Prime Minister Theresa May took over after David Cameron sung himself off with the ill-advised Brexit vote, setting the UK on a course to separate from the EU. Though the move is widely considered a disastrous decision, May promised to see it through. Finding support in parliament inconsistent, she decided to do a little surprise election of her own. It went bad.
On Thursday night, the Conservative Party lost their majority in a stunning upset that is being attributed to political activism spurred by the Brexit horror, and a voter turnout that increased by 5% since the previous election, according to the Independent. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is having the time of his life, as the seats taken by Labour Party candidates were completely unexpected and created a “hung parliament,” meaning there is no longer any majority:
When CNN reported on the likelihood of a snap election in April, numbers for the Conservative Party were at an extreme high, with polls suggesting an enormous lead against Labour that predicted a sweeping victory:
May’s majority in parliament until the snap election was only held by 17 seats, but now she is at a considerable disadvantage. The BBC reports that the Tories lost 12, while Labour—the party of Corbyn—gained 29. And here’s some more good news: a record number of new seats are now held by women!
According to the Guardian, 207 women were elected to the House of Commons, breaking past the 196 women elected in 2015. Several of those were women of color who were making history, like Preet Gill, the first Sikh woman MP ever elected:
There was also British-Nigerian Chi Onwurah, who was elected for Newcastle, the first general election constituency to declare Thursday night. And she took it by a considerable lead of almost 1,500 votes:
It’s unclear what Theresa May’s next move will be, but pundits are suggesting she will likely strike a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, who currently hold 10 seats. The DUP is characterized as a right-wing populist party, a segment of the population to whom May has a history of pandering. What she didn’t bargain for were the Labour voters who were mobilized by their country’s terrifying direction.