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The Guardians of Democracy

Theresa May’s Conservatives Lose Majority, Brexit In Limbo: UK Exit Polls

DEMOCRACY

Theresa May’s Conservatives Lose Majority, Brexit In Limbo: UK Exit Polls

Exit poll figures from the BBC released as polls closed suggested the Conservative Party will lose seats as a result of Thursday’s election, indicating the UK could be on course for a hung parliament.




The Conservatives had 330 seats in parliament before the snap election compared to 229 for Labour. A party must control 326 to have a majority.

The BBC has now updated its exit poll, and converted it into a forecast.

Here are the key figures:

Conservatives: 322 (up eight on the figure in the 10pm exit poll)

Labour: 261 (down five)

If this is accurate, the Tories would be just four seats short of a majority.

That means, with the support of Northern Ireland unionists, they could expect to pass a budget and a Queen’s speech, and outvote Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems on key legislation.

Here is the Press Association’s latest forecast:

Sky News has produced its own forecast for the final results. (The broadcasters share the exit poll, but after that, as the results come in, they produce their own analysis.)

They expect the Tories to get between 308 and 328 seats. Their central forecast is 318, which is four up on the exit poll, but four below the BBC’s forecast.

The results, if accurate this time, look to be a disaster for Prime Minister Theresa May of the Conservatives, who was looking to solidify and strengthen her party’s majority before beginning negotiations to Brexit, or leave the European Union.

On ITV George Osborne, the former Conservative chancellor, said he thought Theresa May could have to resign if the exit poll is accurate:

“I worked very well with Theresa May and I think she has intelligence and integrity.

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.

But you know we are all talking about a poll. So I’m nervous of making certain statements but look, the problem she will have if it’s anything like that number, she’s got Irish unionists … that does not get you necessarily to 326 and the Liberal Democrats on 14 here are, so unlikely to go into coalition with the Conservatives this time round, not least because they’ve made commitments to things like a second European referendum.

So I look at those numbers, I helped put together the Coalition in 2010 and you could make the numbers quite easily add up if you could get the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives to come together. I look at these numbers, you can’t make them add up.”

Ukip are sharpening the knives for Theresa May. This is from the Ukip leader Paul Nuttall:

Robert Harris, a writer and former political editor and columnist, said:

A telling observation from the Press Association’s Scotland political editor:




According to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, senior Tory now accept the exit poll is broadly right:

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary and now clear favorite to become next Conservative leader, has arrived at his count in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

It is early to comment on the results, he says, but it is clear that the Tories have to listen to people’s concerns.

“It is early to comment on the events unfolding tonight in this general election, but one thing is absolutely clear, I think, to all of us who are being elected as MPs tonight across our fantastic country, and that is we’ve got to listen to our constituents and their concerns.”

Jeremy Corbyn called on Theresa May to resign:

Labour Party candidate Jeremy Corbyn accidentally slapped a Shadow Defense Secretary in the chest instead of high-fiving her in a clip that went viral Thursday night.

Corbyn and Emily Thornbery, the Shadow Defence Secretary, were celebrating their party’s better than expected returns in the U.K. election when Corbyn went for a high-five and hit Thornberry in the chest.

The two laughed it off and hugged, but the clip quickly spread throughout social media.

Theresa May sounded broken as she delivered the “victory” speech at her count. It was very short, but it provided the first clue we’ve had as to how she intends to react to tonight’s result.

Here is the key passage:

“At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability. And if, as the indications have shown, and 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 that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do …

As we ran this campaign, we set out to consider the issues that are the key priority for the British people: getting the Brexit deal right, ensuring that we both identify and show how we can address the big challenges facing our country, doing what is in the national interest. That is always what I have tried to do in my time as a member of parliament and my resolve to do that is the same this morning as it always has been.

As we look ahead and wait to see what the final results will be, I know that the country needs a period of stability. And whatever the results are the Conservative party will ensure that we fulfill our duty in ensuring that stability so that we can all, as one country, go forward together.”

The Guardian added:

“It was interesting that May seemed to admit there was a chance Labour could end up with more votes than the Conservatives.

