British Prime Minister Theresa May‘s dicey move in calling an early election appears to have backfired, with her Conservative Party losing the outright majority in Parliament and political leaders calling for her to resign.
With results from 640 of the 650 seats reported, Sky News determined that Conservatives would win about 311 seats, while the opposition Labour Party would amass about 259 seats.
Officially, a party has to win 326 seats to acquire a majority in the House of Commons. However, the real magic number is a little lower than that since numerous chosen members do not vote or take their seats.
The Conservatives held 330 seats in the last Parliament, compared with 229 for Labour, 54 for the Scottish National Party and nine for the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives remain in position to form a coalition government with the assistance of a number of Unionist Members of Parliament for North Ireland. Nevertheless, if union settlements stop working, the result raises the possibility of the 2 significant parties attempting to form minority federal governments– an outcome that could result in a 2nd general-election in the months ahead.
“This country needs a period of stability,”
May told supporters after she was re-elected to her own seat in the House of Commons on Thursday. “If the Conservative Party has won the most seats, it will be incumbent on us to deliver this period of stability.”
Only moments before, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on May to step down, saying that her effort to seek a huge mandate for her government to work out the U.K.’s departure from the European Union had ended in “lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.
“I would have thought that’s enough to go, actually and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country,” he added.
May, who went into the election with a credibility for peaceful proficiency, was slammed for a lackluster campaigning design and for a plan to force senior individuals to pay more for their care, a proposal her challengers dubbed the “dementia tax.”
As the polls suggested a tightening race, pollsters spoke less frequently of a landslide and raised the possibility that May’s majority would be deteriorated.
“This is entirely catastrophic for the Conservatives and for Theresa May,”
former Conservative Treasury chief George Osborne informed ITV.
“Clearly if she’s got a worse result than two years ago and is almost unable to form a government, then she, I doubt, will survive in the long term as Conservative Party leader.”
The forecast was a success in all but name for Labour, which had actually been anticipated to lose seats.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, who quickly won re-election in his seat, made a savage attack on May in a speech to his supporters.”“She said she was strong and stable, the public saw that she was weak and wobbly,” said Watson, playing off the prime minister’s campaign slogan. “She said she was a bloody difficult woman … the public saw she was just a woman finding it all a bit too bloody difficult.”
“The next few days look very uncertain but one thing is sure,” Watson said. “Theresa May’s authority has been undermined in this election.”
The outcome was also bad news for the Scottish National Party, which by early Friday had lost 21 of its 54 seats. Amongst the casualties was Alex Salmond, a former first minister of Scotland and among the celebration’s highest-profile lawmakers.
A huge loss might complicate the SNP’s plans to push for a new referendum on Scottish independence as Britain prepares to leave the EU.
“Indy Ref 2 is dead in Scotland,” said Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
May called the election 7 weeks back, when her party was well ahead in the polls.
But things didn’t go to plan.
Brexit failed to emerge as a major issue in the campaign, as both the Conservatives and Labour stated they would respect citizens’ desires and go through with the divorce.
Then, attacks that killed 30 individuals in Manchester and London twice brought the campaign to a stop, sent a wave of anxiety through Britain and required May to safeguard the government’s record on fighting terrorism.
Corbyn accused the Conservatives of weakening Britain’s security by cutting the number of cops on the streets.
Eight individuals were killed near London Bridge when 3 men drove a van into pedestrians and then stabbed others in an area filled with bars and restaurants. 2 weeks previously, a suicide bomber killed 22 people as they were leaving a performance in Manchester. Prior to the election, 5 people died during an automobile and knife attack near Parliament on March 22.
Rachel Sheard, who cast her vote near the site of the London Bridge attack, said the election hadn’t gone as anticipated– and that it definitely wasn’t about Brexit. “I don’t think that’s in the hearts and minds of Londoners at the minute, (not) nearly as much as security is,” said Sheard, 22. “It was very scary on Saturday.”
While security was on numerous voters’ minds, it was far from the only problem.
“It is very important, however it’s only one issue amongst several,” said 68-year-old Mike Peacroft. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s at the top. 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.”