British Election Made History in One Way

More than 200 female MPs will be in office for the first time
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2017 12:15 PM CDT
British Milestone: Record Number of Women Elected
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the press.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The way Britain's election backfired disastrously on Prime Minister Theresa May is grabbing most of the attention, but the Telegraph takes note of a milestone getting lost in the shuffle: A record number of women were elected to parliament. For the first time, more than 200 female MPs will be in the 650-member House of Commons, with the BBC putting the final tally at 207. That eclipses the previous high of 196 in 2015. Here's a look at related election coverage:

  • Historical date: The Washington Post notes that the vote took place on June 8, a date that carries resonance on the subject of women and voting. On the same day in 1913, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was fatally trampled by the king's horse at a derby, with her supporters saying she deliberately sacrificed herself to protest women's inability to vote. Hashtags remembering her were popular on Twitter Thursday, paired with remember-to-vote themes.
  • More firsts: Among the women elected was the first female Sikh MP, Preet Kaur Gill. Parliament also will get its first turban-wearing Sikh in Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, notes the Hindustan Times.
  • Softer Brexit? May was pushing for an aggressive schedule in regard to Britain leaving the European Union. The election results, however, raise the odds of a "soft Brexit" instead, per Reuters. Much is uncertain, however, and talks between the EU and Britain scheduled for June 19 may be delayed.
  • Trouble for Trump? At New York, Andrew Sullivan notes that May and President Trump were on rising trajectories not too long ago and wonders if her trouble, linked to apparent second thoughts among Brits about the wisdom of Brexit, might forecast the same for him in the not-too-distant future.
  • Two parties: Among the five takeaways of the election noted by Politico is that Britain is essentially back to a two-party system: Conservatives vs. Labour.
  • Lord Buckethead: Yes, it was a bad night for May, but at least she fended off a challenger in her home district who goes by the name of Lord Buckethead. The photos alone are priceless: See the Guardian. (The good lord did get 249 votes, however.)

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