Theresa May’s huge political gamble to call a snap General Election backfired disastrously, as the Conservatives lost 23 seats to Labour, stopping any chance of a majority vote, shocking the country with a hung parliament. A hung parliament is the result when no party gains the 326 seats needed to form an overall majority in the House of Commons, but what happens now?
There are several possible results that could come from a hung parliament; a coalition government like we had back in 2010 with the Tories and the Lib Dems, a minority government or a re-election.
Theresa May will remain the prime minister, and the Conservative government stays in office while it is decided who will form a new government unless she decides to resign.
As two parties with the most seats, Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn could opt to go it alone and form a minority government, meaning they would rely on the support of other parties to have their laws passed. Or, which is looking more likely now, they could enter negotiations with party leaders to try and form a coalition government. Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12:30pm today with ‘understanding’ of DUP support.
Gaining the most seats, May will have the first opportunity to create a majority. If May proves unable to create a majority, Corbyn will become the prime minister, although Corbyn doesn’t need to wait until May has exhausted her options and can begin to put a deal of his own together at the same time.
Currently, the first deadline to form a government is Tuesday 13th June, when Parliament will meet for the first time. May has until this date to put a deal together to keep herself in power or resign, but to resign, she must be confident that Corbyn can form a new government and she can’t. She may decide to wait until the new Parliament to see if she has the confidence of the House of Commons, and risk relying on the votes of other parties.
If May decides to resign, this will be a key test of whether the Labour leader can form a government.