Election results: Prime Minister Corbyn, Theresa May resigns or a coalition of chaos – the possible outcomes

That extraordinary exit poll leaves virtually every outcome a possibility. So what are they, and what happens now?

Click to follow
Indy Politics

In the wake of the extraordinary general election exit poll, here are the outcomes that still might happen.

Conservative majority

The exit poll figure for the Conservatives of 314 is only two below the 2015 figure of 316, when David Cameron ended the night with a slim majority. Such a result is still distinctly possible. In 2015 the Conservatives ended the night with 331. Anything less than that would be, unquestionably, a disaster for Theresa May. 

A coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party may not be enough

The Northern Irish DUP would essentially join the Conservatives, but based on the exit poll results, that would not get Theresa May over the 326 line. The 18 Northern Irish constituencies are not part of the exit poll. In 2015 the DUP returned nine MPs. A similar number would be expected, but earlier this year their rivals, Sinn Fein, won the most seats in a Northern Ireland Assembly election for the first time ever. For the Conservatives and the DUP to get over the line together, the Conservatives will almost certainly need 317 or more. 

What about with the Liberal Democrats?

Nope, probably not. In 2010 they offered more than 50 seats to David Cameron, to make a comfortable majority. This poll has them on 14, and the Conservatives on 314. That makes 328. It would be the thinnest of majorities.

Oh, and the former leader Menzies Campbell has already been on the television saying the party would not join another coalition with the Conservatives. It decimated them last time.

Is Theresa May finished?

If it transpires that Theresa May called an election solely to smash the Labour Party and has ended up unable to form a majority government, it is hard to see the Conservatives tolerating her as leader. As a party, they are not historically tolerant of failure.

Another general election, under a different leader, before Christmas is a highly likely outcome. Prime Minister Rudd? Well she might lose her seat in Hastings. Prime Minister Boris? It could happen. 

Could there be a Liberal Alliance?

Labour’s 266, plus the SNP’s 34, the Liberal Democrats' 14 and the Greens' 1 makes 315, and then you really do get into a mess. Sinn Fein would theoretically support Labour, but their MPs do not come to Westminster. Labour and the Liberal Democrats fundamentally do not agree on Brexit and negotiations start in 11 days.

The numbers in the exit poll make anything possible. It is going to be a long night. And a very very bad one for the Prime Minister.

Comments