Jun 9, 2017

May's June disaster: U.K. Tories fall short of majority

Frank Augstein / AP

The political future of the United Kingdom is up in the air after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to win a majority in a snap election she herself called — expecting to expand the Conservative mandate heading into Brexit negotiations.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, has called on May to resign. The pressure is already building from some in her own party as well.

The Conservatives are projected to win 318 seats, 8 shy of a majority, down 12 seats from the 2015 result.

What's next: The Conservatives will try and form a minority government or a formal coalition, with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (which won 10 seats) playing a key role in either arrangement. If the solution doesn't prove stable, the U.K. could be in for another election before long.

Read more: How a government can be formed, Britons broke the anti-elite fever

Big takeaways

  • This is a huge victory for Corbyn, who has been ridiculed even within his own party since snatching the leadership in 2015 as a fringe figure leading Labour into irrelevance. His position is greatly strengthened.
  • The BBC reports that May gave "somber" remarks at Conservative HQ, saying "things will change" but not discussing her future as leader.
  • Brexit Delay? EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger says Brexit talks might not now start as planned on June 19, per the Telegraph's Chris Hope.
  • Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the centrist Liberal Democrats, lost his seat.
  • From the Financial Times' Robert Shrimsley: "It's almost as if Theresa May looked at Hillary's campaign and said: 'Let's do that.'"
  • If May does not hold on, she would be the shortest-serving P.M since the 1920's.
  • Scenes from election night: One seat decided by 2 votes, candidate named "Lord Buckethead" challenges May

Results (7 seats left to be called)

  • Conservatives: 313
  • Labour: 260
  • Scottish National Party: 35
  • Liberal Democrats: 12
  • Democratic Unionists: 10
  • Other: 13
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