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Incumbent PM Theresa May Still Has Edge in Hung UK Parliament

Incumbent PM Theresa May Still Has Edge in Hung UK Parliament
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip arrive at the count centre for her seat for the general election in Maidenhead, June 9, 2017. Picture: UNI
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In a setback to Prime Minister Theresa May, the hastily brought forward UK elections have resulted in a hung parliament, proving many opinion polls wrong.

May, who anyway had a small majority in Parliament, had called the elections three years ahead of time to try and improve her position while negotiating on Brexit. Her Conservative party has got 318 seats, just eight short of a simple majority, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has won 261, breathing down her neck.

Corbyn has asked for May’s resignation which May has stubbornly refused to deliver, citing the country’s current need for stability.

The Conservatives can now choose to form government or enter in to a coalition with other parties, most likely being the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (10).

In case the Conservatives fail to do so, Labour, who have already ruled out the possibilities of a coalition, would attempt to form a minority government. Labour has won 261 seats, defeating several Conservative candidates in their protected constituencies. Even if they manage a non-ally deal with the Scottish National Party of Nicola Sturgeon (35) they will add up to 296, still way short of majority. Which leaves May in a good position to form government and go ahead with her Brexit agenda at a hot pace.

The Conservatives’ attempt to hit on Labour strongholds failed badly whereas Labour won in seats that were previously considered marginal. Jeremy Corbyn’s attack on the economic elite and his anti-establishment narrative seems to have lured the public. As expected, Labour has benefitted from the big youth turnout.

Twelve seats have been won by Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrat party. The biggest loser in the polls has been UK Independence Party which was a powerful force during the Brexit referendum. The party’s vote share dropped from 11 per cent to less than two per cent and with 649 results of the 650 seats announced at the time of writing this, they have not won a single seat.

The other loser was the Scottish National Party. It fought the elections with two things in mind: An anti-Brexit narrative and a new referendum to make an independent Scotland. Sturgeon saw Conservatives and Labour eating into her vote share. Even the party’s deputy leader Agnus Robertson lost his seat to the Conservatives.

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