Brexit Weakens - UK Voters Deliver a Hung Parliament in Elections
British Prime Minister Theresa May called snap elections in the United Kingdom(UK) expecting a strong mandate for her forthcoming Brexit negotiations with the European Union(EU). Some 400 seats of the 650-member Westminster Parliament appeared plausible for May's Conservative Party. But the UK electorate, voting at the polls yesterday, has failed to endorse May's ambition.
Not only did May and her party fail to gain a needed 326-majority of the Member of Parliament seats, the Tories lost 12 seats from their 2015 tally, thus giving rise to a hung parliament, when no party has gained more than 50 percent of the 650-seats.
Thus, May, in an attempt to retain her leadership, has now informed Queen Elizabeth that she intends to form a minority government, utilizing support from the Euro-skeptic, Democratic Unionist Party(DUP), of Northern Ireland.
May's failure to gain enough seats in order to unitary form a conservative government, has obviously weakened her hands in negotiating Brexit with the EU, since she did not gather a clear mandate from voters. Her Conservative Party is expected to win 319 seats; Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, 261, a gain of 29; the Scottish National Party 35 seats, 21 less than last election; Liberal Democrats 12, a gain of 4; DUP 10, a gain of 2 and other parties 13 seats, 2 less than last election.
The conservative seats of 319 plus the DUP 10 seats would allow May to form a coalition minority government, which could be finalized by June 13. However, Labour and other parties could also seek to form a government should May fail to attain the backing of the DUP.
Yesterday's UK election results again affirm the unpredictability of UK voters, who shocked the world last year in narrowly voting to leave the EU. May's gross failing to attain at least 326 seats, clearly calls into question the logic behind her reasoning for calling the non necessary election. Now that her party has fewer seats than before the election, will she still be able to retain her job as leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister? The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have called for her to step down.