National

Posted: June 09, 2017

A hung Parliament — 5 things to know

British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Theresa May has several options to try and form a government.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Theresa May has several options to try and form a government.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A hung Parliament — where there is no overall winner — has happened six times in Great Britain, occurring in 1909, 1929, 1974, 2010 and 2017.

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Here are five things to know:

What is a hung Parliament?

When no political party wins more than half of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. Lack of a majority can inhibit the government from passing legislation, and the party with the most seats often has to cobble a coalition to enact laws.

What’s next?

Prime Minister Theresa May, the head of the Conservative Party, will get the first shot at putting together a government. She will present a formal program, also known as the Queen’s Speech. She can form a coalition with one or more parties, or try to govern through a “confidence and supply” arrangement, in which laws are passed in return for concessions.  May said Friday she would be meeting with Queen Elizabeth II to form a government.

Who might support the Conservatives?

The Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland is the most likely candidate. The DUP is projected to win 10 seats, while Conservatives have been tabbed to win 319 once all the votes are counted. That would give May and the Conservatives a working majority.

If the Conservatives cannot form a government, what happens?

If May is unable to put together a coalition, Queen Elizabeth II could ask the Labour Party, which is the main opposition political party, to try and form a government.

Neither party is able to form a government. Now what?

New elections will be called.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

 

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