May fighting to hang on after gamble fails

Benedictine nuns from Tyburn Convent leave after voting in Britain's general election at a polling station in St John's Parish Hall London Thursday

Benedictine nuns from Tyburn Convent leave after voting in Britain's general election at a polling station in St John's Parish Hall London Thursday

One minister told The Sun: "She is going to limp on like a lame duck".

Referring to the "strong relationship" she had with the DUP, but giving little detail of how their arrangement might work, she said the government would "guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks" that begin in just 10 days' time. When the votes came in, Parliament was divided (or "hung") with no single party holding the majority of seats.

With results declared for almost all of the 650 seats, Conservatives won 318 while the opposition Labour secured 262, leaving neither party anywhere close to the 326 seats required for an overall majority.

"We have made good progress but the discussions continue", said DUP leader Arlene Foster.

If the seat numbers prove to be accurate, it would be impossible for naturally allied parties to form a majority if Liberal Democrats stick to their promise not to enter coalition.

"On our side we are ready to negotiate and prepared", Merkel said Friday in Mexico City after talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto, adding that she hoped Britain was also interested in sticking to the agreed negotiating schedule.

May's letter officially withdrawing the United Kingdom from the EU was handed to European Council President Donald Tusk on March 29.

There are 650 seats in the British House of Commons, whichever party that wins the majority of seats gets to choose the Prime Minister.

Chief among Labour's potential allies would be the Scottish National Party (SNP), which suffered major setbacks but still won a majority of Scottish seats.

The DUP, which May referred to as her "friends", was non-committal in its initial remarks.

Labour's brief administration produced little in the way of domestic policy, and when leader Ramsay MacDonald called another election in October 1924, demanding a mandate to form a real socialist government, his party was roundly defeated in a Conservative landslide. "I would have thought that's enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country", Corbyn said. Labour surpassed expectations by winning 262.

European Union leaders question how any British government could persuade voters to accept such an outcome and so would be wary of starting down the path of negotiating it for fear of ending up without a deal that both sides could ratify in 2019.

May's predecessor David Cameron sought to silence eurosceptic fellow Conservatives by calling the referendum on European Union membership.

The turmoil engulfing May has increased the chance that Britain will fall out of the European Union in 2019 without a deal.

"The British political system is in total disarray".

Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said the result could mean a less radical split between Britain and the EU.

"But she now has to turn her focus immediately back to the Brexit negotiations while presiding over an angry and restive party and with serious doubts as to whether she will lead the party into the next election, whenever it takes place", he said. Other Conservatives have emphasised the importance of migration controls. She seems secure for the immediate future, because senior Conservatives don't want to plunge the party into a damaging leadership contest.

Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have lost her gamble in calling a "snap" election to strengthen her grip on power.

"If she had got the majority she wanted, she would have been a supreme political colossus", he said.

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