Conservatives Dealt Huge Blow in British Election

Theresa May's election gamble backfires
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2017 12:02 AM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2017 12:20 AM CDT
Election Gamble Backfires for Theresa May
Britain's Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, and Emily Thornberry after they retained their seats in London Friday, June 9, 2017.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

She gambled on an early election—and she lost, big time. Theresa May and the Conservative Party have been dealt a huge blow in Britain's election, with the party losing its majority in Parliament after early predictions that it would gain as many as 80 seats. Full results have yet to arrive, but a hung parliament, in which no party has a majority, is now inevitable, reports the BBC. The Conservatives still have the most seats but Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party was the night's big winner, gaining more than 30 seats in Parliament, while the pro-Brexit United Kingdom Independence Party saw its share of the vote collapse. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party saw a fall in support, with former party leader Alex Salmond among those losing their seats. The latest:

  • With Corbyn—and plenty of angry Conservatives—calling for her resignation, May signaled that she will stay on for now, Reuters reports. "At this time, more than anything else this country needs a period of stability," she said early Friday after she was re-elected to her own seat in Parliament.

  • The inconclusive election was result was seen as a disaster by negotiators in Brussels, where Brexit talks are due to begin within days, the Guardian reports. May, who wasn't required to hold an election until 2020, said her reason for calling one early was to secure a greater mandate for the talks. "Could be messy for the United Kingdom in the years ahead," tweeted former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt. "One mess risks following another. Price to be paid for lack of true leadership."
  • Senior Conservative officials tell the Telegraph that May made "fundamental strategic errors" during the campaign. "This is bad, it's worse than bad. Her advisers should walk out of the door now never to return, regardless of the final result," one senior official says. Numerous senior Conservative MPs have lost their seats, including manifesto author Ben Gummer.
  • The BBC looks at what is likely to happen now that a hung parliament has been confirmed. Unless she chooses to resign, May is expected to remain as prime minister while she attempts to form a coalition government with smaller parties.
  • ITV looks at election night's biggest losers, including Nick Clegg. The former Liberal Democrat, deputy prime minister in the coalition government until the 2015 election, lost his seat to Labour challenger Jared O'Mara.
(More British elections stories.)

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