British Election Ends With A Hung Parliament
On Thursday, British Prime Minster Theresa May lost her majority in Parliament after an election that May herself called for. According to the BBC, May's conservative party fell short of winning the 326 seats needed to maintain its parliamentary majority. Although the conservatives will remain the most dominant party in Parliament, the British system of government requires a majority for a party to claim the prime minister spot.
When no party wins a majority, the Parliament is considered "hung." May and her conservatives will now have to work with minority parties in an attempt to form a coalition government that could keep her in the top spot. At the same time, the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, could also work to form a coalition government to unseat May.
For May, the election clearly took a turn for the worse. She had reportedly hoped to secure an even larger majority as the United Kingdom heads further into the Brexit process. She even arranged for the election to take place three years ahead of schedule, according to CNN. As of the early hours of Friday morning, though, it appeared that May's future as prime minister and Brexit's future were both very much unclear.
Corbyn celebrated the Labour party's sucess by declaring, "Politics has changed." His party grew the most over the course of Thursday's election, with Labour adding more than 30 seats to its Parliamentary total.
Politics has changed. Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before. What’s happened is people have said they’ve had quite enough of austerity politics.
Meanwhile, May's statement on the election night was less celebratory and more matter of fact.
If the Conservative party has won the most seats and most votes, then it will be incumbent that we will have that period of stability and that is what we will do.
While the hung parliament seemed a relative victory to Corbyn, it meant a spell of uncertainty for the country — namely, its economy. Without a clear mandate from U.K. voters, the future of the government and its position heading into the impending Brexit negotiations looks like a world of unknown. Uncertainty is notoriously troublesome for markets, and economists reportedly feared that the pound would suffer.
According to The Guardian's geographic breakdown of Thursday's results, Corbyn found particular support around some of Britain's biggest cities, including London and Manchester, which have both seen deadly terrorist attacks rock their communities within the past few weeks. Ultimately, it will now be up to May and her fellow conservatives to branch out to the naysayers from other parties to maintain power. Otherwise, she could lose the prime minister gig just when she had likely wanted to solidify it further.