So the UK held an election yesterday.
If you felt you were caught off guard, there’s a reason why. Theresa May decided to call for an election a whole three years early because she ostensibly felt so confident in the Conservatives’ poll ratings.
Well this risk turned out disastrously for her and her party. The Tories lost 12 seats, which isn’t that large of a number on its own, but it was enough to cost them the majority government.
Despite the loss of at least 12 seats for the Conservatives, Mrs. May will try to form a working majority with the Democratic Unionist Party, which won 10 seats on Thursday. With 318 Conservative seats plus the D.U.P. seats, Mrs. May would have 328 votes — just above the 326 needed for a majority. Mrs. May confirmed her plan to form a minority government after a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
The D.U.P., a historically Protestant party that seeks to maintain Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom, has close ties with the Conservatives, and it supported Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Boris Johnson, a Tory himself, refuses to stand behind May. Ouch. He’s supposedly going to become the Tories’ new leader, which may explain why he won’t back her.
Labour candidate Jeremy Corbyn has called on May to resign, and so have many MPs. A conservative think tank in the UK has also exhorted the Tories to reconsider the direction and goals of their party.
May seems committed to not resigning, though we’ll see if that lasts as the pressure mounts.