The Conservative Party fails to secure definitive majority after election
UPDATE: 09/06/17 13:30
Theresa May and the Conservative Party are set to form a minority government with the assistance of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Following a closely fought election – and with one constituency yet to be declared – the Conservatives stand 8 seats short of achieving the 326 MPs needed to form a majority government alone.
Following a boost of votes in Northern Ireland, the DUP has entered into an informal arrangement with the Conservatives, to give the two parties a majority of 7 in the House of Commons.
Speaking to the press shortly after asking the Queen for permission to form a minority government, Prime Minster Theresa May, said:
‘What the country needs more than ever is certainty, and having secured the largest number of seats in the General Election, it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons. As we do, we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist Party in particular.’
The vote of the British public has seen the UK wake up to a hung parliament this morning – with no single party securing enough seats to win an outright majority.
The Conservative party has emerged as the largest party in the UK, at the time of writing gaining a total of 317 seats across the UK – but failing to secure the majority mandate that party leader and prime minister Theresa May was looking to achieve when she called the election seven weeks ago.
Labour experienced a significant surge in the polls, building on the number of seats they achieved in the 2015 General Election, to see 261 MPs elected and once more establishing Jeremy Corbyn’s party as the largest opposition in Parliament.
With Theresa May still seeking to secure her position at the head of the next government, and with two seats still to be declared at the time of writing, the Conservatives cannot mathematically reach the 326 seats needed to form a majority government alone and will need to form an arrangement with another party to secure that figure.
Elsewhere in the UK, the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured their place as the UK’s third largest party, with 35 seats gained in Parliament. However, the election marked a substantial loss of seats for the party, with 19 of the constituencies won in 2015 being lost to the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats saw a total of 12 MPs elected to Parliament, Plaid Cymru secured a further seat in Wales to bring their total to 4 and the Green Party retained their single seat as co-leader Caroline Lucas extended her majority.
In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) were able to increase their share in Parliament to 10 seats, whilst Sinn Fein rose to 7 seats.
With Brexit negotiations due to begin later this month, the formation of any government by Theresa May is expected to settled swiftly in the coming days, with the DUP emerging as the likely candidates to form a coalition government in the wake of the election.