In the wake of uncertainty following a hung verdict, British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted she will form the government that will guide the country through the Brexit talks. Giving a statement at Downing Street following a brief meet with Queen Elizabeth II, May said she will secure a new partnership with the European Union that secures long-term prosperity. She is expected to form the government with the support of 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs in the House of Commons.
In a shocking verdict for May, Britain delivered a hung parliament with no party getting a clear majority after the snap general elections called by the Prime Minister. To reach a majority, a party has to secure 326 seats – while the Conservatives have secured 318 seats, the Labour party is behind at 261 seats. The leader of the party that is able to form government will take control of Britain’s exit from the European Union – a two-year negotiation which will plot a new course for the $2.6 trillion economy. May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party. What next for Britain? Read.
Below are the live updates:
5.40 pm: Insisting that her country needs stability, May said she will deliver on will of British people by taking Britain out of European Union: Reuters
5.24 pm: Prime Minister Theresa May said she will form a government that will lead Britain through Brexit talks: AP
5.22 pm: “I will form a government to provide certainty,” says May while making a statement at Downing street. She said her government will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything they do.
5.20 pm: According to the Guardian, Theresa May has left Buckingham Palace after spending about 15 minutes with the Queen. She will give a statement in Downing street soon.
4.55 pm: Prime Minister Theresa May has reached Buckingham Palace for meeting with the Queen.
4.50 pm: In the wake of hung verdict, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said British Prime Minister Theresa May should resign: AP
4.25 pm: With one result to go, here’s how the current tally stands.
4.00 pm: Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is set for talks with Prime Minister May in order to form a new government. The Northern Ireland Party won 10 seats in the snap general elections: AP
2.53 pm: Prime Minister Theresa May to seek permission from queen to form a government despite losing majority: AP
2:15 pm: Conservative party leader Theresa May is scheduled to give a speech at 9:00 am GMT, according to Reuters.
2:00 pm: The Democratic Unionists told The Guardian that they will support May’s bid to lend support to Conservative government only if Northern Ireland is not granted any unique special status that would keep the region halfway inside the EU.
1:45 pm: According to Guardian, UK PM Theresa May appears to have no intention of resigning from her post. Seniors Conservatives told the newspaper the MAy is working to form a government, most likely by forming a pact with Northern Ireland’s DUP, which has 10 MPs.
1.30 pm: Manfred Weber, a German politician and Member of the European Parliament from Germany, says the Brexit clock is ticking and Britain better get itself a ‘negotiations-ready’ government soon.
1.20 pm: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says he’s surprised by the outcome of the UK elections. “The British have spoken, they have voted, and have given the Conservative party a majority, albeit a simple majority, which is something of a surprise,” Philippe was quoted as saying by Reuters. “I don’t think we should read these results as calling into question the stance on Brexit which was clearly expressed by the British people.”
1.16 pm: Corbyn says Labour is ready to form the government and is offering to implement its programme. “We are offering to put forward the programme on which we fought the election. We have done no deals, no pacts with anybody. We’re there as the Labour Party, with our points of view,” he says. “We’re of course ready to serve.”
He adds that Brexit negotiations will have to go ahead as Article 50 has already been invoked.
“May 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 is doing it to bring about a strong and stable government, but it doesn’t look like a government that has a programme whatsoever.”
“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 BBC.
1.13 pm: Nigel Farange, UKIP leader, tells BBC, “UKIP yesterday seemed to be irrelevant to the whole process, and yet today, we face a prospect where if this starts to get watered down, if we don’t get the Brexit the people voted for, then UKIP could be more relevant than it’s ever been.” UKIP secured less and two per cent of the vote on Friday.
1.06 pm: Corbyn has arrived at the party’s headquarters in London.
1.03 pm: The Conservatives, under the leadership of Theresa May, are in talks with North Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to try and reach an agreement. DUC has won 10 seats.
12.58 pm: Martin Schulz, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats, says he has called Jeremy Corbyn and has arranged to meet him in the near future. The German minister is hoping to oust Chancellor Angela Merkel in the elections scheduled in September for the German Chancellorship.
