British PM loses majority but battles to stay on

Frederick Owens
June 11, 2017

But this hung parliament may serve as the best possible outcome we could have hoped for as students.

May's party fell short of an overall majority following Thursday's vote, and plans to work with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

The prime minister was the alpha and the omega of the Conservative campaign, which emblazoned her name in huge lettering on its posters and buses. The election was also filled with strategic mistakes, as for instance May's inability to show up for the national TV debate hosted by the BBC.

Now her future is in doubt, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for her to step down, and commentators predicting a leadership challenge.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she assumed Britain still wanted to leave the European Union and that talks must start quickly.

Barely a month ago, the centre-left party seemed doomed to lose the election, plagued by internal divisions over its direction under veteran socialist Corbyn. "Obviously at my end of the (age) spectrum I'm more interested in things like pensions and so forth, NHS health care - plus schooling, those are really my main concerns".

"At the start of the election campaign, she was seen as a safe pair of hands".

Belatedly, the Tories tried to shift the agenda back to Brexit, but May's wobbly performance continued.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said he would "fight tooth and nail" to keep Mrs May in post, and dismissed suggestions he might be a contender to replace her.

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Analysis suggested Labour had benefited from a strong turnout among young voters.

The result is a quagmire. Before May went through the largely symbolic process of seeking the queen's approval for the new government, DUP leader Arlene Foster had told British media that it would be "difficult for [May] to survive" and that "it is too soon to talk about what we're going to do". It would increase the influence of pro-British unionists who have struggled for years with nationalists who want Northern Ireland to join a united Ireland. But in one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, a resurgent Labour Party denied her an outright win, throwing the country into political turmoil. Former first minister Alex Salmon lost his seat, while his successor, Nicola Sturgeon, quickly made known she'd be pleased to work closely with Corbyn if he changed his mind and chose to form a government.

"So we will have to see what the Commons has to say when they meet".

The election disaster puts Britain in a deeply troubled position.

Theresa May has lost her mandate.

Among Friday's election surprises were the spike in support for the opposition Labur party in London, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, and a strong showing for the pro-European Liberal Democrats.

When the talks do begin, there could be a very different approach from the "hard Brexit" advocated by May that would involve leaving Europe's single market and curbing European immigration. May will have to negotiate while knowing that a host of would-be successors are watching her every move and calculating whether to strike.

But this isn't the first time that a United Kingdom election has led to a period of political uncertainty.

In a night that redrew the political landscape once again, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) - instrumental in campaigning for Brexit - lost millions of voters, prompting its leader Paul Nuttall to quit. And Britain has a weak government with damaged leadership while negotiating a crucial pact with Europe and struggling to deal with terrorist attacks.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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