By talking about a period of stability, and stressing that the Tories have won most seats, she was asserting the Conservative party’s right to try to form a minority government. (She is right; constitutionally, the serving government gets first go at trying to get a Queen’s speech through parliament.)

But what was really striking was how May pitched this in terms of what the Conservative party would do, rather than what she would do personally. There was something slightly valedictory about her reference always trying to do what is in the national interest. There was also a curious bit at the start of the speech when she talked about looking forward to continuing to work on improving the constituency. It is likely that May has not taken any final decisions, but she sounded like someone preparing mentally to make way for a successor.”

The Green party continues to play a good social media game:

Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, says Theresa May’s authority has been destroyed:

All the results from Wales are in. Here is what the new political map of the country looks like:

Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, is alarmed about the prospect of Brexit being watered down. He thinks even David Davis, the Brexit secretary, is making concessions:

This, from David Davis earlier, is worth noting. Davis, the Brexit secretary, seemed to admit that the government could lose its mandate to take the UK out of the single market and the customs union:

This is from the BBC’s Chris Mason:

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour is “ready to serve this country”.

He says the Brexit negotiations will have to go ahead and that he wants a “job first” Brexit. He says delaying negotiations is out of Britain’s hands.

“We put forward our policies – strong and hopeful policies – and have gained an amazing response from the public. I think it’s pretty clear who won this election,” he told the BBC.

Asked if he hoped to form a government, he said: “we’re ready to serve the people who have given their trust to us.”

Corbyn also repeated his call for the prime minister to resign.

“She fought the election on the basis that it was her campaign; it was her decision to call the election, it was her name out there; she was saying she was doing it to bring about strong and stable government. Well this morning, it doesn’t look like a strong government, it doesn’t look like a stable government, it doesn’t look like a government that has any program whatsoever,” he said.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says Labour wants to form a minority government.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Neil he said: “If we can form a minority government, I think we can have a stable government. We would be able to produce a Queen’s speech and budget based upon our manifesto, which I think could command majority support in parliament, not through deals or coalitions but policy by policy. That would prevent another election.

He added: “We are not looking for a coalition or deals.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster has hinted she expects May to stand down.

“It will be difficult for her to survive given that she was presumed at the start of the campaign, which seems an awfully long time ago, to come back with maybe a hundred, maybe more, in terms of her majority,” she told BBC Radio Ulster.

“Now we’re in the position we find ourselves in tonight so it will be an incredibly difficult evening for her.”

Foster said any discussions about an informal agreement with the SNP would be over the weekend. “It’s too soon to say what we are going to do yet, we need to see the final make-up of parliament and we need to reflect on that,” she said.

“There will be contact made over the weekend but it is too soon to work out what we are going to do.”

Former Labour foreign secretary and one time Labour leadership hopeful, David Miliband, has expressed his surprise and delight at the result. “So good brutal Brexit rejected,” he tweeted.

The first evidence of turnout levels amongst younger voters is that it rose 12 points to 56% of 18-34 year olds since 2015, according to an ‘exit poll” by the NME/The Stream.

The survey, based on 1,354 respondents, confirms that a majority of younger voters opted for Labour with 60% of under 35s saying they voted Labour.

This rose to 66% of 18-24 year olds saying they voted to back Jeremy Corbyn’s party. The survey found that 36% were first-time voters and that half went to the polls with a friend or family member with Brexit the main deciding factor in their decision to vote

Mike Williams, NME editor-in-chief, says: “A lot of talk during this election has been about whether young people would bother to get out and vote. They did, in huge numbers, and on a scale not seen in the UK in recent years. We at NME are incredibly proud to see this, and it’s further proof that young people in the UK are massively engaged with politics in 2017.”

FINAL RESULTS:

Total seats won:

Conservative Party: 319 (-12)
Labour Party: 261 (+31)
Liberal Democrats: 12 (+3)
Scottish National Party: 35 (-19)
Democratic Unionist Party: 10 (+2)
UKIP: 0 (0)
Green: 1 (0)
Others: 12

326 seats for a majority

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