BRITAIN WENT TO THE POLLS THURSDAY TO SELECT A NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY CALLED A SNAP GENERAL ELECTION IN APRIL.
Polls closed at 10 pm Thursday evening, and seat results have confirmed what was suggested by the official exit poll that Theresa May’s snap election gambit has failed, wiping out her party’s majority and lead. Britain now faces a hung parliament and no clear answer for who will be the Prime Minister in a week’s time.
What is a hung parliament?
In a parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament is an expression used to describe a state of a parliament when no single political party (or bloc of allied parties) has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament (legislature). In the case of UK, hung parliament means no party has won enough seats in a general election to have a majority in the House of Commons.
If no one gets a majority at the election, who will be PM?
Theresa May. In a hung parliament, the incumbent PM stays in office – and lives in Downing Street – until it is decided who will attempt to form a new government.
How is that decided?
According to the Cabinet Manual, the closet thing Britain has to a rule-book here, the incumbent PM is entitled to attempt to form a government then stay in office until Parliament meets, when they can ask MPs to approve his Queen’s Speech. Parliament is expected to meet for the first time after the election on Tuesday, June 13.
So Mrs May would be PM until Parliament meets again?
Not quite. The Cabinet Manual also says that an incumbent government “is expected to resign if it becomes clear that it is unlikely to be able to command that confidence and there is a clear alternative.”
That could allow Labour to argue that Mrs May should quit before a certain date if there is clearly an “anti-Tory” majority in the Commons that would inevitably reject her Queen’s Speech and support Mr Corbyn as PM.
What would happen if Mrs May resigned?
Mr Corbyn would then be first in line to have the chance to form a government which would put its Queen’s Speech to the Commons to see if he could win the support of a majority of MPs.
Does a hung parliament mean another coalition government?
Not necessarily. A majority coalition is a formal agreement between two or more parties who between them have more than 323 MPs.
All the parties then get to provide ministers in the government. The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition of 2010 – 2015 is an example.