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Theresa May Lost Without Losing in Bid to Tighten Grip on Parliament

© REUTERS / Stefan Wermuth / Britain's Primer Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street on her way to Buckingham Palace after Britain's election in London, Britain
Britain's Primer Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street on her way to Buckingham Palace after Britain's election in London, Britain - Sputnik International
A bold attempt by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to strengthen the Conservative party’s hold of the House of Commons at a snap general vote on June 8 has turned out to be a complete fiasco, and she managed to lose in her political game without officially losing in the election.

Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May, (L), accompanied by her husband Philip, delivers a statement outside 10 Downing Street in central London on June 9, 2017 as results from a snap general election show the Conservatives have lost their majority. - Sputnik International
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LONDON (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — Announcing a snap election back in April, May hoped not only to postpone the next general election from 2020 in order to be able to implement Brexit in 2019 calmly, but also to secure for herself a prime minister mandate and possibly satisfy some personal ambitions, as she has never been elected to be the country’s leader.

Nevertheless, she lost. The party no longer has the overall majority in the House of Commons, which requires at least 326 seats, and is now facing a daunting prospect of a minority government. Last time when the country had a minority government was between December 1996 and May 1997 under Conservative John Major.

In order to form a minority government, the Conservatives now need to secure the support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which gained 10 seats. May has already asked the party leader Arlene Foster, and the latter announced they have entered into discussions with Tories on it.

The blow was painful both for the Conservative party and for the leader.

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Tory heavyweights watching the results of the vote count over night at Carlton Club in London were calling for May’s resignation, criticizing in strong words her decision to call snap election, and discussing the candidacies for a new party leader and prime minister. Three names were mentioned — David Davis, the Secretary of State for Brexit, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader.

May, however, did not show any intention to step down despite widespread expectations.

Keeping a stiff upper lip as a true Briton, but with her voice shaking, May said at night in her constituency Maidenhead that the party was going to be the biggest one in the parliament and that they would do everything needed to fulfill stability.

In the morning, instead of announcing a resignation, May rushed to the Buckingham Palace to see the Queen and said in a briefly statement shortly after that she was ready to form the government.

Even if so, it is still unclear how the prime minister’s persistence will be accepted by the ruthless Conservative party. June can start the end of May.

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