May’s future in doubt as gamble backfires

9 Jun

Hopes of a Conservative landslide were replaced by the reality of a hung parliament in the early hours of Friday morning as voters rejected her appeal for a personal mandate to negotiate Brexit.

Sky News’ projection is for the Conservatives to remain the largest party on 315 to 321 seats – with 326 required for a majority.

Labour are projected to win between 260 and 266 seats – more than under both Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown.

:: Live updates on election night


Theresa May retains her Maidenhead seat

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Theresa May calls for stability

Anna Soubry, former Tory minister, said Mrs May “now obviously has to consider her position… it was a dreadful campaign”.

A string of Conservative ministers lost their seats in a dramatic night. Ben Gummer, who helped write the manifesto, lost his seat in Ipswich. Housing minister Gavin Barwell lost in Croydon Central and Jane Ellison’s 8,000 majority in Battersea was overturned with a 10% swing to Labour. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, only managed to cling on by 326 seats in Hastings and Rye.

:: Comprehensive results service: National maps and who won each seat


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry

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Corbyn calls on May to ‘make way’

The night saw other big names leave Westminster. Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, lost his seat to the Tories. Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, also lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour.

However, former Lib Dem ministers Vince Cable and Jo Swinson both won back their seats.

With two thirds of the seats now counted, the Conservatives look short of winning a majority, leaving Westminster in chaos with just 10 days before the Brexit negotiations are due to begin.

:: Hung parliament could jeopardise Brexit negotiations


Nick Clegg after losing in Sheffield Hallam

Video:
Clegg: You live by the sword, you die by the sword

Mrs May refused to answer a question from Sky’s Kay Burley about whether she would resign as she arrived for the declaration in her Maidenhead constituency.

In a sombre speech after retaining her seat, she said: “The country needs a period of stability and, whatever the results are, the Conservative party will fulfil our duty of ensuring that stability so we can all go forward together.”

Speaking after retaining his Islington North seat, Mr Corbyn called for Mrs May to resign.

:: Pound plunges after shock exit poll


A delighted Jeremy Corbyn at his constituency count

Video:
Happy Corbyn’s high-five mishap

“The Prime Minister called the election because she wanted a mandate,” he said. “Well the mandate she has got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.

“I would have thought that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all the people of this country.”

In Scotland, both Labour and the Tories have made gains on a bad night for the SNP, with the exit poll suggesting the party would end up with just 34 MPs – down 22.

:: Big beasts lose seats


Labour deputy leader Tom Watson

Video:
Watson: Sometimes people decide to change the terms

While the Lib Dems have made gains nationally, it has been a bad night for UKIP.

The party is projected to win no seats, casting doubt on the future of leader Paul Nuttall, who himself came a distant third in the Brexit heartland of Boston and Skegness.

UKIP appears to have plummeted from 12.6% of the vote share in 2015 to 1.9% this time around.

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