UK Election: Results in hung Parliament in stunning setback for Theresa May

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Britain’s ruling party is hanging on by a thread.

Neither Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May nor opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn won a majority in the UK’s general election Thursday, according to early returns, resulting in a so-called “hung Parliament.”

Now Conservatives and Labor must vie to cobble together a majority alliance by luring members of third parties to their sides.
May had called for the so-called “snap election” in the spring, hoping to boost her party’s ranks in Parliament ahead of contentious Brexit talks set to take place later this summer.

Now it appears the gambit ­backfired.

May’s party went into the election with a majority in Parliament but emerged with less than the 326 seats needed for a majority in the 650-member legislature.

The BBC projected Conservatives to capture 316 seats to Labor’s 265, as the last votes were counted Friday morning.

The outcome is a huge rebuke for May, who had anticipated a landslide that would strengthen her political mandate ahead of the looming, contentious Brexit.

The Conservatives’ demand for a “hard Brexit” — the severing of nearly all ties with the European Union — may cost them support from the projected third- and fourth-highest vote-getting parties, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Corbyn’s party favors a “soft ­Brexit,” which would keep borders open and lessen tariffs on British exports — a position that could win him ­allies among the pro-EU SNP and the Lib Dems.

According to parliamentary rules, May gets first shot at trying to form a coalition, but Corbyn could begin talks before her efforts have officially failed.

The last time an election resulted in a hung Parliament was in 2010, when Conservatives formed a coalition with the Lib Dems, but that doesn’t seem as likely now.

A Lib Dems former leader, Nick Clegg, has said his party would not make a deal with Conservatives this time around, according to Reuters.

May could also try to press on with a minority government, but her party would need to independently drum up support for each piece of legislation it hopes to pass.

And UK minority governments tend not to last long.

A hung Parliament in 1974 resulted in a Labor-led minority government, but the party had so much trouble passing legislation that then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson called for a new election in a successful bid to establish a majority.

May will remain Prime Minister until Corbyn can strike a coalition deal or until Parliament delivers a vote of no confidence, which could come when it convenes June 19, the BBC reports.

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