What next? ‘Weak and wobbly’ Theresa May aims to cling on to power


Fragile Tory-DUP deal on table to hold mini-majority in parliament 

THE SURPRISE Snap election failure of the Tory party has led to calls for Theresa May’s resignation – and the possibility of a further General Election. Yet plans are already afoot for her leadership to try and cling to power. 

Low level talks have already begun between Tory figures and the hard-right DUP about an agreement that will allow the Tories to stay in power, although with a fragile majority of a handful of seats. 

Asking to form a government

Theresa May travels to Buckingham Palace seeking permission to form a government, as is her right as incumbent prime minister. 

The political manoeuvres begin 

The DUP have called a press conference, and are the clear favourites to be the partners for an attempted Tory-led government. What demands the party has will be crucial for whether any deals can be made. 

Theresa May’s leadership 

The 1922 Committee, representing backbench Tory MPs, will have a great deal of influence in whether May’s failure to win a majority has meant she has lost her party’s confidence. Calls for a leadership contest could plunge Tory plans into chaos. 

Labour waiting in the wings 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have pledged to put forward an alternative plan for government based on the party’s manifesto. However, it’s not clear than any ‘progressive alliance’ would have the votes to defeat the Conservatives. Even a Labour, SNP, LibDem, Plaid Cymru, Green combination would fall short. 

But – in the scenario where the Tories fail to hold the confidence of parliament – Labour could then formally try to form a government. In either case, both major parties are extremely vulnerable to rebellions from backbench MPs – where just a handful of rebels could defeat a government. 

The Brexit clock is ticking 

In March Theresa May triggered Article 50 – meaning the UK must have negotiated and then ratified an EU exit by March 2019. With the deal expected to be agreed by October 2018, there is already a tight schedule for talks. 

Due to start on 19 June, the talks put further pressure on all political leaders to agree a way forward that can provide a “stable” form of leadership for the talks. However, there is already speculation that the talks could be delayed. But the legal deadline would continue to tick down. 

Picture courtesy of Number 10

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