Democratic Unionists in Northern Ireland may be election key

Jerome Frank
June 12, 2017

The Conservative Party has depended on Irish politicians before: Prime Minister John Major relied on support from the Ulster Unionist Party to shore up his tiny majority in 1992-1997.

Earlier, Arlene Foster, the leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists (DUP), confirmed she would be meeting Mrs May in Downing Street on Tuesday with a view to finalising a deal to prop up a minority Tory government. Her weakened position in the party rules out big changes, and May's office has said that the most senior Cabinet members - including Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd - will keep their jobs, but she is expected to shuffle the lower ranks of ministers. Some say her failure means the government must now take a more flexible approach to the divorce. Just after noon, she was driven the short distance from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system.

The election saw a record number of openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people elected, and a record number of transgender people stand for election.

If May can get through this vote with the help of the DUP she can continue in government.

Liberal Democrats gained four seats to amass 12 MPs but lost its former leader and ex-deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, perhaps the highest-profile casualty in a night of stunning results.

"We will not be providing a running commentary".

There was disbelief and shock across the political spectrum when a survey for broadcasters forecast that the Conservatives would lose their majority. In 1974, a minority Labour government was in charge for eight months because the Conservatives were willing to abstain on key votes. "Let's put our minds together on striking a deal", Michel Barnier said.

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A turning point in the campaign appeared to come when the parties unveiled their election manifestos.

But her campaign unraveled after a policy u-turn on care for the elderly, while Corbyn's old-school socialist platform and more impassioned campaigning style won wider support than anyone had foreseen.

"I hope the United Kingdom will soon have a stable government to start negotiations", Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's top Brexit official said.

European officials and lawmakers warned Friday a hung parliament could be a "disaster" that hugely increases the chance of Brexit talks failing.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament's Brexit representative, described the result as "yet another own goal" for Britain.

May vowed to fight on, and fight on she did, striking a deal with DUP to reach the 326 seats needed for a majority in parliament.

May had spent the campaign denouncing Corbyn as the weak leader of a spendthrift party that would crash Britain's economy and flounder in Brexit talks, while she would provide "strong and stable leadership" to clinch a good deal for Britain. There is now likely a majority across the parties in the new House of Commons for a softer Brexit, one that might see Britain remain in the single market. Firstly, the party backs Brexit. "The math and chemistry in the Commons will be pushing away from a hard Brexit", he added.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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