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UK election will complicate Brexit process

Friday, June 9, 2017

Significance

The result is a stunning setback for Prime Minister Theresa May. The Conservative Party secured a notably larger share of the vote, but it was outpaced by the Labour Party, which achieved a much larger increase. The Scottish National Party (SNP) suffered substantial losses to both the Conservatives (which had been expected) and to Labour (which had not). The Liberal Democrats managed only a modest increase in their representation.

Impacts

  • If Sinn Fein once more refuses to take its seats at Westminster, a Conservative-DUP accord would command a slim but not unstable majority.
  • If May survives she will be much less dominant and have to adopt a more collegial style.
  • In different circumstances, the obvious solution might be a second general election in relatively short order.
  • With the UK economy showing signs of slowing, however, the Conservative Party may be reluctant to risk that option.
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