British Prime Minister Theresa May’s gamble in calling an early election appeared Friday to have backfired spectacularly, with a real possibility that her Conservative Party could lose its majority in Parliament.
If confirmed, the result would lead to a period of political uncertainty
With more than two-thirds of the seats counted, the results appeared to be generally bearing out an exit poll that predicted the Conservatives would get 314 of the 650 seats in Parliament, down from 330, while the Labour Party was projected to win 266, up from 229.
As the results piled up, some form of minority or coalition government appeared increasingly likely.
The results confounded those who said the opposition Labour Party’s left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was electorally toxic.
It drew strong support from young people, who appeared to have turned out to vote in bigger-than-expected numbers.
It would also put pressure to resign on May, who called the snap election in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain’s hand in exit talks with the European Union
“The country needs a period of stability and whatever the results are the Conservative Party will ensure we fulfil our duty in ensuring that stability so that we can all, as one country, go forward together,” she said.
Others predicted she would soon be gone
“If the poll is anything like accurate, this is completely catastrophic for the Conservatives and for Theresa May,” former Conservative Treasury chief George Osborne said on ITV. “Clearly if she’s got a worse result than two years ago and is almost unable to form a government, then she, I doubt, will survive in the long term as Conservative Party leader.”
The result was bad news for the Scottish National Party, which by early Friday had lost about 20 of its 54 seats.
May had hoped the election would focus on Brexit, but that never happened.
PM Theresa May’s popularity recently witnessed a dip in recent weeks after the two terror attacks in London and Manchester.
Rachel Sheard, who cast her vote near the site of the London Bridge attack, said the election certainly wasn’t about Brexit.