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What Happens in a Hung Parliament?

by Countable | 6.9.17

The results of yesterday’s British snap election are in, and while Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives will remain the largest party in Parliament, they lost their outright majority, leading to what’s known as a "hung parliament" in which no party has a majority.

What happens in a hung parliament?

With no party in the majority, Theresa May will remain prime minister until she resigns or it becomes clear she’s unable she lacks the support in Parliament to form a government. There are a few ways May and Conservatives can keep control of Parliament. The two most likely options are the creation of a coalition government — a formal agreement between two or more parties — or going with a "confidence and supply" deal that gets the minority government the backing of smaller parties on confidence votes that could upend the government and budget issues in exchange for concessions on certain policies.

May will know whether or not she has successfully formed a government when she asks members of parliament (MPs) to approve her version of the Queen’s Speech, which is essentially the government’s mission statement that’s delivered by the Queen in front of Parliament. The speech is scheduled for June 19, so May will need to reach an agreement with a minority party in the meantime.

There are 650 seats in Parliament, 318 of which are held by Conservatives, leaving them eight seats shy of an outright majority. Because the seven MPs who are members of Sinn Féin — an Irish nationalist party that supports the reunification of Ireland and opposes British rule over Northern Ireland — will continue their party’s tradition of refusing to take their seats in Parliament a functional majority is 323 seats.

It appears that May is on her way to securing the support she needs to retain Conservative control of the government, thanks to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a party located in Northern Ireland that supports their nation’s continued presence in the United Kingdom, which will send 10 MPs to Parliament. Early indications are that May will avoid a formal coalition government with the DUP, and instead opt for

If things fall apart, that could open the door for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party picked up 29 seats for a total of 261, to try to form a coalition government of his own that brings in the smaller Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, and others. For now, that appears unlikely with Labour saying it’d prefer to govern alone as a minority if given the chance.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Arpingstone / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(10)
  • Ticktock
    06/09/2017
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    Sounds like the United Kingdom is moving away from the right and back toward the center. Hopefully the US will follow suite.

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  • VSB
    06/09/2017
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    Other countries are beginning to understand the danger of being too far right of center. I hope things change for the U.S. too. I think all countries are looking at the U.S. and wondering like so many of us what the hell happened and how we ended up with 45 and the extreme GOP.

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  • Politicalpuddle
    06/11/2017
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    The typos on this error are really distracting. You just can't end right in the middle of a sentence. Did you even proofread?

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  • Fred
    06/09/2017
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    I am encouraged by the win of Corbyn. Our time with Rump has been short but feels very long. I imagine the EU felt the same about Teresa May.

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  • IllWill
    06/09/2017
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    Hopefully, the next time around the British people send Theresa May out the door!

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  • Heather
    06/09/2017
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    As the world witnesses what America is going through under a fascist president they are making choices to stop right of center leaders like May and LePen. After May's talks of possibly violating people's civil rights I'm glad she's losing strength in her country.

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  • Vanessa
    06/09/2017
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    Another one bites the dust...America won't be far behind!

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  • HardcoreModerate
    06/11/2017
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    No party having an outright majority sounds like how government SHOULD operate.

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  • Carol
    06/14/2017
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    WE AMERICAN WILL STAY RIGHT. AND NOT GO TO LYING VILLE LEFT HATERS N LIARS N STEALERS MURDERS AND WHOS KNOWS WHAT ELSE IS GONNA BE SHAKEN FROM THEIR DIRTY LAUNDRY AGAINST AMERICA N ITS LEGAL CITIZENS AND OUR MONEY.

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  • Karen
    06/10/2017
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    We need to take note of what happened I. Parliament and begin to get the politics right!

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