Defeat Makes It Harder for May to Navigate Brexit Demands

British prime minister Theresa May greets European Council president Donald Tusk outside 10 Downing Street in London, England, September 8, 2016
British prime minister Theresa May greets European Council president Donald Tusk outside 10 Downing Street in London, England, September 8, 2016 (European Council)

Theresa May’s election defeat has left her Brexit strategy at the mercy of a divided Tory Party.

May called the election to strengthen her hand but now has even less room to maneuver.

Her Conservatives went down from 330 to 317 seats on Thursday, nine short of a majority. She is forced to rely on the hard-right Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland and its ten lawmakers to stay in power.

As a result, both pragmatists, who campaigned against Brexit, and hardliners, who want a complete break with the EU, can hold the government hostage. Read more

May to Stay in Power with Support of North Ireland Unionists

British prime minister Theresa May speaks with the American secretary of defense, James Mattis, at Lancaster House in London, England, May 11
British prime minister Theresa May speaks with the American secretary of defense, James Mattis, at Lancaster House in London, England, May 11 (DoD/Jette Carr)
  • Britain’s ruling Conservatives have lost their majority in Parliament, going down from 329 to 318 seats.
  • But they should be able to govern with support from the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which has ten seats. Read more

What Britain’s General Election Result Means

Statue of former British prime minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, in Parliament Square, London, England, May 30, 2005
Statue of former British prime minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, in Parliament Square, London, England, May 30, 2005 (JR P)

Britain’s ruling Conservatives are projected to lose control of Parliament. The exit poll for Thursday’s election shows them falling from 330 to 314 seats. Twelve more are needed for a majority.

Assuming the exit poll isn’t too far off, what does this mean for Britain’s next government, its major political parties and the process of divorcing the United Kingdom from the EU? Read more

Conservatives Lose Majority in British Election

British party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May
British party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May (PES/DoD/Jette Carr)
  • Elections were held in the United Kingdom on Thursday.
  • The ruling Conservatives have lost their majority but remain the largest party with 317 out of 650 seats in the House of Commons. They could probably count on the support of unionists from Northern Ireland to form a majority government. Read more

Both Conservatives and Labour Have Left the Center Wide Open

British prime minister Theresa May speaks during an international conference about Somalia in London, England, May 11
British prime minister Theresa May speaks during an international conference about Somalia in London, England, May 11 (DoD/Jette Carr)

Before Labour started to catch up with her in the polls, it seemed Theresa May could have it both ways. Read more

Knives Will Come Out for May If She Loses Majority

Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada and Theresa May of the United Kingdom speak at the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, May 26
Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada and Theresa May of the United Kingdom speak at the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, May 26 (Flickr/Justin Trudeau)

Theresa May might have been better off not calling an election after all.

Only a few weeks ago, her Conservative Party was projected to win its biggest majority in a generation.

Now the gap with Labour has narrowed, mostly as a result of it cannibalizing the Liberal Democrats and Greens. Read more

Other Conservatives Should Be Wary of Imitating Kurz and May

Sebastian Kurz is seen leaving an Austrian People's Party meeting in Vienna, May 14
Sebastian Kurz is seen leaving an Austrian People’s Party meeting in Vienna, May 14 (ÖVP/Jakob Glaser)

Center-right parties in Western Europe are responding to competition from the nativist right in radically different ways.

Whereas Dutch prime minister and liberal party leader Mark Rutte argued against the “pessimism” of the nationalist Freedom Party in the March election and won, conservative leaders in Austria and the United Kingdom have chosen to appease reactionary voters. Read more