12.55 pm: Siegfried Muresan, Member of the European Parliament, tweets, “Until yesterday, Theresa May campaigned. Today she needs to start working. She needs to tell the British people the truth: #Brexit weakens UK.”
12.50 pm: The Labour Party’s will put itself forward to lead a minority government and will not do a deal with any other party to form a coalition, finance spokesperson John McDonnel tells BBC Radio. “We’ll put ourselves forward to serve the country and form a minority government and the reason for that is I don’t think the Conservative Party is stable, I don’t think the prime minister is stable. I don’t want to be derogatory but I think she is a lame duck prime minister,” he says.
12.37 pm: The pound has hit a five-month low against the Euro, trading at 1.1322. The news of Theresa May’s decision not to resign, and to strive to form a coalition government, has only made it dropped further.
12.33 pm: The Conservatives have held on to St Ives, while Labour has taken Reading East. The three seats left to declare are Cornwall North, Cornwall South East and St Austell & Newquay, all of which are in Southwest England.
12.30 pm: With just a handful of seats left to be declared, the tally stands at: Conservatives (313), Labour (260).
12.15 pm: German deputy foreign minister says ‘time is ticking’ and Brexit talks need to begin ASAP. “We need to get started on the negotiations as soon as possible because time is ticking,” Roth, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners, told German broadcaster ZDF. “Regardless of the question of who will form a government in Britain, time is ticking… We have less than two years to negotiate the exit … so we should not waste any time now.”
12.05 pm: Prime Minister Theresa May has ‘no intention’ of resigning and is working to build a coalition government, reported BBC political editor Laura Keunssberg.
12.00 pm: Here’s a quick comparison of what both parties promised for Brexit in their election manifestos:
Conservatives: May seeks a new deep and special partnership with the EU and to leave the single market and customs union. No deal is better than a bad deal for the UK, they believe.
Labour: Scrap everything the Conservatives have worked on and approach negotiations with fresh priorities and a strong emphasis to retain the single market and customs union.
11.54 am: Zac Goldsmith has won back his Richmond Park seat, six months after he lost it to Lib Dem candidate Sarah Olney. Goldsmith previously ran as an Independent, but has won back the seat as a Conservative. Labour’s Ian Austin has held onto his Dudley North seat. He beat Les Jones of the Conservative Party.
11.50 am: Former Finnish premier Alexander Stubb tweets, “Looks like we might need a time-out in the Brexit negotiations. Time for everyone to regroup.”
Looks like we might need a time-out in the #Brexit negotiations. Time for everyone to regroup.
— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) June 9, 2017
11.45 am: European Union leaders are not happy with the hung Assembly in the UK, with many grumbling about how Brexit talks will now be delayed. Formal Brexit negotiations, which were to begin on Monday, June 19, are likely to be delayed until the new government is formed. On the other hand, we don’t know how EU leaders will react to a change in leadership, as it will imply a change in position on Brexit.
Guenther Oettinger, the German member of the European Commission, told Reuters that it was unclear whether negotiations will begin as scheduled.
The EU is also concerned that Britain’s exit, which is scheduled on March 30, 2019, may take place without a smooth transition that was initially discussed. The bloc fears Britain will exit, as was decided on paper, without fully negotiating the terms of its departure.
Also read what a hung Parliament means and what next for Britain here.
11.36 am: The blame-game is underway within the Conservative Party, reports Guardian political editor Heather Stewart. Some are blaming David Davis, a Cabinet minister, who pushed hardest for the snap polls, the results of which have now proved difficult for the party.
“There are a lot of very, very pissed of people in the Cabinet — and with him in particular,” Stewart quotes sources.
11.30 am: As the incumbent, May and her team of ministers retain full legal powers and will continue heading the government, until a new one is sworn in. As of now, Conservatives are split in their decision of May’s political future. Jacob Rees-Mogg believes May will continue enjoying the support of the party. “She’s only been the leader for under a year, she got it without any opposition, an uncontested election with the support up and down the country,” he said.
“We need a government that can act,” EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk was quoted as saying by Reuters. “With a weak negotiating partner, there’s a danger that the negotiations will turn out badly for both sides.”
