After weeks of campaigning and back and forth spiel about their respective merits and problems, the political parties left the future of the country up to the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 8th June. After a tense, few hours the results came trickling through. No one party won an outright majority, the Conservatives won 315 seats (at the time of writing) and Labour won 261 seats. With 326 seats needed for an outright majority, no one party could claim that right. Consequently, many have begun wondering what this now means, in this article, we shall highlight the possible outcomes of the hung Parliament.
Firstly, a coalition government seems the most likely outcome. The Conservatives are the largest party in Parliament with 315 seats, whilst the DUP have 10 seats, considering the previous working relationship these two parties have, a coalition between the two of them does seem likely. At present with four seats still to declare their results, it is possible that the Conservatives would gain enough seats there to be able to properly form a coalition government with the DUP, though of course there would need to be a lot of negotiation before a proper agreement is reached. Given that Brexit negotiations are due to start in earnest within the next few weeks, any negotiations cannot take too long, as Britain will want to present a united front when it comes to the negotiation table.
Secondly, Theresa May could if all else fails form a minority government. This would mean that though she does not have an outright majority in the House of Commons, as the biggest party in the Commons, her party would be able to hold the position of government of the United Kingdom, but they would be reliant on other parties to make the passing of laws easier. This last happened during the 1970s, under Labour and led to a lot of civil unrest, as Labour was held hostage by the Trade Unions and infighting. Consequently, it does not hold much appeal to anyone who has an inkling of history. Furthermore, as previously mentioned Brexit negotiations are fast approaching, and the government would wish for as strong a hand as possible when entering the negotiations. A minority government would not give them that, due to a belief that they lack democratic legitimacy in some corners. And ensuring that any agreement reached has smooth sailing in the Commons would be much harder, with MPs more likely to stick to their own inkling than toe the party line.
To conclude, this election has produced a surprise result, especially when one considers that Theresa May was twenty points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn when she called the election in April. With her stumbling performance and countless U-Turns on policy, the gaps in her ability to lead have been exposed combined with Jeremy Corbyn’s growth in confidence, and the Hung Parliament begins to make more sense. We are in for a very interesting few weeks.