General election 2017: tuition fee pledge key as Labour surges

Ruben Ruiz
June 9, 2017

At the time of writing, the left-wing Labour Party had picked up 257 of the U.K.'s 650 seats, and was set to gain several more.

A party needs 326 seats are necessary to secure a majority.

Labour enjoyed huge success in London, winning marginal seats and ousting two Tory ministers.

If the results are confirmed, it will be a huge embarrassment for May, who called a snap election in April in the hope of gaining an even greater majority of seats to give her a stronger mandate for upcoming Brexit negotiations.

And Tim Farron's party took Bath back from the Conservatives and regained Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross and Edinburgh West, which were lost to the SNP in 2015.

Her opponents also took issue with her refusal to take part in a televised debate with other party leaders.

Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has also held on to his seat at Islington North in north London with a decisive margin and won over 40,086 votes which he described as an "incredible" result and called on Theresa May "to go" to make way for his party. However, his popularity surged in the polls over the following seven weeks, aided by the Tories' disastrous campaign and a popular manifesto launch, helping Labour win enormous majorities in inner-city constituencies and enormous support from young voters. Edward Heath, who was four seats behind Harold Wilson's Labour Party, remained prime minister for a few days while he tried to form a coalition.

As she was resoundingly re-elected to her Maidenhead seat in southern England, May looked tense and did not spell out what she planned to do.

Appearing to accept the Tories would fall short of a majority, she said: "At this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability".

But her campaign unravelled after a major policy u-turn on care for the elderly, while Corbyn's old-school socialist platform and more impassioned campaigning style won wider support than anyone had foreseen.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn started this campaign with a deficit in the polls of around 20 points, and his chances written off by most experts, political commentators and the press.

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U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May intends to form a new governing coalition despite her Conservative Party losing its parliamentary majority after Thursday's elections.

"If. the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do", May said.

"We will put ourselves forward to serve the country on former minority government and the reason for that as I do not think the Conservative Party is stable and I do not think the prime minister is stable".

With 97 seats decided, Labour has netted 53 of them and the Conservatives have 31. Its casualties included Alex Salmond, one of the party's highest-profile lawmakers.

'The people of Britain have rejected her approach. The very best we can get tonight is to end up where we were.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg told the the broadcaster's general election results show that top Tory insiders had told her that it was "50/50 she will go on Friday". As the polls suggested a tightening race, pollsters spoke less often of a landslide and raised the possibility that May's majority would be eroded.

Then, attacks that killed 30 people in Manchester and London twice brought the campaign to a halt, sent a wave of anxiety through Britain and forced May to defend the government's record on fighting terrorism. Corbyn accused Conservatives of undermining Britain's security by cutting the number of police on the streets.

The second attack took place on 22 May when 22 people were killed and 116 injured in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena.

A statue of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill silhouettes in front of the Houses of Parliament the day after Britain's national elections in London, Friday, June 9, 2017.

"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. "It was very scary on Saturday".

"May didn't have to call this election", said Pedley. May said this week that she would consider rewriting human rights legislation if it gets in the way of tackling extremism. "And I think she came across in the campaign as not only as wooden and robotic, but actually pretty insincere".

Other reports by GizPress

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