Conservatives will need the support of the DUP to form a government, and the party's Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he expected his party to be "serious players" in the formation of a government.

"Theresa May felt very strongly that she wanted a strong mandate", Whittaker said. She's only been the leader for under a year, she got it without any opposition, an uncontested election with support up and down the country.

"I think hard Brexit went in the rubbish bin tonight", said George Osborne, the former chancellor of the exchequer whom May sacked after he played a leading role in the campaign to remain in the EU. May called this snap election in April in an attempt to strengthen the Conservative majority and deliver a mandate on Brexit. It would be unprecedented in modern times for the government to be reliant for its majority on a party focused on the interests of Northern Ireland, however, and some Conservatives might not accept such a partnership.

The majority of results in the U.K.'s general election have come in, and neither prime minister Theresa May's Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party can achieve a majority in Parliament.

"These exit polls have been wrong in the past".

If so, Australia will have to tear up its plans for a free-trade deal with the UK.

A BBC projection put the Tories on 43% overall, about six points up on David Cameron's result in 2015, and Labour on 40%, spectacularly outpolling Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown's results and even racking up more votes than Tony Blair did when he won power in 2005.

Jeremy Corbyn, right, gestures toward Labour's Emily Thornberry after arriving for the declaration at his constituency in London.

The survey predicted the Conservatives would get 314 of the 650 seats and the Labour Party 266.

Many predicted she would soon be gone.

"At this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability", Mrs May said earlier. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party won 10 seats and the Irish Republican party Sinn Fein won 7 seats.

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"I don't think that's in the hearts and minds of Londoners at the minute, (not) almost as much as security is", said Sheard, 22. May's Conservatives scored one early victory, however, retaining its seat in the bellwether seat of Nuneaton in central England.

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May, who went into the election with a reputation for quiet competence, was criticized for a lackluster campaigning style and for a plan to force elderly people to pay more for their care, a proposal her opponents dubbed the "dementia tax".

"This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party", she said. "She needs to consider her position".

Some also argue that any Labour-led coalition might aim for a softer deal on Britain's planned departure from the European Union than the "hard Brexit" that markets have anxious May would deliver.

Polling showed that Mrs May lost credibility during the campaign, while Mr Corbyn gained.

Labour seized on steep cuts in police numbers implemented as part of a Conservative austerity programme, although May insisted she had protected funding for counter-terrorism.

But he has generally been credited with a strong campaign, and his classic social democratic manifesto, heavy on taxing the rich and corporations in order to boost public services, appealed to Britons tired of austerity and seeking an alternative.

In a night of surprises, former Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg lost his seat to Labour.

He also warned the country was left deeply divided, especially between young and old.

But with results still showing a chance of a small majority for May's Conservatives, and analysts pointing to the chances of a "softer" Brexit under an alternative Labour-led coalition, the pound later recovered some ground.

The shock result and the prospect that the European Union will now be negotiating with a shaky British government cast dark clouds over the Brexit negotiations just 10 days before they are due to start.

May had promised to clinch a Brexit deal that prioritized control over immigration policy, with Britain leaving the European single market and customs union, and said no deal would be better than a bad deal. "That's what it was about, that's what we put in front of the people, we'll see by tomorrow whether they've accepted that or not".

Other reports by GizPress

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