Understanding Uk's Latest election results

Teresa May

The Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for early elections backfired, as the Tories lost seats in the House of Commons and have caused a “hung parliament”.  

On June 8th 2017, millions of British citizens headed to the polling stations to vote on an early General Elections. The ballot was supposed to take place in 2020, but on last April Prime Minister Theresa May (member of the Conservative party) moved it three years earlier, stating her need to strengthen her position before the Brexit negotiations got started. Even though the Tories already had the majority at the House of Commons, she was expecting to gain more seats, so that the Brexit discussions could run smoothly and, therefore, would not be obstructed by the opposition parties.

The Conservatives lost 12 seats and now they hold 319 seats in total, while the Labour party rose by 29 seats, the best election results for the group since 1990, and now holds 261 seats in total. Despite that there’s still a Conservative majority in the House, it doesn’t have the enough votes to approve laws (326), which is why the institution is now trapped in a “hung parliament”, a term that refers to when no single party has an outright majority.

The outcome has been interpreted as critic to May’s leadership and has also questioned the legitimacy of her government to conduct the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, which started last Monday in Brussels.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party and to many the winner of the past General Elections, has called for the Prime Minister’s resignation, but May has shown no intention to leave at all. In fact, she’s been having conversations with the Democratic Unionist Party (commonly described as a right-wing extremist and populist party), which won 10 seats in Northern Ireland, to catch their votes ir order to obtain an overall majority in Parliament. This approach hasn’t convinced the whole party and is causing division within the Tories.

The main concern is how the “hung parliament” will affect the Brexit talks. The EU leaders fear that the lack of stability in May’s government and the insufficient support her party has in the House, could end the discussions with no deal at all, lengthening the uncertainty of the process.

LatinAmerican Post | Soledad Balduzzi

Copy edited by Ricardo Avella

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