Theresa May Promises 'Certainty' After Queen Approves Plan For Coalition Government

Danny Woods
June 10, 2017

After receiving formal permission from the monarchy, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will try to form a new government after her Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in Thursday's election.

Although winning the most seats, her centre-right party lost its majority in parliament, meaning it will now rely on support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Together, the Conservatives and the DUP would have 328 seats in parliament, just above the 326 needed.

Speaking to media outside Number 10, Ms May spoke as certainly as though her Conservative party had won an absolute majority - which it hasn't.

"This will allow us to come together as a country and channel our energies towards a successful Brexit deal that works for everyone in this country, securing a new partnership with the European Union which guarantees our long term prosperity".

Steven Fielding, a professor of politics at the University of Nottingham, called her "a zombie prime minister".

Following a meeting with the Queen to seal her continued premiership, she asserted only the Conservatives and the DUP have "the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons" having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the General Election.

Visibly exhausted, May said that she obviously "wanted a different result" in Thursday's vote and that she is "sorry for all those colleagues who lost their seats who didn't deserve to lose".

But in one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, a resurgent Labour Party denied her an outright win, throwing the country into political turmoil.

Brexit talks were scheduled to start on June 19 but could now be delayed, a source of major uncertainty and concern for investors. Her main opponent - Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, known for his left-wing views - was stumbling from mishap to mishap, unable even to muster solid support from his party's own lawmakers.

Above all, investors are anxious about the general uncertainty surrounding the country - whether a bruised May will be able to govern effectively or whether she may eventually resign.

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With all but one constituency declared, the Conservatives won 318 seats - down from 331 at the 2015 election - while Labour was on 261, up from 229. Mostly, the European Union mood was one of frustration that the already tough Brexit talks were likely to become only more hard.

"Without a government, there's no negotiation", he said Friday morning by phone on Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio.

"I think it would be very, very hard indeed for her to stay on", political analyst Carole Walker told CNN.

"It was her decision to call the election, it was her name out there and she was saying she was doing it to bring about strong and stable government", said Jeremy Corbyn.

BBC political reporter Laura Kuenssberg reported on Twitter that a source within the Conservative Party told her there was a "50/50" chance that May would resign.

"She's safe for the foreseeable future, people want her to get Brexit started", a member of the government told TIME.

"The country needs a period of stability, and whatever the results are the Conservative Party will ensure we fulfill our duty in ensuring that stability", she said.

Other big prices to pay for the party's support in Westminster could be the reinstatement of any European Union subsidies that farmers lose after Brexit (worth about £350 million a year) as well as around £400 million of Brussels funding for community development and cross-border projects as part of a dividend for the peace process. He is also lobbying against "undue restrictions on free movement of people, which we know will damage the capacity of the creative industries to deliver".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Sturgeon should take the prospect of a new independence referendum off the table.

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