Clinging On To Her Job, Britain's May Appoints New Ministers
Jun 12 2017 by Lorena Waters
Ms. May's pitch to the eurosceptic rightwing of the Conservative Party has nudged Britain closer to a "hard Brexit", in which it may cut ties with Brussels at the cost of damaging itself economically by losing access to the lucrative single European market, say analysts.
But the ballot-box humiliation has seriously - and possibly mortally - wounded May's leadership just as Britain is about to begin complex exit talks with the European Union.
British newspapers summed it up in a word: Mayhem.
The vicar's daughter presented herself as a "strong and stable leader" but is now facing calls to resign after throwing away her party's majority. Now, if Theresa May really is going to sign up her party for a parliamentary arrangement of support for the Democratic Unionists, that appears to fundamentally undermine the entire basis of the Northern Ireland peace process.
"I obviously wanted a different result last night", a grim-faced May acknowledged, promising she would "reflect on what happened". Labour won 261 seats.
The final result was announced nearly 24 hours after polls closed.
The extent of the success in this election can not be judged by something Corbyn said or didn't say in his latest speech. They could form part of a "progressive coalition", an outcome which Labour supporters and members of Parliament were proposing as the results became clear. But, instead, support for her party declined dramatically, leaving her government far more precarious than before.
A stony-faced Mrs May, speaking on the doorstep of her official Downing Street residence, said the government would provide certainty and lead Britain in talks with the European Union to secure a successful Brexit deal.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin won seven seats, although it does not take up its seats in Westminster.
For American progressives watching the United Kingdom election Thursday, the results likely served a boost of spirit.
Seeking to capitalise on sky-high popularity ratings, she called the election a few weeks later, urging voters to give her a stronger mandate.
British voters just sent a strong signal that they are increasingly tired of xenophobic rhetoric and public policies based on the principle of economic austerity. May campaigned to get a larger majority, but now Britain has a hung Parliament, meaning that no party has enough seats to form a government.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said "we have made good progress but the discussions continue". We know when they must end. "We need stability", she said. The Queen, as she has done for over six decades, agreed with her prime minister.
However, critics called the statement "tone deaf and stubborn" after May neglected to acknowledge the fact that the Conservatives' position had significantly weakened. Some say her failure means the government must now take a more flexible approach to the divorce, potentially softening the exit terms.
The election's biggest victor was Corbyn, who confounded expectations that his left-wing views made him electorally toxic.
The Tories finished the election on June 8 with 318 seats, eight short of the 326 needed to hold a majority.
"For example, university tuition fees".
"The young have a bad deal", said Ben Page, chief executive of pollster Ipsos MORI. They want to get it started.
Writing in The Times she said: "Mrs May condoned their behaviour and turned a blind eye or didn't understand how destructive they both were".
At that point, polls predicted she would massively increase the slim majority she had inherited from Mr David Cameron. It was marked by a proposal to force elderly people to pay more for their care and her decision to skip a televised debate.
Late in the campaign, Britain was hit by two terror attacks that killed 30 people in Manchester and London, temporarily shifting the focus onto security issues.
Mrs May hopes to run a minority government with the support of the DUP's 10 MPs. He's saved his own skin because most of his own lawmakers a year ago voted to depose him.