Anna Soubry, pro-European lawmaker, says, “I’m afraid we ran a pretty dreadful campaign, that’s probably me being generous.” She called on May to “consider her position.”
11.20 am: Even though the Labour Party has won less seats than the Conservatives, a hung Parliament could work in its favour. Labour is politically closer to the smaller parties, like the Liberal Democrats or the pro-European SNP, on several issues. However, the Lib Dems have opted out of a coalition government — for now — while the latter has said it wants to stop another Conservative government.
11.15 am: With no party managing to cross the 326-mark, needed to form the government, the incumbent has the right to make the first attempt to form a coalition government, very similar to the practice in India. Now, as incumbent, Theresa May will have to gain the support of other party members — which may be tough considering her tough stance on Brexit — to stay in power. Remember, before the snap elections, May had said losing majority would destroy her authority… which it has.
11.10 am: The Guardian reports that Corbyn is expected to travel to Labour Party’s Southside headquarters to thank and congratulate party workers. He is currently at home.
11.08 am: The Scottish National Party has manages to hold onto the North East Fife seat in Scotland, beating the Liberal Democrats by just two votes. The candidate who won was Stephen Gethins, the party’s Europe spokesperson.
11.00 am: If you’re just joining us, Britain is heading for a hung Assembly, with neither the Conservatives of the Labour Party getting a clear majority — Conservatives have secured 310 seats, and Labour 258 in the 650-member House. Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the snap polls ahead of Britain’s negotiations to exit the European Union, has the right to make the first attempt at a coalition now.
We know Theresa May can’t now negotiate Brexit for Britain because she told us losing majority would destroy her authority—and it has.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) June 9, 2017
10.19 am: The BBC confirms a hung parliament, with Conservative party remaining the largest party.
With just 27 seats left to declare, turnout is running at 68.6% – the highest for a UK general election since 1997. #GE2017
— Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) June 9, 2017
10.10 am: JP Morgan says likelihood of the UK needing to request a delay in the brexit process has risen substantially.
9.55 am: What are the possible scenarios after the result?
* May wins with enhanced majority – This would be when the Conservative party increases the number of seats it won in 2015.
* May wins but no overall gains: 12-seat majority or less – The number of seats won in 2015 remains the same.
* Hung parliament: no clear winner – The most real possibility right now, this is when no party emerges with a clear majority. Click here to read more.
9.48 am: The Liberal Democrats have won back Oxford West and Abingdon from the Conservatives – and with 11 MPs are into double figures, reports the Guardian.
9.43 am: Meanwhile…
Worst high 5 of all time…? pic.twitter.com/XyIE5oYt7H
— Dan Hewitt (@danhewittsky) June 9, 2017
9.35 am: Labour party candidate also gets first female Sikh Member of Parliament Preeti Kaur Gill from Birmingham Edgbaston.
9.32 am: Labour has won back Enfield Southgate, the site of the legendary 1997 Portillo moment, reports the Guardian.
9.30 am: House of Commons gets its first turban wearing Sikh, Labour Party candidate from Slough Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.
9.24 am: Conservative MP Anna Soubry says British PM Theresa May should consider her position, reports BBC.
9.18 am: 540 results out of 650 are out. Conservatives — 248. Labour — 228. Liberal Democrats — 10. SNP — 33. UKIP — 0. SNP — 0.
9.14 am: Former Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond loses seat in British election, reports AFP.
9.08 am: The many similarities and differences between elections in India and elections in UK, explained by SY Quraishi:
“The UK is the only country in the world where no identity proof is required. No photo on the electoral rolls. No marking of fingers. There are no party agents in the booth to verify the voter’s identity.” Click here to read.
9.04 am: Theresa May has emphasised that her party will try to form government if they do no secure majority in the Parliament.
8.57 am: A party needs to win 326 seats in order to secure majority. According to BBC’s latest forecast, no party will be able to reach that number.
Updated forecast – Tories 318, Labour 267, SNP 32, LDs 11
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 9, 2017
8.50 am: Scottish National Party’s leader Nicola Sturgeon calls the results “disappointing”.
8.45 am: Conservative Party is now leading with 225 seats, leaves Labour party behind with 222 seats
8.41 am: United Kingdom General Election: Indian students vote with enthusiasm and hope. Click here.
— Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) June 9, 2017
8.35 am: Close margin between Labour Party and Conservatives — 213 and 212 respectively.
8.30 am: See how newspapers reacted to exit polls. Click here
8.17 am: A key passage from Theresa May’s victory speech at Maidenhead, which The Guardian analyses, sounded “broken” —
“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.”
8.10 am: Labour party leading with 192 seats, Conservative Party not far behind with 188 seats, SNP with 27 seats — according to BBC.
8.05 am: Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at Islington North:
“I’m proud of the results tonight. People are voting for hope and turning their backs on austerity” – Jeremy Corbynhttp://t.co/jpy6wsvCIX pic.twitter.com/HFETXB1jj5
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 9, 2017
“This election was called for the prime minister to gain a larger majority in order to assert her authority. The election campaign has gone on for the past six weeks – I’ve travelled the whole country. I’ve spoken at events and rallies all over the country.
And you know what? Politics has changed. Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before. What’s happened is, people have said they’ve had quite enough of austerity politics, they’ve had quite enough of cuts in public expenditure, under-funding our health service, under-funding our schools, our education service, and not giving our young people the chance they deserve in our society.
And I’m very, very proud of the campaign that my party has run, our manifesto, for the many, not the few. And I’m very proud of the results that are coming in all over the country tonight of people voting for hope for the future, and turning their backs on austerity.”
8.00 am: Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron retains his seat at Westmorland and Lonsdale.
7.56 am: This country needs stability, says Theresa May at Maidenhead.
“Whatever the results are, the Conservative Party will… ensure stability, so we can all as one country go forward together”
PM Theresa May pic.twitter.com/5np9eVJSlR
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 9, 2017
7.53 am: Theresa May and husband Philip May in Maidenhead where May has been re-elected.
7.50 am: Did you know?
Indians without a British citizenship are eligible to vote in British Elections because they are citizens of the Commonwealth. They have to be a qualifying Commonwealth citizen — someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave.
7.45 am: Jeremy Corbyn urges Prime Minister Theresa May ‘to go’ after poor election for Conservatives.
7.42 am: Steven Morris of the Guardian reports – “Labour has taken back the UK’s most marginal seat – Gower in south Wales. The Tories won the seat with a majority of just 27 in 2015. Before that it had been a Labour seat since 1906.”
7.40 am: “Politics has changed, and politics isn’t going back to the box it was in before. People have had quite enough of austerity,” Jeremy Corbyn says in Islington North.
7.38 am: Jeremy Corbyn re-elected in Islington North.
7.35 am: The 2015 general election in UK gave 331 seats to Conservative Party, 232 to Labour Party and 56 seats to the SNP.
7.31 am: The Scottish National Party (SNP) with Nicola Sturgeon as its leader on the third position with 17 seats.
7.29 am: Boris Johnson has been re-elected in Uxbridge and Ruislip South, the Guardian reports.
7.25 am: A look at the front page of The Guardian, reporting the exit polls.
Guardian front page, 10.30pm edition: Exit poll shock for May pic.twitter.com/SN6Q5utBYD
— The Guardian (@guardian) June 8, 2017
7.23 am: Brexit minister Davis says it is too early to say that this is a bad night for Theresa May, reports Sky News
7.17 am: With 198 seats declared out of 650 in British election, Conservatives on 78, Labour on 93, according to Reuters.
7.12 am: Did you know?
Even though the Indian national elections and British elections are similar, a fundamental difference is that voters in the UK don’t get inked on their fingers or have their IDs checked. They just walk-in and cast their votes.
7.08 am: Labour Party at 90 seats, according to BBC.
7.00 am: With 153 seats out of 650 declared in British election, Conservatives on 57 and Labour on 76, reports Reuters.
6.57 am: “Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better,” Corbyn said in a tweet.
Whatever the final result, our positive campaign has changed politics for the better. pic.twitter.com/EHLta2rnIW
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 9, 2017
6.47 am: Labour Party is expected to take Glasgow.
6.45 am: The Labour Party is at 62 seats, Conservative Party at 47 and the Scottish National Party at 10 seats, according to the BBC.