Theresa May Loses Overall Majority In U.K. Parliament…Under Pressure To Resign

theresa may

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain suffered a major setback in a tumultuous election on Thursday, losing her overall majority in Parliament and throwing her government into uncertainty less than two weeks before it is scheduled to begin negotiations over withdrawing from the European Union.

Mrs. May, the Conservative leader, called the snap election three years early, expecting to cruise to a smashing victory that would win her a mandate to see Britain through the long and difficult negotiations with European leaders over the terms of leaving the union.

But according to results reported early Friday morning, the extraordinary gamble Mrs. May made in calling the election backfired. She could no longer command enough seats to avoid a hung Parliament, meaning that no party has enough lawmakers to establish outright control.

With 98 percent of the seats in the House of Commons accounted for, the BBC reported that Mrs. May’s Conservatives would remain the largest party. But they were projected to win only 318 seats, down from the 331 they won in 2015, and eight seats short of a majority.

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Britons quickly started wondering whether Mrs. May would have to resign.

One Conservative lawmaker, Anna Soubry, said on national television that it had been a “dreadful campaign” and would force the prime minister to “consider her position.”

The opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, was projected to be on track for 262 seats, up 30 from 2015, significantly elevating Mr. Corbyn’s standing after predictions that his party would be further weakened.

“Whatever the final result, we have already changed the face of British politics,” Mr. Corbyn said.

Last month, in an effort to show “just how much is at stake” in the election, Mrs. May acknowledged that even a small loss of seats would amount to a defeat.

“The cold, hard fact is that if I lose just six seats, I will lose this election, and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with the presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of Europe,” she wrote in The Daily Mail.

 

But early on Friday, Mrs. May hinted that her Conservative Party would try to form a government even if it did not have a majority, arguing that Britain needed “a period of stability.”

The New York Times

 

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