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Theresa May leaves the Conservative Party’s Headquarters before heading to Downing Street
Theresa May leaves the Conservative Party’s Headquarters before heading to Downing Street / AFP

The UK wakes up to a hung parliament after election night

  • Theresa May “has no intention of resigning” despite losing 12 seats and strikes a deal with the Democratic Unionists to allow her to form a government

The British prime minister's hopes of the general election result providing her with a “strong and stable” government did not come to fruition last night after the Conservatives suffered a loss of 12 seats and their overall majority, while Labour gained 29 seats, against the odds.

After the final results came in, the Conservatives were left with 318 seats (326 were needed for a majority), Labour with 261, SNP with 35, Liberal Democrats with 12 and the Democratic Unionists Party with 10.

Despite the hugely disappointing result for the Conservatives, and calls for May's resignation from Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs, the prime minister has stated she “has no intention of resigning” and is already in the process of forming a coalition government, after extensive talks with the DUP late into the night.

Corbyn called for May's resignation after a profitable night for his party.

Corbyn called for May's resignation after a profitable night for his party. / AFP

“At the this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability. And if the Conservative party has won the most seats then it will be incumbent upon us to ensure we have that period of stability - and that is exactly what we will do,” May stated as the shock results continued to roll in during the night.

What does the election result mean for Brexit negotiations?

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit representative, has described the result as “yet another own goal” after senior diplomats warned that a hung parliament hugely increases the chances of Brexit talks breaking down.

The most likely outcome is that the result will delay the point at which Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has someone with whom to negotiate, as talks were due to begin as soon as the 19 June.

Council president Donald Tusk has tweeted, "We don’t know when Brexit talks start, we know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a 'no deal' as result of 'no negotiations'." While the European commission president, Jean Claude Juncker added, "We are ready to start negotiations. I hope that the British will be able to form as soon as possible a stable government. I don’t think that things now have become easier but we are ready."