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Theresa May has “lost” but wants to form coalition government. Final UK election results

UK election results: the Conservatives receive the most votes but lose their majority. Theresa May will form a coalition government.

The Conservative Party led by Theresa May has won the most seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament, but has lost its majority. The results of the UK elections are as follows: the Conservative Party has won 318 seats with 42.4 per cent of votes against 262 seats of the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, which captured 40 per cent of votes with a voter turnout of 68.7 per cent (2.6 per cent more than the previous elections in 2015).

The result then, is that of a hung parliament, that is a parliament without a majority. Given that the Conservatives haven’t obtained an absolute majority of 326 seats out of 650 and have lost 12, the incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May will try and form a coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party of Ireland, which obtained 10 seats. In the meantime Corbyn is calling for May’s resignation, strengthened by the electoral results which are set to see his party gain almost 30 seats.

Read more: UK elections 2017, live coverage and results

Who is Theresa May

Theresa May became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on the 13th of July 2016 following the resignation of former Conservative leader David Cameron, who came to power in 2010 and left the post after losing the battle to remain in Europe at the referendum held on the 23rd of June, the one to ratify Brexit.

Born in Eastbourne, on the southeast coast of England in 1956, the daughter of a Church of England vicar, May attended Oxford University and graduated in Geography in 1977. There she met husband Philip May, who she’s been married to since 1980. Before politics her career was in banking. She worked at the Bank of England shortly after graduating until 1983, then in the payments industry. She entered Parliament in 1997 as Conservative Party member for Maidenhead, a town west of London. In her over twenty years in the House of Commons she has taken on many different roles, including being Minister for Women & Equalities from 2010 to 2012. She was the longest-serving Home Secretary, a role she occupied from 2010 to 2016, in half a century. She is the most powerful female Conservative since Margaret Thatcher.

Read more: UK elections 2017. Why Theresa May decided to go to the polls before Brexit

theresa may
Theresa May © Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Theresa May’s vision for Brexit and more

During the campaign leading up to the Brexit vote May declared she was in favour of remaining in the EU. Nonetheless, once she came to power she made it immediately clear that she intended to carry forward the programme to leave the Union and negotiate in favour of a hard Brexit – abolishing the common market, customs union and free movement of EU citizens in the UK (as well as wanting to reduce immigration in general). One of her first major decisions as head of government was to choose ex London mayor Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, one of the key political figures in favour of Brexit. On the 29th of March she triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which gives any country in the European Union the right to leave it within two years of its activation. Within the first months of 2019 the UK will leave the EU, over 40 years after its entry.

May has also declared that she doesn’t want her mandate be remembered only for Brexit. If on the one hand her vision is strongly rooted in the centre-right – and many accuse her party of having worked against the interests of the most vulnerable sectors of society because of its programme of austerity – some analysts have pointed out that certain of May’s intentions tend towards a more centre-left project. She has promised a programme of reforms to promote social mobility among the most disadvantaged citizens, wanting to attract Labour electors that didn’t feel represented by Corbyn’s more radical left-wing programme compared to his predecessors.

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Polling station in Guisborough, England © Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

A political defeat

The results of the UK elections have been disastrous for the Conservatives who are set to give up over 20 seats to Labour, which has strengthened its position considerably. When May called snap elections on the 18th of April polls were putting Jeremy Corbyn’s camp twenty points behind the Conservatives. But this margin has tightened progressively. A number of observers have attributed this tendency to the campaign performance of the two principal candidates. Corbyn, a historic figure of the British Left, gained the confidence of an unexpected number of electors, especially young ones, and, though he had refused until the last minute, he decided to confront his adversaries in a televised debate aired on the BBC on the 31st of last month – May, instead, decided not to participate, a move the public didn’t appreciate. So a disappointing performance on the part of the incumbent versus the renewed political determination of her adversary have resulted in a bitter political defeat for Theresa May.

Featured image: Alan Howling Laud Hope, head of the Monster Raving Loony Party, candidate in the Maidenhead constituency, the same as Theresa May’s © Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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