Theresa May will form a government propped up by 10 seats from the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland after the 2017 General Election ended with a hung parliament.
After visiting the Queen, the Prime Minister said that “only the Conservative and Unionist party has the legitimacy and ability to provide certainty” for the British public, despite a terrible election result for the Tories.
Many predicted a landslide win and greatly increased majority for the Conservatives when the snap election was called seven weeks ago, but they in fact lost seats and lost their majority altogether, prompting Jeremy Corbyn and other political figures to call for her resignation.
With a few results left to be declared, the Conservatives are expected to end the election on 318 seats, eight short of the 326 majority mark. Labour defied all expectations and are forecast to finish on 261 seats, a 29 seat increase on 2015. The Liberal Democrats gained some ground on the losses they suffered two years ago, while UKIP’s vote collapsed. In Scotland, the SNP also suffered big losses, dropping down to 35.
With the Exit Poll forecasting that the Tories would fail to secure a majority, reports early in the night suggested that Boris Johnson was already starting to canvass support from disgruntled Conservative MPs about support for his leadership bid. And Anna Soubry, who May removed as Small Business Minister last year, described the Prime Minister’s campaign as “dreadful”.
Speaking after her re-election in Maidenhead, Theresa May said: “At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability.
“And if, as the indications have shown and if this is correct that the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure we have that period of stability – and that is exactly what we will do.”
Elsewhere, big name politicians lost their seats. Nick Clegg, who was Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader just two years ago, lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam. Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and the SNP’s deputy leader in the House of Commons, Angus Robertson, both lost their seats to Conservative candidates. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and Home Secretary Amber Rudd faced big concerns that they would lose their seats, but both held on with small majorities. The Conservatives did, however, lose six of its ministers.