June 28, 2017

British Prime Minister Vows to Carry on Despite Election Losses

10 June 2017, 04:46 | Archie Newman

British Prime Minister Vows to Carry on Despite Election Losses

Up high? Too slow! Corbyn's high-five ends in awkward thud

A move meant to strengthen the hand of British Prime Minister Theresa May backfired Thursday when her party lost seats in the UK Parliament.

May unexpectedly called the snap election seven weeks ago, even though no vote was due until 2020.

Britain's Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures as he arrives for the declaration at his constituency in London, Friday, June 9, 2017.

Rachel Sheard, who cast her vote near the site of the London Bridge attack, said the election had not gone as expected - and that it certainly wasn't about Brexit. In the 2015 election, for instance, the Scottish National Party got only 4.7% of the national vote but 56 of the 650 seats-because its voters were all in thinly populated Scotland. "I would have thought that's enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country", Corbyn said.

May took a gamble in April by calling for the snap election.

An uncompromising demand for a hard break from Europe may have to be downgraded to a far more modest rupture, Kearns said, perhaps even one that doesn't look much like an exit at all.

With results declared for almost all of the 650 seats, Conservatives won 318 while the opposition Labour secured 261, leaving neither party anywhere close to the 326 seats required for an overall majority. Instead of masses losses predicted ahead of the election, Corbyn was hailed by supporters as a conquering hero for increasing the Labour vote. That's only happened four times before, with the last time coming in 2010, when the Conservatives formed a majority coalition with the Liberal Democrats. "She's a zombie prime minister". "Time for everyone to regroup".

British Prime Minister Theresa May has told the Queen she has the numbers to form government, and will provide Brexit and anti-terror "certainty".

"The pound we can say is a big sell-off". If confirmed, the lack of a clear majority for any party could force a more consensual approach. The UK notified the European Union in March that it would quit the bloc, starting a two-year countdown to its exit. Exports of goods and services account for about 27 per cent of the British economy, with nearly half of exports going to the EU. Meanwhile a minority or Conservative-led coalition government may have to compromise on the pace of fiscal consolidation or specific policy measures to maintain parliamentary support (the reversal of proposals to increase social contributions for the self-employed in March's budget highlighted a degree of inflexibility in fiscal policy making).

Though May had failed to disclosed her plans for Brexit in the run-up to the election, some commentators are saying that the "hard Brexit" that May was aiming for - a complete removal from the European single market - may no longer be possible with May's reduced authority in the House of Commons.

The DUP has close ties with the Conservatives, and it is in favor of the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union.

"Britain will now go into its most important challenge in 40 years - extricating itself from the European Union - at a severe disadvantage", NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from London. "Her position I think is very, very hard".

"Regardless of this disaster for the Tories. we need a government capable of negotiating, which is able to negotiate Britain's exit".

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