Political Odds: Where Does Theresa May Go From Here?

Theresa May makes a speech
Photo credit: Teacher Dude [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Theresa May called a snap election back in April, hoping to gain a few seats for the Conservative party and enter Brexit negotiations with a strong mandate.

She got exactly the opposite.

Instead of gaining seats, the Conservatives lost 13 and were left with a hung parliament. The only way they can form a government is by forming a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a conservative Northern Irish party.

 

 

The election results have left Theresa May in a horrible position. Calls for her to step down are coming from every direction, and the country is divided when it comes to what it wants out of Brexit. With Brexit negotiations beginning in just under two weeks, it’s unclear how she should approach the issue.

These are chaotic times for UK politics and the future remains extremely unclear. Will the Conservatives successfully string together a minority government? Will Teresa May be forced to resign? Could there even be another general election by the end of the year?

Let’s look at the numbers.


UK Post-Election Odds

Odds the Conservatives form a minority government: 1/19

The Conservative Party will have to make a coalition in order to form a minority government. The DUP, a small Northern Irish party, is currently their only hope to reach 326 seats.

The parties make for strange bedfellows. The DUP is a right-wing populist party with heavy Ulster loyalist roots. That doesn’t sound too appealing to the Conservatives. Heads will clash and feathers will be ruffled, but that’s to be expected from a minority government.

The DUP have already agreed to form a coalition, thus a Conservative-DUP minority government is looking pretty likely at the moment. Still, there are many details that still need to be worked out, so it could still fall apart.

Odds of another general election in 2017: 7/4

Minority governments are notoriously unstable, and if the coalition breaks down, Brits may find themselves heading to the polls for the third time this year. After the Brexit vote and the General Election, it’s the last thing anyone wants.

Odds party leaders resign in 2017

Paul Nuttall (UK Independence Party): 1/4
Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat): 1/4
Theresa May (Conservative): 1/3
Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party): 11/9

Theresa May took a huge gamble by calling a snap election, and she lost big time. Her days seem numbered and, even if the Conservatives form a government, it’s possible she won’t be Prime Minister.

The Liberal Democrats and UKIP also took a beating. UKIP failed to pick up a single seat and the Lib Dems’ former leader, Nick Clegg, failed to hang onto his. But more than anyone else, the Scottish National Party suffered the heaviest losses. Nicola Sturgeon’s party gave up a whopping 21 seats.

It was an absolute bloodbath. Expect heads to roll.