German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges swift Brexit talks after United Kingdom vote
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 12:02
The surprisingly lackluster performance of the Conservatives in Britain's snap election yesterday has dealt a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May.
After visiting Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, a part of electoral procedure, May announced she would try to form a minority government supported by the Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP, from Northern Ireland.
Prime Minister Theresa May appeared increasingly isolated after a botched election gamble that left her severely weakened and plunged Britain into a political crisis, days before the start of talks to leave the European Union.
Johnson tweeted that an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper headlined "Boris set to launch bid to be PM as May clings on" was "tripe".
May said that "I want to reflect on the election and why it did not deliver the result I hoped for".
"The arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost, and we need to change", he said.
She said the government would start Brexit negotiations with the European Union as scheduled in 10 days' time.
On Thursday, the United Kingdom held a snap general election, which resulted in a hung parliament as the Conservatives failed to secure an overall majority in the House of Commons and fell short of the required 326 seats. Labour surpassed expectations by winning 262.
"What the country needs more than ever is certainty", May said.
"Honestly, it feels nearly like she is nearly not aware of what has happened in the last 24 hours", Conservative lawmaker Heidi Allen told LBC radio. "I just don't see how she can continue in any long-term way".
It's unclear what Theresa May's next move will be, but pundits are suggesting she will likely strike a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, who now hold 10 seats. May's office said Saturday principles of an agreement had been reached, but the two sides later clarified that they are still talking. That is simply unsustainable, said political analyst Ian Dunt, author of the book Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? That means the DUP will back the government on key votes, but it's not a coalition government or a broader pact. The DUP is a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and had links to Protestant paramilitary groups during Ireland's sectarian "Troubles".
Michael Geary, a fellow at the Wilson Center think tank, said: "The Conservatives will remain the biggest party and will mostly likely govern alone albeit with DUP support from the backbenches".
The government does not have long to ink a deal.
May has said Brexit talks will begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day as the formal reopening of parliament. The speech will be followed by several days of debate and a vote - and defeat would nearly certainly topple the government.
"We put forward our policies - strong and hopeful policies - and they've gained an unbelievable response and traction", he said.
"I felt passionate about voting to make sure Theresa May knew that young people like me would never support her or a Conservative government", said 23-year-old student Janet Walsh, who voted Labour.
Page said Corbyn, a lifelong left-wing activist who has spent decades speaking to crowds, was underestimated as a campaigner.
Elation in the Corbyn camp is tempered by electoral reality, said Dunt, making a comparison to last year's US presidential campaign.