British PM Seeks Minority Government Following Election Losses

Kristopher Drake
June 19, 2017

She said: "I'm sorry for all those colleagues who lost their seats".

British politicians differ widely on what they want from the Brexit negotiating process, seeing it as a way to shift Britain either to the right or left. And dreams of an independent Scotland from Scottish nationalists have been shattered.

May confirmed she meant to start talks with the Europeans on June 19 as planned, promising to "get to work".

To stay in power, the Conservatives are seeking support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

Conservative supporters also said Brexit had been the most important factor in their decision, as did Liberal Democrat voters.

Scotland voted to remain in the European Union, and Ms Davidson has called for a softer approach to the withdrawal process.

The parties must reach an agreement by March 2019 if the United Kingdom is to avoid crashing out of the bloc with no deal. And she chose the terrain on which the battle should be fought, doubling down on a hard Brexit in the hope of winning over Ukip voters and pro-Brexit Labour supporters. And the relationship between the Conservatives and its minority government partner, the Democratic Unionist Party, also remains unclear. The DUP's 10 seats push May to 328, two seats above the threshold for a working majority. The DUP is a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and had links to Protestant paramilitary groups during Ireland's sectarian "Troubles".

May called the election to win explicit backing for her stance on Brexit, which involves leaving the EU's single market and imposing restrictions on immigration while trying to negotiate free trade deal with the bloc. Minority governments like these are not as secure, as the party with more seats is dependent on the voting support of the less powerful party.

In the day's other major story: One headline in London said it all, "Mayhem", the morning after a ballot box drubbing for British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks watched by her husband Philip in 10 Downing street, London, as she addresses the press Friday, June 9, 2017 following an audience with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace where she asked to form a government. Meanwhile, Corbyn's popularity kept rising, eventually passing Prime Minister May's numbers in some polls.

According to Britain's best-selling Sun newspaper, senior members of May's own Conservative Party had vowed to get rid of her, but chose to wait at least six months because they were anxious that a leadership contest now could propel Corbyn into power.

The Labour Party was crippled by in-fighting and defections.

The real question is, had this election been fought under the five year term parliament act, with its long lead in period, would Jeremy Corbyn in the end have overhauled Theresa May? May is under pressure after the Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority in Thursday's election. May has in effect, created an opposition that didn't exist before.

ANNA SOUBRY, Member of Parliament, Conservative Party: This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party and we need to take stock, and our leader needs to take stock as well.

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