UK Conservative Party loses majority, prepares for hung parliament

The Tories remain the biggest party with 318 seats and Labour now have 261 - with 326 required for a majority and one seat left to be called.

Seven seats off the 326 seat-mark needed to command a majority, Mrs May is needs to try and form a minority government, the DUP, which increased its representation in Westminster from 8 to 10, would enable her to do this. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic told Czech Television that "now it will be necessary to wait for who will form a government and what this government will bring to negotiations over Brexit", Reuters reports.

This is seen as a humiliation for PM Minister Theresa May, who chose to call the election to try to strengthen her hand in talks with the European Union on Brexit.

Speaking at his north London constituency's election headquarters, Corbyn said May called the election to get a new mandate and the "mandate she got was one of lost support".

Corbyn said May should "go. and make way for a government that is truly representative of all the people of this country".

The Scottish National Party retained just 35 of the 56 seats it secured two years ago and UKIP leader Paul Nuttall fell on his sword after just six months in the job, following a woeful night for the Eurosceptic party.

Speaking after a 20-minute audience with the Queen, Mrs May said she meant to form a new administration to take Britain into the Brexit negotiations beginning on June 19. "Our Labour MPs would vote for it and we would call on the other parties to vote for it as well".

If everything had gone as planned, May would have walked into those negotiations week after next in a position of strength, able to confidently demand concessions from the Europeans because she had her whole country behind her.

The election result also throws into doubt whether Britain will now seek the hard Brexit that May and the right wing of her party have been advocating. A key factor in enabling the Conservatives to cling to power, however, may have been Corbyn's alienation of the Jewish vote.

Asked if there would now be another election, Mr Corbyn said: "Parliament must meet and Parliament will have to take a decision on what happens".

Theresa May has vowed to form the government with support of the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, amidst calls for her to step down, even by people within her party. "I don't think Theresa May is a give up and go person", Patrick Dunleavy, professor of political science and public policy at LSE, says. When the United Kingdom formally triggered the start of Brexit negotiations in March, it resulted in a deadline of March 2019 by which talks would have to conclude. She alienated core Conservative electors and the party's manifesto was poorly received. They said political uncertainty would likely delay talks, with Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, questioning whether he would have someone to really negotiate with about Brexit.

He tweeted: "We don't know when Brexit talks start".

Earlier, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour was "ready to form a government" and described any possible Conservative-Democratic Unionist Party arrangement as a "coalition of chaos".

If history is any indication, the Tories will waste little time in seeking a new leader.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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