Britain: Conservative Party loses majority, will need to form coalition

As sitting prime minister, Mrs May will have an opportunity to form a new government with possible support from Northern Ireland's 10 DUP MPs - although many political analysts say her chances of remaining as party leader are slim after her unforced election gamble failed.

Speaking on the steps of No 10 after an audience with the Queen, the prime minister said the parties had a "strong relationship" and that she meant to form a government which could "provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country".

Concerns over the potential impact on the upcoming Brexit negotiations and May's future as Prime Minister are now being raised, with one minister telling BBC's Laura Kuenssberg it was "hard to see how she could stay after these results". May has said her government will go ahead with these discussions as planned.

Britain last voted in a general election in 2015, when then Prime Minister David Cameron won a majority with 331 MPs for the Conservative party.

It is unclear exactly how the partnership between the DUP and the Conservatives will work. She has, after all, been a bit harsh to them, threatening to pull security collaboration if they fail to reach an agreement, and using European Union citizens residing in Britain as bargaining chips.

DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would be meeting May in Downing Street tomorrow. It also supported Brexit, making the party a potentially easy bedfellow in a Conservative coalition. Downing St. says the Cabinet will discuss the agreement Monday.

May had called Thursday's early election to strengthen her hand in Brexit talks but instead the move backfired and she lost the Conservatives' overall majority in Parliament.

Germany's European Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said "a weaker partner weakens the whole thing", while if both sides were strong "you get results more quickly".

"This is not the time for sharks to be circling".

Here we take a look at the party who could hold the balance of power in Westminster. "That's not a matter for me", she said. "Now let's get to work".

Mr Osborne, who was sacked by Mrs May and now is editor of the London Evening Standard, said there was now no majority in the Commons for a "hard Brexit".

In another sign of the dangers facing Mrs May, Sunday papers reported that Boris Johnson was either being encouraged to make a leadership bid in an effort to oust her, or actually preparing one - a claim dismissed as "tripe" by the Foreign Secretary.

The exact contours of a potential Conservative-DUP deal were not yet known.

Shortly before her statement, senior DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said it was "much too early" to talk of a formal deal.

The DUP is concerned that any arrangement by which Northern Ireland could remain in the European Union, a key demand of the rival Sinn Fein Party, could potentially split Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain. "Politicians must act responsibly, putting the interests of the country first and showing the world that the United Kingdom remains a safe destination for business".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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