Election results: Hung Parliament – What Is A Hung Parliament And What Does This Mean For The UK?

What is a hung parliament? 

When no single party can get enough MPs to form a majority on its own, a ‘hung’ parliament is declared. This happened most recently in the 2010 general election, with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party.

What does this mean for the UK? 

The Conservative Government will stay in office until it is decided who will attempt to form a new government. Theresa May may resign, but early reports suggest she won’t be stepping down. 

Party leaders and their negotiating teams may try and form a coalition government. Either Conservative leader Theresa May or Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are the only two people with a realistic chance of becoming Prime Minister.

An alternative option is that one of the two party leaders could opt to go it alone and try to run a minority government. But this would mean they would have to rely on the support of the smaller parties to get their laws passed through.

Who does the negotiating in a hung parliament?

Theresa May won the most seats (315), and will stay on as Prime Minister and try to put a majority together. If it becomes clear that she can’t and Jeremy Corbyn can, then May will be expected to resign.

How long will the negotiations take?

In 2010, it took five days to put the coalition together, but that was a very quick turn around. There’s no official time limit. The first deadline is Tuesday 13 June, when the new Parliament meets for the first time. Theresa May will put together a plan and announce whether she will stay in power or resign. 

Will there be another election? 

This is a possibility. If the government fails to get gain a majority of support in the House of Commons for a Queen’s speech, its proposed legislative programme, there could be another general election. Timings wise, this could be around August time.

What about Brexit?

The talks are currently due to begin on 19 June but under the current circumstances, they look set to be delayed.