By Roman King | UK
As constituencies continue to be called in the U.K. snap election, exit polls are suggesting a hung parliament might be in the making.
According to an exit poll conducted by Ipsos MORI, the second largest market research company in the U.K., Theresa May’s Conservative Party could possibly lose their majority in Parliament. The poll has the Tories at 314 seats, 12 seats short of the number needed for an absolute majority in Parliament. The Labour Party, under the leadership of hardline social democrat Jeremy Corbyn, is predicted to win 266 seats. The Scottish National Party, Scotland’s largest political party, is predicted to win 34 seats, and the Liberal Democrats under Tim Farron are predicted to win 14 seats.
Members of the Conservative Party have been expressing multiple flavors of shock and disappointment. According to one senior Tory, May made “fundamental strategic errors”, and that her advisors should be “banished” from Downing Street. “This is bad, it’s worse than bad. Her (May’s) advisors should walk out of the door never to return, regardless of the final result,” another Conservative official said of the results. The results are doubly bad for the Tories, as May’s government was set to lead for three more years after the resignation of David Cameron. The snap election was intended to bolster Tory dominance in British politics and ensure that May could lead into Brexit negotiations on Conservative terms, but if the snap elections hold true, the election could instead turn into yet another gaffe for the Tories. George Osbourne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, said of May: “I worked very well with Theresa May and I think she has intelligence and integrity. Clearly if she’s got a worse result than two years ago and is almost unable to form a government…I doubt she will survive in the long term as Conservative Party leader.”
Of course, the exit polls have historically been known to have errors — in 2015, the Conservative Party was also penned to lose their absolute majority. Going against the polls, the Tories won 14 more seats than predicted, and Labour won 7 fewer than expected. Regardless, the uncertainty caused by this poll puts the shaky future of the U.K. political landscape in perspective. A lot is at stake in this election, and there is no bigger reminder of this fact than this exit poll.