UK general election backfires on Theresa May
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 17:13
Their former leader, Nick Clegg, who was deputy prime minister from 2010 to 2015, lost his seat.
(Danny Lawson/PA via AP). Calls now abound for her resignation.
With 10 days to go before Brexit negotiations, it remains unclear whether Britain will have a government in place to take on the formal talks - or whether the government that starts the talks will be the government that finalizes them. The pound lost more than 2 cents against the dollar.
After the results of 633 seats were declared early on June 9, May's party had won 308 seats and she is no longer able to reach the 326 seats needed to claim a majority in Britain's 650-seat parliament, Reuters reported.
"This is a major disaster for her personal authority over the country and the Conservative Party, particularly because she made this election all about her "strong and stable" leadership", Jane Merrick wrote for CNN. The Labour Party under Ramsay MacDonald then took office and governed as a minority administration until October of that year when that government too was defeated.
May had unexpectedly called the snap election seven weeks ago, confident of sharply increasing the slim majority she had inherited from predecessor David Cameron before launching into the Brexit talks.
Barry Gardiner, a Labour lawmaker and the party's trade spokesman, said May's early election gamble had threatened Britain's chances of getting a good deal: "We are weaker as a result of her incompetence and indeed her arrogance", he told the BBC.
According to exit polling, no party will win an outright majority, leaving a hung Parliament. "And our leader needs to take stock as well".
"It's fair to say markets had been a little complacent about this result", he added.
Sterling fell by more than two cents against the USA dollar after an exit poll showed May losing her majority.
The results confounded those who said Corbyn was electorally toxic.
As she was resoundingly re-elected to her Maidenhead seat in southern England, May looked tense and did not spell out what she planned to do.
Asked what had gone wrong with the campaign, she replied: "Where do you want me to start?"
Leftist opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour party is just behind the Conservative, urged May to resign, saying she had "lost votes, lost support and lost confidence". However, with almost all votes counted, the Conservatives have only 315 seats, short of the 326 mark that ensures a majority.
"If we can form a minority government, I think we could have a stability government, not through deals or coalitions but policy by policy". Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the idea of a new independence referendum "is dead. Everybody knows what they are and everyone can see the huge increase in our support because of the way we conducted the election and the comprehensive nature of the programme we put forward". "So let's not kid ourselves", he said. "And I think she came across in the campaign as not only as wooden and robotic but actually pretty insincere".
"Without a government, there's no negotiation", he said Friday morning by phone on Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio. As the polls suggested a tightening race, pollsters spoke less often of a landslide and raised the possibility that May's majority would be eroded.
Mr Corbyn was hindered by his reputation as a far-left Marxist, and was continually confronted with his record on issues such as security and his reluctance to consider the use of Britain's nuclear deterrent.
Last Saturday, three assailants killed eight people around London Bridge during a stabbing rampage.
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a pop concert in Manchester on May 22, killing 22 people.
He claimed Boris Johnson, who backed out of the Conservative leadership contest which Mrs May won previous year, would have "a little smile on his face right now".