Rabat - After calling early elections, British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a major setback with her Conservative Party losing its overall majority in UK Parliament and plunging the country into political turmoil.
Rabat – After calling early elections, British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a major setback with her Conservative Party losing its overall majority in UK Parliament and plunging the country into political turmoil.
As results were reported on Friday morning, no clear winner emerged resulting in a hung parliament. Although the conservatives won the most seats, 318, they were several seats short of the 326 seats necessary for a parliamentary majority. Their rival, the Labor party, won 261 seats.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labor party, called for May to resign indicating that he wanted to form a minority government. He explained, “the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.” He added, “I would have though that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all the people of this country.”
Despite the blow to Conservatives, May intends to stay in power and will aim to form a minority government. A statement released by the prime minister’s office indicated that “The prime minister will be visiting Buckingham Palace at 12:30 today to seek permission from the queen to form a government.”
May will likely look to the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland who won 10 seats as she tries to from a government. With their support, May would have 328 seats – just over the necessary majority. This is a huge loss, however, as in the last Parliament Conservatives controlled 330 seats.
With Brexit negotiations set to begin 10 days, the political upset signaled more uncertainty to come and an increased risk that the negotiations would fail. Already the British pound plummeted compared to the dollar and the euro on Friday morning and with a hung parliament the pound could fall further.
May called the snap election three years early hoping to win strong support for her party as Britain beings negotiations over its withdrawal from the European Union. The exit from the EU is the result of the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum that led to then-prime minister David Cameron’s resignation.