After calling an election in the belief that she was on course for a large majority in parliament, Theresa May must now fight for her political life.
Far from sweeping the board, her Conservative party has failed to win enough seats to form a government by itself. Meanwhile, despite having been written off as no hopers, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has made a major comeback.
The balance of power now hangs with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party, which has ten MPs and has agreed to work with May to support her administration. Where May once promised a strong and stable government, she now finds herself managing an arrangement that is best described as weak and flimsy. It could fall apart at any moment.
All this is happening while the clock ticks towards Brexit. May is meant to start negotiations for the UK’s departure within a matter of days – even though it is now far from clear what the UK electorate actually wants from the deal.
In this, the final episode of The Conversation’s Election Weekly podcast, politics editor Laura Hood is joined by Tom Quinn, senior lecturer in the department of government at the University of Essex, and Louise Thompson, lecturer in British Politics at the University of Surrey.
Election Weekly is a podcast series from The Conversation UK. Music in the show is Chasin’ It, by Jason Shaw. A big thank you to City University London’s Department of Journalism for letting us use their studios.