Despite a shock election result, Theresa May will likely cling onto her role as Britain’s Prime Minister. At least, for now. But the Conservatives have lost their majority in Parliament and will have to scrape together a coalition. May called this election to strengthen many things; her political mandate, her Brexit negotiating hand, her parliamentary majority, and her government’s overall position. All of those things now look irrevocably damaged.
When this surprise election was called, it made a lot of sense for the Conservatives. At the time, they were riding high in the polls; with a 23 point lead over a Labour party that was in disarray. Jeremy Corbyn had taken his party far to the left. His shadow cabinet was a shambles, and Corbyn appeared personally unpopular with voters, while his deeply divided party had attempted to oust him as recently as August. More to the point, his hostility to Britain’s armed forces and disturbing associations with terrorists seemed to disqualify him from being electorally credible. Yet against these odds, Labour has now robbed the Conservatives of an outright victory, having dramatically increased both their overall vote share and representation in parliament.