Assessing the durability of the Conservative minority government

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Series Details 31.07.17
Publication Date 31/07/2017
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The United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May announced on the 18 April 2017 that her Government had agreed to call a general election to be held on the 8 June 2017. She justified the unexpected move in the context of stengthening her mandate and legitimacy in the forthcoming negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

In the event the governing Conservative Party did worse than had been expected. The Conservative Party won 317 seats - 9 short of an overall majority (this did not include the Speaker, John Bercow). The Labour Party won 261 seats.

Incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May said she would put together a government with the support of the Democratic Unionists (DUP) from Northern Ireland. 'A government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.

'This government will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days, and deliver on the will of the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union'.

On the 26 June 2017 a Confidence and Supply Agreement was announced between the Conservative and Unionist Party and the (Northern Ireland) Democratic Unionist Party. This meant that the DUP would support the Conservative minority government on votes on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and legislation relating to Brexit and national security.

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International evidence – and the scale of the challenges facing Britain – mean that the UK minority government following the June 2017 general election was unlikely to last a full term, argued Professor Jonathan Boston of Victoria University in Wellington in this guest blog.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: UK election hangs in balance on disastrous night for May
Blog: UCL: The Constitution Unit, 02.08.17: Assessing the durability of the Conservative minority government: lessons from New Zealand

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