What Exactly Is A Hung Parliament?

Posted: Jun 09, 2017 6:30 PM

Last night's snap general election in the United Kingdom didn't go exactly as planned for Theresa May and the Conservative Party. While the Conservatives are still the largest party in Parliament, they did not win enough seats for an outright majority, leading to a hung parliament. A "hung parliament" means that no party has an outright majority.

What does this mean for the U.K. and the Conservatives? Well, May is going to attempt to form an agreement with the 10 MPs that were elected from the Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP. Those 10 MPs, plus the 318 Conservative MPs that were elected on Thurdsay, are enough for a majority in Parliament. The leader of the DUP confirmed that talks are happening.

What is the Democratic Unionist Party? The DUP is a Northern Irish political party that's socially conservative, pro-Brexit, and in favor of keeping Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1971 by Ian Paisley.

What happens now? A whole lot of things. Assuming the talks go well and the DUP agrees to back the Conservatives (this isn't too big of a stretch), a government will be formed and May will remain PM. However, given the utter disaster that was last night's election, May could possibly resign as the leader of the party, ushering in a new prime minister.

Has this happened before? Yep. In 2010, the Conservative and the Liberal Democrats entered into a formal coalition government. Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who was Deputy PM under David Cameron at the time, lost his seat in Parliament last night.

Still confused? Here's a video: